MELBOURNE (Reuters) – An Aussie who burned a truck loaded with gas cylinders in central Melbourne and stabbed a person was inspired by the Islamic State but had no direct links to the group. Saturday announced the police.
Police identified the man responsible for Friday 's attack as Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, 30, born in Somalia. He said he was radicalized and inspired by the propaganda of the militant group. He was shot dead by the police and died at the hospital.
Police said Shire Ali's Australian passport was canceled in 2015 after an intelligence report that he planned to visit Syria, but it was felt that, despite his radical views, he was not threatening national security .
The Islamic State claimed the attack, which took place two days before Remembrance Day, marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, without providing any evidence.
"I think it's fair to say that it (Shire Ali) was inspired. He has been radicalized, "Ian McCartney, Acting Deputy Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, told reporters in Melbourne.
"We do not say there was direct contact. We say it was more from the point of view of inspiration. "
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the national opinion on terrorism remained "likely", a central point of a five-tier system, and told reporters in Sydney that the problem was Islam radical.
"I need to call him. Radical, violent and extremist Islam that opposes our very way of life. I am the first to protect religious freedom in this country, but it also means that I must be the first to denounce religious extremism, "he said.
OWNER OF COFFEE MOURNED
The Friday attack started just before the evening rush hour and lasted only a few minutes. Shire Ali stabbed passersby and attacked the police as his truck carrying gas bottles burned in the bustling Bourke Street. (Tmsnrt.rs/2Qu5stX)
The bottles did not explode and the fire was extinguished in 10 minutes. The attack was over, but not until a man was stabbed to death.
Police said that he was a 74-year-old man who was working in the city and did not reveal his name.
The man's trading partner identified him as Sisto Malaspina, co-owner of the Pellegrini coffee house, a Melbourne institution renowned for forging the city's famous coffee culture.
"Many, many tears have been shed," said the co-owner of the cafe. Nino Pangrazio, told The Age newspaper, and guests laid flowers and tributes in front of the cafe on Saturday.
"It should not happen in a city like Melbourne," a Reuters witness told Reuters on Saturday. "I just want to forget it," she said.
The video posted on Twitter and broadcast on television showed Shire Ali brandishing a knife against two police officers, while the truck was burning in the background, before it collapsed when Another shot him in the chest.
The Victoria State Police said that counterterrorism investigators were searching two properties in the suburbs of Melbourne in connection with the attack, but that the results of this research did not make any sense. were not known in the immediate future.
At one o'clock, a modest brick house on one floor, on the western outskirts of the city, under which armed officers wearing masks stood guard. Bourke Street also reopened on Saturday and a Reuters reporter announced an increased police presence in the area.
A loyal ally of the United States, Australia is on the alert after a seat in a Sydney café in 2014 and its intelligence agencies have stepped up their controls. Victoria Police Commissioner Graham Ashton said that there was no warning about the latest attack.
He added that there was no more threat to the public, but that security would be enhanced during horse racing and Remembrance Day memorials over the weekend.
According to the authorities, Australia's vigilance has defeated at least a dozen plots, including a plan to attack Melbourne at Christmas 2016 and a plan to blow up a Sydney-Abu Dhabi flight with a disguised bomb. in a meat grinder.
Two hostages were killed during the 17-hour siege in Sydney by a man armed with the "lone wolf" inspired by militants of the Islamic State.
Report by Tom Westbrook in SYDNEY and Melanie Burton in Melbourne; Edited by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Nick Macfie