Police in Melbourne, Australia ended a terrorist attack earlier today, but not before the man killed one bystander and wounded two others. The man, whom police say had been on their counterterrorism radar already, set a car on fire in the city to attract a response and then began swinging a knife wildly. One bystander caught some of the action on video, including when police shot and disabled the terrorist:
— 7 News Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) November 9, 2018
A suspected terrorist stabbed three people, one of them fatally, in an “evil” daytime attack on a busy street in the center of Melbourne, Australia, authorities said.
The suspect also tried to attack responding police but was shot by officers and later died of his injuries, Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton told reporters.
The attacker was not publicly identified but had been “a person of interest” to Australian intelligence agencies, Ashton said.
“We are treating this as a terrorism incident,” he said. “At this stage we don’t consider there is any ongoing activity the public need to be concerned about.”
The video is dramatic and chilling, picking up from the arrival of police. The terrorist is clearly determined to do as much damage as possible before getting stopped and makes no attempt to flee. The set-up with the burning car shows significant premeditation and planning for the attack; Melbourne’s fortunate that this man didn’t kill more people.
The news report above came before police acknowledged that the man was already on the radar of Australian intelligence. There isn’t any indication yet of motive, but the nature of the attack matches that of other radical Islamist attacks, encouraged by ISIS most of all. The next questions will be just what authorities knew about this terrorist and what could have been done to prevent this from happening. In a free society, however, the answer may well be not much.