Australian police on Friday said a Somali man who stabbed three people in the city of Melbourne on Friday drove a car laden with gas cylinders which caught fire and that they are treating the attack as terrorism.
The man stabbed three people, killing one, before he was shot by police. He later died in hospital, Victoria Police Commissioner Graham Ashton told reporters.
“We don’t believe there is an ongoing threat at this stage, but certainly we are treating it as a terrorism incident,” Ashton said. He declined to identify the attacker, but said he was Somali with “family associations that are well known to us”.
Ashton added that security arrangements at Remembrance Day memorials and other public events scheduled over the weekend will be reassessed and it was likely police numbers there boosted.
Islamic State said one of its fighters carried out a knife attack in Melbourne in Friday in which one person died and two were wounded.
The group’s Amaq news website provided no evidence for the claim.
“The one who executed the ramming and stabbing operation in Melbourne (..) is one of the fighters of the Islamic State and he executed the operation in response to (a call) to target the citizens of the coalition,” Amaq said.
The text was referring to a call in August by Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to “use bombs, knives or cars to carry out attacks” in countries taking part in the U.S.-led coalition that put an end to the caliphate he declared in 2014 over parts of Iraq and Syria.