Published: Thu, June 15, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Gunman behind Melbourne siege acquitted of previous terror plot


The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a hostage incident that left two men dead and three police officers wounded in Melbourne, Australia, on Monday.

He called police to say he had a hostage in an apartment in the building and made threats to her if police intervened.

The man at the centre of yesterday's deadly siege in Melbourne tampered with his Global Positioning System ankle bracelet during a terror attack that killed an innocent man and wounded three police officers.

"A soldier of Islamic State carried out the attack in Melbourne, Australia in response to the calls for targeting the citizens of the coalition states", the group's Amaq news agency said in a statement.

'There have been too many cases of people on parole committing violent offences of this kind, ' the prime minister told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.

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Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said the incident was being treated as "an act of terrorism".

The police raided a home where Khayre lived with his mother and initial reports show that he likely acted alone.

Melbourne police say they are treating yesterday's shooting and hostage drama in the city as terrorism. The victim had been shot dead. Police tried to negotiate with a gunman in one of the apartments, an official said.

"(There is) a whole range of offending going back many years, most recently he's done prison time in relation to reckless intentionally causing injury", Ashton said. In particular, he had been acquitted of a plot to attack a Sydney army base in 2009.

"We're aware of, online, [ISIS] having claimed responsibility, but then they always tend to jump up and claim responsibility every time something happens", Ashton said.

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Hours after the fatal shootout, the IS claimed responsibility for the attack.

Hao, 36, also known as Nick, was shot and killed by gunman Yacqub Khayre in the foyer of the apartments, where he worked as the receptionist, in Bay Street, Brighton, at around 4pm.

Turnbull said there was no evidence to suggest that the last night's attack was a coordinated attack and that others were involved in planning and carrying out the assault.

Police were called to the scene after emergency calls reported loud bangs or explosions, Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Andrew Crisp said Monday, which were later confirmed to be a shotgun blast.

Khayre, a Somali refugee, was on parole for violent crimes and had previously been acquitted over a terrorist plot against Sydney's Holsworthy army barracks in 2009.

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"Police have safely rescued a woman who was being held against her will in the apartment block".

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