Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Melbourne attacker inspired by Islamic State: Australian police

Melbourne attacker inspired by Islamic State: Australian police

Video shot from the scene showed the frenzied attack that carried on for more than a minute, beginning with Khalif charging at two police officers, punching one through a vehicle window and lunging at them with a knife. He later died in hospital.

Video posted to Twitter and broadcast on television showed the man swinging a knife at two police officers, before he collapsed when one shot him in the chest.

Hassan Khalif Shire Ali was born in 1988.

"It looks like he's attempted to ignite a fire in the auto, we believe at this stage with a view to igniting those canisters with some sort of explosion, but that didn't eventuate", Commissioner Ashton said.

He said: 'The member that fired was only three months out of the academy and has family members in the Victorian police force'.

"But he wasn't someone we were actively monitoring to that level".

She told reporters it was "wonderful" to see Melburnians coming back into the city centre.

Police believe the threat of the attack was limited to Shire Ali.

"In terms of how and why, and when he moved along that path to radicalisation to basically putting in place those actions, that'll be a key focus of this investigation and I dare say other investigations".

Mr Morrison also urged Australians not to be intimidated by yesterday's attack.

Victoria state police said counter-terrorism investigators were searching two properties in suburban Melbourne in connection with the attack, but there was no immediate word on what the searches yielded.

Shire Ali's brother was arrested in a dramatic raid last November.

Speaking on the Today Show , he said Khalif's auto contained gas cylinders and it is believed he meant to cause an explosion.

"There were gas cylinders in the auto which had been turned to the open position".

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Police are confident the event was a terrorist attack.

Shire Ali was known to intelligence agencies and police.

Commissioner Ashton also said there was no known link to James "Dimitrious" Gargasoulas, who is now on trial facing six charges of murder after allegedly mowing down pedestrians in January 2017.

"So, clearly, a terrorism act, the motivation is to cause terror and cause maximum casualties regardless of their own safety and wellbeing of the perpetrator".

"You're trained to shoot to kill, not to shoot to wound".

He says police have worked through the night and don't believe there are any ongoing threats to the public.

When asked if police should have shot Shire Ali in the leg rather than the chest, Commissioner Ashton said police were trained to kill if they believed their life or a member of the public's life was at risk.

"Be proud of who you are, because I know you are and that is what will ensure we will always defeat this insidious evil that comes at us every single time".

Islamic State had claimed responsibility for Friday's attack, without providing any evidence.

The assailant had a minor criminal history of drug, theft and driving offences, and he lived in a suburb of Melbourne northwest of the city.

The bomb squad was called after the barbecue-style gas cylinders were found in the vehicle.

"They must be proactive, they must be alert and they must call this out in their communities", he said, adding the government and wider community needed to work respectfully with them.

Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said on Saturday the Somalian-born Khalif, also known as Hassan Shire, was the brother of a man arrested by police late a year ago in relation to committing acts in preparation for a terrorist attack.

Police were dispatched to the scene after reports of a auto fire near Bourke Street, a main thoroughfare in Australia's second-largest city, at about 4:20pm local time.

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