Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Remembrance Day services in Australia in urgent security review after Melbourne attack

1 killed 2 injured as knife-wielding attacker goes on rampage in central Melbourne Twitter meegslouise
Patty Aguilar | 10 November, 2018, 15:21

Ashton said Shire Ali, who moved to Australia from Somalia in the 1990s, was known to police and the federal intelligence authority ASIO partly because his brother Ali Khalif Shire Ali faced court this year in Melbourne accused of plotting another attack.

Police officers who apprehended the suspect are now being treated for cuts and scrapes and are not thought to be in a serious condition. The militant group said in a statement released through its Aamaq media arm that the man was "one of Islamic State fighters" and carried out the attack in response to IS calls for attacks in countries that are part of the worldwide coalition fighting the militants in Syria and Iraq.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Ashton said Shire Ali had a criminal history for cannabis use, theft and driving offences. "Victorians would say we do not have to live like this". "We're saying it was more from an inspirational perspective", McCartney said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said "radical, violent, extremist Islam" poses the greatest threat to Australia's national security.

"I need to call it out. I am the first to protect religious freedom in this country, but that also means I must be the first to call out religious extremism", he said on Saturday.

It is a popular area and was full of people when the attack happened on Friday evening just before peak hour.

Two police investigations are underway into the Bourke Street attack, one team is preparing a brief for the coroner while counter-terrorism police have executed search warrants on properties in the Melbourne suburbs of Meadow Heights and Werribee.

One of them has succumbed to injuries, police said. Local media identified him as a restaurant owner.

"Many, many tears have been shed", the cafe's co-owner. "Unfortunately, one is deceased at the scene", he added.

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"I just want to forget it", she said.

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

"We take this opportunity to thank those very courageous and dedicated members of Victoria Police who did all of us proud in their very quick response in very unsafe circumstances", Andrews said.

After repeatedly slashing at officers, he was shot.

Members of the public are asked to avoid the area on Bourke Street between Russell and Swanston Streets.

A staunch USA ally, Australia has been on alert for such violence after a Sydney cafe siege in 2014, and its intelligence agencies have stepped up scrutiny.

"We are now treating this as a terrorism incident", said Ashton.

Mr Ashton said security arrangements at Remembrance Day memorials and other public events scheduled over the weekend will be reassessed and it was likely police numbers there boosted.

Police warned people to avoid the area and dispatched the bomb squad to secure the area and examine the burning vehicle.

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