Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Police kill Melbourne terror attacker

Police kill Melbourne terror attacker

The lone terrorist who fatally stabbed a man in busy Bourke St on Friday planned to cause an explosion in central Melbourne by igniting gas cylinders in his vehicle, police say. He was shot as he tried to stab two officers and died later in Royal Melbourne Hospital. One of the officers shot him in the chest, Ashton said. The terrorist died later in the hospital.

Inside the Holden Rodeo were gas cylinders for a presumptive auto bombing created to slaughter dozens on the busy sidewalks.

"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", Ashton told Australia's Channel 9 TV network.

"He's known to police mainly in respect to relatives that he has which certainly are persons of interest to us, and he's someone that accordingly is known to both Victorian police and the Federal intelligence authorities", he said.

After Khalif emerged from the vehicle, he then stabbed three men - one fatally - before his quest for martyrdom ended with police bullets. "When a firearm is the last resort, they're (police are) trained to shoot to kill, shoot to the body mass".

"From what we know of that individual we are treating this as a terrorism incident", Ashton told reporters, adding that the police counterterrorism command was working on the case, as well as homicide detectives.

Commissioner Ashton also says there was no suggestion that Khalif was inspired by James "Dimitrious" Gargasoulas, who is now on trial facing six charges of murder after allegedly mowing down pedestrians in January 2017.

ISIS have previously claimed responsibility for attacks that were later discovered to be unrelated to the organisation.

After putting out the fire in the auto, authorities found what Ashton described as "barbecue-style" bottles of gasoline inside the vehicle, which prompted authorities to call the bomb response unit to the scene.

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A member of the town, Brynn Parrott Chatfield, shared a video of the fire while driving in a auto on Facebook . California has experienced debilitating fires of unprecedented regularity in the past few years.

Police shot him at the scene and he died in hospital on Friday night.

Ashton says there is no suggestion Shire Ali was inspired by James "Dimitrious" Gargasoulas, who faced court this week on six charges of murder over the first ramming attack, in January 2017.

"Anyone with information or who witnessed the incident is asked to go to Melbourne West Police Station to make a statement".

Video posted to social media showed chaotic scenes as bystanders scattered while the attacker fought with police and his victims lay bleeding on the footpath.

"Because he was on his stomach, they turned him over to see if he's alright; he was still alive", he told AAP.

"This is an evil and terrifying thing that has happened", Victoria State Premier Daniel Andrews said. The utility was found alight on the corner of Bourke and Swanston streets, a busy shopping area in the heart of the city.

On Saturday morning, more than a dozen police were patrolling the street, including members of the Critical Response Team.

Police identified the man responsible for Friday's attack as 30-year-old Hassan Khalif Shire Ali and said he was radicalised and inspired by the militant group's propaganda.

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