A Muslim terrorist killed a man and took a woman hostage before being killed by police. ISIS claimed responsibility for the violent incident.
A Muslim terrorist, who killed a man and took a woman hostage before being killed in a police shootout, was acquitted of plotting a terror attack at a Sydney army base years earlier, police said Tuesday.
Three police officers were wounded in the incident.
The siege Monday at an apartment building in a Melbourne suburb was being treated as an act of terror, but Victoria state Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said the terrorist appeared to have acted alone and not as part of any ongoing plot or threat.
The terrorist, Yacqub Khayre, 29, was one of two men acquitted by a jury in 2010 of plotting a suicide attack in Sydney. Three people were convicted of conspiracy for that plot, which police thwarted before it could be executed.
Khayre, a Somali refugee, served prison sentences for arson and violent crimes supposedly unrelated to Islamic terrorism before being paroled in November, Ashton said.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he would speak with state leaders Friday about changing state laws, so that dangerous criminals like Khayre were not released from prison on early parole.
“There have been too many cases of people on parole committing violent offences of this kind,” Turnbull told reporters.
On Monday, Khayre booked an appointment with an escort in an apartment building in Brighton and arrived carrying a shotgun, sparking a two-hour siege.
Police were called after neighbors heard the shotgun discharge as Khayre killed a Chinese-born Australian man employed by the escort agency in the lobby.
Khayre then called police to say he had a hostage in an apartment and made threats to her if police intervened. They tried to negotiate with him before Khayre walked out of the building firing the shotgun.
One police officer was shot in the neck and ear and two officers suffered wounds to their hands, but none of the wounds were life-threatening, Ashton said. The woman was unharmed.
Khayre spoke about al-Qaida in phone calls to police and to Seven Network television, and Ashton said the gunman possibly had plotted to lure police into an ambush. But it was too early to know if the terrorist set out to target police or “seized the opportunity he thought was presented to him last evening,” Ashton said.
Ashton said there was nothing to link the violence with a van and knife attacks in London in which three terrorists murdered seven people and wounded some 50.
‘This is for IS, This is for Al-Qaida’
The Islamic State (ISIS) terror group claimed responsibility for the violent incident.
“The attack in Melbourne, Australia was carried out by a soldier of the Islamic State in response to the call for targeting the subjects of the coalition states,” ISIS Amaq news agency said, relating to Australia’s partnership in the US counter-ISIS coalition.
Police did not regard ISIS’ claim of responsibility for the Melbourne violence as evidence that it was planned.
The Seven Network said it received a phone call Monday afternoon from a distressed woman who said she was involved in a hostage situation.
“We asked her more information, at that point a man came on the same line and said ‘This is for IS, this is for al-Qaida,'” Seven news director Simon Pristel said.
“We asked for more information and that’s when he hung up,” Pristel added.
Police said the Melbourne siege was the fifth terrorist incident in Australia since the threat level was lifted in September 2014. Another 12 plots were disrupted.
By: AP and World Israel News Staff