Australian police search Melbourne properties in terror investigation
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australian counter-terrorism investigators have been looking out two properties in suburban Melbourne on Saturday morning, the day after a person killed one individual in what government stated was once a terrorist assault in the town.
Policemen block individuals of the general public from strolling against the Bourke Street mall in central Melbourne, Australia, November nine, 2018. REUTERS/Sonali Paul
Police recognized the attacker as 30-year-old Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, and stated that his brother was once arrested final 12 months on fees of making plans an assault in Melbourne. They had previous stated he was once 31 years outdated.
Shire Ali had set fireplace to a pickup truck weighted down with fuel cylinders in the middle of Melbourne on Friday and stabbed 3 other folks, killing one, prior to he was once shot by way of police.
“Joint Counter Terrorism Team investigators are executing search warrants at two addresses in Werribee and Meadows Heights this morning” Victoria police stated in a commentary. “More information will be provided when it’s appropriate to do so.”
Earlier, Victoria Police Commissioner Graham Ashton stated in a tv interview that Shire Ali was once recognized to government as a result of his brother, and likewise had using, robbery and hashish offences.
“He is certainly someone who is known to both us and the federal authorities in relation to counter-terrorism and terrorism-related matters,” he instructed Channel 7’s Sunrise program.
“He is the brother of an offender or a suspect that we arrested late last year in relation to the preparation of a terrorist event.”
His brother was once arrested in a dramatic raid final November. Police stated then they believed he was once an Islamic State sympathizer and was once making plans an assault Melbourne’s central Federation Square on New Year’s Eve in 2017. He is in prison expecting trial.
Islamic State claimed duty for Friday’s assault, however that would now not be substantiated and police have now not commented on it but.
The assault started simply prior to the night rush hour and lasted handiest mins. While the software truck sporting fish fry fuel cylinders burned on busy Bourke Street, Shire Ali stabbed bystanders and attacked police. (tmsnrt.rs/2Qu5stX)
The cylinders didn’t explode and the fireplace was once put out in 10 mins, wherein level the assault was once over, although now not prior to one guy was once fatally stabbed.
Video posted to Twitter and broadcast on tv confirmed the person swinging a knife at two police officials, prior to he collapsed when one shot him in the chest. He later died in clinic.
Bourke Street reopened on Saturday morning, and a Reuters reporter stated there was once an higher police presence in the realm.
A staunch U.S. best friend, Australia has been on alert for such violence after a Sydney cafe siege in 2014, and its intelligence businesses have stepped up scrutiny, although Ashton stated there was once no caution of the most recent assault.
He stated there was once now not a danger to the general public, however that safety could be boosted at horse races and Remembrance Day memorials over the weekend. Sunday marks 100 years for the reason that armistice was once signed that marked the top of World War One.
Authorities say Australia’s vigilance has helped foil a minimum of a dozen plots, together with a plan to assault Melbourne at Christmas in 2016, Shire Ali’s brother’s scheme and a plan to explode a flight from Sydney the use of a bomb disguised as a mincer.
In December 2014, two hostages have been killed throughout a 17-hour siege by way of a “lone wolf” gunman, impressed by way of Islamic State militants, in a restaurant in Sydney.
Reporting by way of Tom Westbrook in SYDNEY and Melanie Burton in Melbourne; enhancing by way of Richard Balmforth and Diane Craft