Melbourne Knife Attacker Was Known To Federal Authorities: Cop

Police said they shot the assailant in the chest after he made stabbing gestures in Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall. 

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The man who set a car on fire, killed one and injured two others, before he was shot in Melbourne, Australia on Friday, 9 November, has been identified by Victoria Police as Hassan Khalif Shire Ali from Somalia.

On 9 November, the IS had claimed responsibility for the attack via the Amaq news agency, which said the attacker was "one of Islamic State fighters" and had responded to IS calls for attacks in countries that are part of the international coalition fighting the militants in Syria and Iraq.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said he believed the suspect moved to Australia from Somalia in 1990s, and that his family members have been known to police on terrorism-related matters, as per PTI.

He further said Ali was was the brother of a man arrested in relation to committing acts in preparation for a terrorist attack.

"He is known to both Victoria Police and federal intelligence authorities," Ashton said, adding that ''there is no ongoing threat that we know of ... as I speak to you.''

On Saturday, the Joint Counter Terrorism Team began executing search warrants on two homes in Werribee and Meadow Heights.

Ashton said police had spoken to Shire Ali's wife.

The police said that they shot at the assailant after he made stabbing gestures at two officers. The man had crashed his car into Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall and had attempted to stab people.

Police initially responded to a report of a car on fire near the corner of Swanston Street about 4:20pm (local time), Victoria Police said in a statement.

Earlier the Australian police had said the attack is likely linked to terrorism, reported AP. The Islamic State group later claimed responsibility for the attack.

According to the police, the pickup truck that caught fire contained several barbeque gas cylinders and was part of an apparent terrorist attack.

"A man was arrested at the scene and has been taken to hospital under police guard in a critical condition," it said.

The suspect was shot in the chest by police, Victoria Police Superintendent David Clayton said.

  • Victoria state police confirmed that one person was killed, while two others were injured.
  • Police said the man was shot and was arrested. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
  • Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that two others were treated for stab wounds.

(This is a developing story and will be updated with more information.)

(With inputs from PTI, AP.)

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