The suspect was a Somali immigrant who was known to Australian authorities; meanwhile ISIS has claimed responsibility.
A terrorist attack in Melbourne, Australia left one person dead and two others wounded, before the suspect was himself shot dead by police, BBC News is reporting. The Islamic State (ISIS) is claiming responsibility, saying that one of its “fighters” carried out the attack.
At about 4:20 p.m. Melbourne time on Friday (12:20 a.m. Eastern Time), authorities say that the assailant, whose name has not been released as of this writing, set a car on fire and then drove it into a store front as it was engulfed in flames. Police would later say that the car was packed with barbecue-grill propane tanks – tanks which didn’t explode.
As drivers and passengers around the area fled their cars, on the city’s busy Bourke Street just as evening rush hour was starting to pick up, the assailant started randomly stabbing people, according to Melbourne Police Superintendent David Clayton.
“As they got out of the car, they were confronted by a male brandishing a knife and threatening them. At the same time, passers-by were calling out that members of the public had been stabbed.”
Police showed up on the scene and shot the man dead, according to The Guardian.
Random passerby captured the event on video, which you can see below. WARNING: This video contains graphic scenes that may be disturbing to some viewers.
At least three people were stabbed, one of them fatally. All of them were males.
As of this writing, police are not revealing their names. However, Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman said on Twitter that one of the surviving victims was a local (in Tasmania) businessman named Rod Patterson.
“A nicer bloke you wouldn’t meet.”
The two men who were not fatally stabbed suffered only minor injuries.
As of this writing, police have not revealed that name of the suspect, and indeed it’s rare for foreign media to release names of criminal suspects this early in an investigation. Police would only say that he was a 31-year-old Somali immigrant, and that he and members of his family were known to Australian authorities. They did not elaborate on how or why.
Meanwhile, the Islamic State, or ISIS, has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack, saying that one of its “fighters” carried out the attack. The terrorist group has been encouraging its believers to carry out so-called “lone wolf” attacks on their own, such as randomly stabbing or shooting people, or driving vehicles into crowds, rather than carrying out elaborate, large-scale attacks such as the September 11, 2001 attacks.
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