As authorities in Melbourne confirm that a stabbing attack that unfolded on a busy Melbourne street on Friday afternoon is believed to have been an act of terror, ISIS has stepped up and taken credit for the attack.
A man stabbed three people in Melbourne on Friday, killing one and wounding two before police fatally shot him in the chest. The incident was captured on video that has widely circulated on social media and local television. In the footage, the man can be seen lunging at two police officers as a car fire burned in the background. As the attacker repeatedly swung his knife at one officer, the other pulled out his firearm and shot him. The attacker later died in the hospital.
By that point, the attacker had already stabbed three bystanders, wounding two and killing a third. Of the two surviving victims, one has been identified as Tasmanian Rod Patterson.
“Three people have been stabbed, unfortunately one of them is deceased at the scene,” David Clayton, police superintendent of Victoria state, told reporters.
Police encountered the attacker after being drawn to Melboourne’s Bourke Street, located in a busy shopping district that was packed with shoppers at 4 pm local time, in response to a car fire. Before police arrived, bystanders fled the area while one man charged at the attacker with a shopping trolley to try and subdue him before police drew their weapons.
On Bourke St. Roads blocked. pic.twitter.com/wimeJLNXWy
— mike yang (@fayfayang) November 9, 2018
One witness told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio that, as the police officers engaged the attacker, “bystanders were yelling out ‘just shoot him, just shoot him’.”
Authorities believe the attacker, 31, moved to Australia from Somalia in 1990s, and that his family members have been suspected of being involved in terror-related activities.
Inside the burning car, investigators found gas cannisters, which suggested that the man had deliberately set the fire.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned the attack in a message posted to twitter.
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) November 9, 2018
Photos of the body of one victim, who was covered by a sheet at the scene, circulated online.
In a statement through their Amaq news agency, ISIS claimed the attacker was one of their “fighters.” Though this doesn’t mean the organization necessarily had any involvement in the attack. ISIS has a well-known reputation for taking credits for attacks they had nothing to do with, or that were organized by lone wolf attackers.
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