Australian police shoot armed teenager after stabbing attack that showed “signatures” of terror

Australian police shot dead a 16-year-old boy armed with a knife after stabbing a man in an attack that had the “hallmarks” of terror, officials said Sunday.

The incident took place on Saturday evening in the car park of a hardware store in Willetton, a suburb of the city of Perth on the west coast.

Police said they received a 911 call after 10 p.m. from a teenager who said he was going to commit violent crimes, Col Blanch of the Western Australian Police Commission said in a statement. news conference Sunday.

Police said they were later alerted by a phone call from a member of the public that a knife attack was underway in the car park. Three police officers responded, one armed with a handgun and two with conducted energy devices.

The teen, described only as a 16-year-old white male, attacked the man and then charged at police officers before being shot.

Police deployed both conducted energy devices but were unable to disable the boy before he was killed by a single shot, Blanch said.

A man in his thirties was found at the scene with a stab wound to his back. He was taken to a hospital in serious but stable condition, a police statement said.

Blanch said the incident had the “hallmarks” of a terrorist attack, adding that it “meets the criteria or at least the definition” of this type of crime.

He said members of the local Muslim community had raised concerns with police about the boy's behavior before he was killed on Saturday.

The teenager had taken part in a program for young people at risk of radicalisation, Blanch added.

“There is evidence he has been radicalized online,” Western Australian Prime Minister Roger Cook said at the meeting a press conference.

“But I would like to reassure the community that at this stage it appears he acted solely and alone,” Cook added.

Police and Australian Security Intelligence Organization officers are conducting a counter-terrorism investigation in the east coast city of Sydney after another 16-year-old boy stabbed an Assyrian Orthodox bishop and priest in a church. on April 15.

That boy has been charged with committing a terrorist act. Six of him alleged allies have also been charged with a range of crimes, including conspiring to participate in or planning an act of terrorism. They all remain in custody.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitterthat he had been briefed on the latest stabbing in Perth by Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw and ASIO director-general Mike Burgess, who heads the country's main domestic spy agency.

“I have been informed that based on the information available, there is no ongoing threat to the community,” Albanese said.

“We are a peace-loving nation and there is no place for violent extremism in Australia,” he added.

The imam of Perth's largest mosque, the Nasir Mosque, condemned the stabbing.

“There is no place for violence in Islam,” Imam Syed Wadood Janud said in a statement.

“We appreciate the efforts of law enforcement to keep our communities safe. I would also like to commend the local Muslim community who previously reported the person to the police,” Wadood added.

Some Muslim leaders have criticized Australian police for labeling last month's church stabbing as a terrorist act but not a disaster two days earlier. Sydney shopping centre which killed six people and injured a dozen. The 40-year-old attacker in the attack on the shopping center was shot dead by police. Police have not yet released the man's motive.

The church attack is only the third to be classified as a terrorist act by Australian authorities since 2018.

In December 2022, three Christian fundamentalists shot dead two police officers and a bystander in an ambush near the community of Wieambilla in the state of Queensland. The gunmen were later killed by police.

In November 2018, a Somali-born Muslim three pedestrians stabbed in central Melbourne, killing one before police shot him dead.

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