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Australia: Police declare Syndney’s mass stabbing in a church a ‘religiously motivated terrorist act’, attacker was caught on camera shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’

News.com.au confirmed that one graphic image circulating on Telegram claiming that four fingers of the attacker were severed is fake. 

On Tuesday (16th April), Australian police declared yesterday’s mass stabbing incident at a church a religiously motivated ‘terrorist act’. Notably, a 16-year-old boy was arrested for stabbing multiple churchgoers, a bishop, and a priest at the Assyrian Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley, Western Sydney. At least four people suffered injuries in the attack. As per reports, they suffered non-life-threatening injuries as the attacker couldn’t open the flick blade knife properly before striking. 

Addressing a press conference, New South Wales State Police Commissioner Karen Webb said, “We believe there are elements that are satisfied in terms of religious motivated extremism. After consideration of all the material, I declared that it was a terrorist incident.” 

While she did not comment on the specifics, Webb confirmed that the teen attacker had allegedly made religious comments during and after the attacker. She also confirmed that police believe a flick blade was used in the attack. 

Police said there was “a degree of premeditation” as the male attacker travelled to the church, far from his home, with a knife. 

As per Australian media reports, the teenager who attacked the bishop screamed “Allahu Akbar” after plunging a knife into his face, neck, and torso at least eight times. Apart from the religious sloganeering, Australian counter-terrorism authorities are also aware of other comments the attacker is accused of making, including a reference to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The reports added that the teenage attacker had recently converted to Islam.  

The attack unfolded when the church service was being live-streamed. Several clips of the incident are doing rounds on the internet. In one of the viral videos, one witness who tackled the attacker and pinned him on the ground told a female police officer that he “ran and grabbed him (the teenage attacker) from behind and just pushed him down”. “He kept saying: ‘Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar’,” the witness told the officer.

Police save the attacker from an angry mob who allegedly chopped his fingers

In another viral video, the attacker can be seen calmly approaching the bishop before lunging at him and stabbing him repeatedly. In the background, people could be heard screaming while some of them charged toward him and pinned him to the ground. Later, the camera panned away and the live stream was cut off.

As per the visuals, several men held the attacker face down on the ground while one NSW Police officer arrived at the scene to save the attacker from the angry mob. 

As per a rough translation of the audio, the men asked the attacker if his actions were religiously motivated. However, the attacker’s response was unclear as he spoke in broken Arabic. As per reports, the teenage attacker had recently converted to Islam. 

Meanwhile, in a press conference in Canberra today, ASIO Director-General Mike Burgess said the intelligence agency was aware of alleged remarks made by the teen referring to the bishop having offended the prophet Muhammad.

In one video, the men pinning the attacker turns his face towards the camera in which he can be seen grinning, prompting an outrage from one onlooker. One onlooker said, “You’re a f***ing idiot. Laughing? You’re a f***ing idiot.” As per the visuals, one of the men allegedly kicked the attacker. 

(Attacker’s grinding face triggered an angry outburst,Image Source – news.com.au)

Meanwhile, an image is also circulating in which the teenage terrorist is seen in handcuffs with his right hand bandaged. As per Australian outlet News.com.au, one of his fingers was severed. As per the Police, the attacker could have suffered this injury during the scuffle as they believe that it was not a deliberate act by the mob. Some videos have surfaced on social media that have captured the aftermath of the stabbing incident as an angry mob rioted and attacked police demanding that the attacker be handed over to them.

Meanwhile, the report added that there are rumours that the angry vigilantes had “chopped off” some of his fingers following which he underwent surgery at an undisclosed hospital. NSW Police Acting Assistant Commissioner Andrew Holland confirmed the teen had sustained “quite severe” injuries. Holland said, “His injuries are quite severe in his hand, he’s fairly upset and fairly distraught.”

(Reports claim that the mob attacked the attacker and as per rumours it is also alleged that they chopped his fingers off, Police believe injury happened in scuffle not a deliberate act, Image Source – news.com.au)

However, news.com.au confirmed that one graphic image circulating on Telegram claiming that four fingers of the attacker were severed is fake

Pertinent to note that according to the police, the accused was “known to the police” but was not on any terror watch list. As per Australian media, he had been on bail facing several offenses. These include possessing a flick knife, stalking, and property damage. 

The crimes were also proven but he was dismissed on the grounds of a “good behaviour bond”. Strikingly, this bond was active when he went on to commit yesterday’s stabbing at the church in Western Sydney. 

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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