Australian officials are calling an incident in downtown Melbourne today a terror attack, and the Islamic State has already taken credit, calling the suspect one of its “fighters.”
According to reports, the man attempted to ram his vehicle packed with gas cylinders into a tram, which he missed. He then exited the vehicle and threw a device into the car, setting it on fire:
Map of Melbourne locating a fatal stabbing incident where a knife-wielding attacker killed one person and injured two others before being shot and captured by police pic.twitter.com/zc8DAVSAkW
— AFP news agency (@AFP) November 9, 2018
He then proceeded to stab three people — one fatally — and attempted to repeatedly stab police officers and bystanders who were trying to subdue him.
As you can see in the video below, after nearly stabbing a police officer he was shot at very close range [WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES]:
— windix (@windix) November 9, 2018
The suspect later died during surgery:
— FRANCE 24 (@FRANCE24) November 9, 2018
The suspect has been identified as 31-year-old Hassan Shire, a man of Somali origin. He arrived in Australia in the 1990s. He is the brother of an accused terrorist alleged to have plotted a mass murder at Federation Square on New Year’s Eve. His wife is still missing, and authorities believe she has been radicalized:
— The Australian (@australian) November 9, 2018
The Age reports on how the incident transpired:
The attacker stopped his dual-cab ute on Bourke Street, near Swanston Street, before setting it alight about 4.30pm.
He then started attacking people with a knife, stabbing at least three people.
Witnesses told The Age they were shopping in the area when they saw a man throw what they believed to be a bomb into a car before it exploded.
They had initially thought the man was running to catch a tram close by, before a nearby police car rushed to the scene.
They heard screams and cries from the crowd before they were rushed from the area.
One bystander tried to push a trolley into the attacker. That man was pushed over onto the street, but got up and tried again with the trolley to stop the attack. Another man tried to ward him off with a traffic cone, a third was seen with a cafe chair.
Transit officers were the first to respond, with one officer using a tree to protect himself from the attacker as he lunged at them with the knife.
Police then shot the lone terrorist in the chest and arrested him before he was taken to hospital.
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency published a claim of responsibility, saying that the attack was the work of one of their “fighters” and was in response to the group’s calls to attack coalition countries fighting against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq:
— Mahmut Aytekin (@maytekin91) November 9, 2018
Police Commissioner Graham Ashton acknowledged that he was known to Victoria police and federal intelligence authorities — making this yet another “Known Wolf” terror attack.
This is not the first “Known Wolf” attack in Melbourne.
In June 2017, I reported here at PJ Media when Yacqub Khayre took hostages in Brighton in the Melbourne area. Two people were killed and three police officers were injured in that incident. The Islamic State claimed credit for that attack as well.
At the time of the incident, Khayre was out on parole after being previously arrested in a plot to attack a military base.
A terrorist plot against an airplane was foiled by Australian authorities in July of last year.
Another high-profile incident occurred in December 2014 in downtown Sydney, when Iranian-born Islamic cleric Man Haron Monis took hostages at the Lindt Chocolate Cafe. He made his hostages record videos expressing his demands. One hostage was killed, as well as Monis, when police stormed the cafe.
Monis was another “Known Wolf” terrorist, as he was out on bail on murder charges related to his ex-wife being killed after being set on fire. He had also sent notes to the families of Australia soldiers killed fighting in Iraq.
Earlier this week, the Australian home affairs minister warned of returning fighters from Syria and Iraq who had fought for the Islamic State and other terrorist groups:
Foreign fighters remain a significant threat to the people of ASEAN states and Australia alike. By working together & maintaining strong relationships we are making progress against the fight of terrorism & serious organised crime. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/H1DjRIwcFn
— Peter Dutton (@PeterDutton_MP) November 7, 2018
In May of this year, the director general of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) told the Australian Senate that 110 fighters were either in Syria and Iraq or had already returned home, and that 70 to 90 Australians had been killed due to their involvement in the conflict.
He added that since 2012, around 220 Australian passports had been cancelled or denied, and another 39 suspended on the intelligence agency’s recommendation.
Below, find Poole’s extensive coverage of the “known wolf” phenomenon here at PJ Media:
Dec. 15, 2014: Sydney Hostage Taker Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome
June 26, 2015: France’s Beheading Terrorist Was Well-Known By Authorities
May 23, 2017: Manchester Bomber Is Yet Another “Known Wolf”
June 4, 2017: At Least one London Bridge Terrorist Was a “Known Wolf”
Sept. 17, 2017: London Underground Bombing Another ‘Known Wolf’ Terror Attacks?
Sept. 20, 2017: London Tube Bomber Was Part of ‘Deradicalization’ Program