Published: Sun, November 11, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Bourke St attacker had planned explosion for Melbourne's CBD

Bourke St attacker had planned explosion for Melbourne's CBD

One man is dead and two others are recovering in Royal Melbourne Hospital after they were stabbed by the Bourke Street assailant, who was shot by police and later died.

Police said the man, identified as Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, 30, had had his Australian passport canceled in 2015 after an intelligence report suggested that he planned to travel to Syria.

Counterterrorism command and homicide teams are investigating the incident, but police do not perceive any ongoing threats at this stage, they said.

In a series of tweets, Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria state, called the incident "an act of terror struck the heart of our city, in a place where past wounds have still not healed".

"Police initially responded to a report of a vehicle on fire near the corner of Swanston Street about 4.20pm", Victoria Police wrote in a statement.

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Terror cult ISIS have claimed responsibility for the attack on social media insisting the knifeman was an "Islamic State fighter".

He stabbed three people, one of whom died at the scene, before being shot by police. The attacker was detained after police shot him in the chest.

A police cordon is expected to remain on Bourke Street until 8am on Saturday.

Raheem said everyone who knew the family was shocked and felt hatred towards Shire Ali for bringing their faith into disrepute.

Police were initially called to an incident in Bourke Street, right in the heart of Melbourne, after reports of smoke and a vehicle in flames.

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The attack is being treated as a terrorist incident and is being probed by counter terrorism cops, the official confirmed.

Officers were confronted near the burning auto by a man "brandishing a knife and threatening them" while passers-by called out that people had been stabbed, he said. "He was radicalised", Australian Federal Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Ian McCartney told reporters in Melbourne.

In multiple videos that surfaced, a man can be seen trying to stab two policemen who try to make several attempts to wrest the knife from the man.

He said security for large upcoming public events, including commemorations for Remembrance Day on Sunday, would be reassessed and possibly boosted.

In December 2014, two hostages were killed during a 17-hour siege by a "lone wolf" gunman, inspired by Islamic State militants, in a cafe in Sydney.

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