Monday, 19 November, 2018

Islamic State claims Melbourne terrorist as its own

1 dead, 2 hurt in stabbings in Melbourne, Australia, video shows man attacking cops Melbourne attack: Man arrested after fire and stabbings
Ray Hunter | 10 November, 2018, 09:21

One of the victims also died and the two others were admitted to hospital.

Friday's attack began just before the evening rush hour and lasted only minutes.

"We are still trying to piece together whether the vehicle was lit then he got out the auto or whether he got out the auto and then the vehicle took flame", Victoria Police Commissioner Graham Ashton told reporters.

He'd been driving a pickup truck loaded with gas canisters and set it alight.

Police said Shire Ali's Australian passport was cancelled in 2015 after an intelligence report he planned to travel to Syria, but an assessment was made that while he had radical views, he posed no threat to national security.

"It looks like he's attempted to ignite a fire in the auto, we believe at this stage with a view to igniting those canisters with some sort of explosion, but that didn't eventuate", Ashton told reporters.

Australian police have declared a terrorist attack in the centre of Melbourne a "reality check" and a "wake-up call", as the city mourns a popular restaurant owner who was stabbed to death by the Isis-inspired attacker on Friday.

First responders work the scene of the fatal stabbing in Melbourne on November 9, 2018.

"We're not saying there was direct contact".

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement released on Twitter: "Australia will never be intimidated by these appalling attacks".

While blue Wiggle Anthony Field tweeted "heartbroken that we lost such a great man of Pellegrini's and a friend to so many (including me) Sisto Malaspina, to a senseless act of violence in Melbourne".

Kourtney and Kim Kardashian Evacuate Homes as Wildfire Spreads
Kardashian, 38, posted pictures and video of the fire to her Instagram story from her private plane, People reported . Los Angeles Fire Department Public Information Officer Erik Scott said the blaze destroyed or damaged many buildings.

He said Australia was under threat by a "radical and risky ideology of extremist Islam".

Morrison said he had long-standing relationships with the Muslim community and it was them who had raised with him concerns about radicalism in recent years. "He's got family associations that are well known to us", he said.

Victoria police chief commissioner Graham Ashton said the victim was a 74-year-old man who worked in the city, but is yet to be formally identified.

They also confirmed that he had been "inspired" by Isis, though it was as yet unclear what role, if any, the terrorist group played in Friday's attack. It said the man was an ISIS fighter and had responded to the group's calls for attacks in countries that are part of the worldwide coalition fighting the militants in Syria and Iraq.

Victoria state police said counter-terrorism investigators were searching two properties in suburban Melbourne in connection with the attack, but there was no immediate word on what the searches yielded.

Social media footage showed the attacker trying several times to stab one of the officers before a second officer drew his gun and a single shot was heard.

Victoria police declined to comment when contacted about Islamic State's claim.

In December 2014, a 17-hour siege in which a gunman took 18 people hostage in a Sydney cafe ended with two hostages dead and the assailant killed by police.

"He's known to police mainly in respect to relatives that he has which certainly are persons of interest to us, and he's someone that accordingly is know to both Victorian police and the federal intelligence authorities".

Ashton said there is no suggestion Shire Ali was inspired by James "Dimitrious" Gargasoulas, who faced court this week on six charges of murder over the first ramming attack, in January 2017.

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