Australia: Alleged terror attacker “known to police and intelligence agencies”


Australia: Alleged terror attacker “known to police and intelligence agencies”

Patrick O’Connor

12 November 2018

After what the police, the media and governments in Australia quickly depicted as a crude terror-inspired attack in central Melbourne on Friday, in which one man was stabbed to death and others injured, police and intelligence spokesmen admitted that the perpetrator, 30-year-old Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, was well known to them.

Police fatally shot Shire Ali in Melbourne’s popular Bourke Street shopping mall, after he set alight his vehicle that was filled with several liquid gas canisters and attacked random passers-by with a knife. 77-year-old restaurant owner Sisto Malaspina died at the scene from head wounds, while two other men were hospitalised for head and neck injuries. Shire Ali died in hospital later that day.

After the incident, Victorian Police Commissioner Graham Ashton acknowledged that the man was known to counter-terrorism authorities, both “at the national level” and to the state police.

Police reported that the attacker was the brother of 21-year-old Ali Khalif Shire Ali, who is awaiting trial after pleading not guilty to charges related to an alleged terror plot. Police claim that the younger brother was inspired by “Islamic State” and was preparing a mass shooting during 2017 New Year’s Eve celebrations in central Melbourne—though they admitted that he did not have access to a firearm.

In 2015, Ali Khalif Shire Ali had publicly accused the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) of harassing him when he was 18 years old, demanding that he become their paid informant (see: “Intelligence agency involved in latest Australian ‘terror’ scare”).

In the same year, 2015, ASIO revoked the passport of the…

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