Melbourne knife attacker inspired by Islamic State

Hannah Rogers
November 10, 2018

The attacker had planned for the whole vehicle to explode but gas cylinders in the back of his auto failed to take light, Australian police have said.

The lone terrorist who fatally stabbed a man in busy Bourke St on Friday planned to cause an explosion in central Melbourne by igniting gas cylinders in his vehicle, police say.

The attack during the afternoon rush hour brought the centre of Australia's second largest city to a standstill.

The 30-year-old was known to police and intelligence agency ASIO: his passport had been cancelled in 2015 when it emerged he planned to travel to Syria, and his brother is now awaiting trial for planning an attack.

"It looks like he's attempted to ignite a fire in the vehicle, 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.

Commissioner Ashton also says there was no suggestion that Khalif was inspired by James "Dimitrious" Gargasoulas, who is now on trial facing six charges of murder after allegedly mowing down pedestrians in January 2017.

A Somali-born man set fire to a pickup truck laden with gas cylinders in the center of the Australian city of Melbourne on Friday and stabbed three people, killing one, before he was shot by police in a rampage they called an act of terrorism.

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

"He was radicalised, with the rise of the caliphate and the propaganda that was put out on the internet", he said.

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

"The assessment was made whilst he held radicalised views, he did not pose a threat in relation to the national security environment", McCartney said.

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

"You always looked after us like family", the note read.

Police gave no information identifying the Melbourne attacker but Ashton said the man was known to them and intelligence authorities because of family associations.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the 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 global coalition fighting the militants in Syria and Iraq.

One of the officers shot the man and he collapsed to the ground clutching his chest, the video showed.

One man charged at the tall attacker, wearing a long black shirt, with a shopping trolley just before police drew their weapons.

The other two victims, Tasmanian retiree Rod Patterson, 58, and a 24-year-old security guard from Hampton Park, are recovering from surgery in hospital. The police said it has executed search warrants in two properties and spoke to Ali's wife as part of the investigation.

Two hostages were killed during the 17-hour Sydney cafe siege by a "lone wolf" gunman who was inspired by Islamic State militants.

Victoria police declined to comment when contacted about Islamic State's claim. "From what we know of that individual, we are treating this as a terrorism incident", he said of the attacker.

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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