Australian police have declared a terrorist attack in the centre of Melbourne a “reality check” and a “wake-up call”, as the city mourns a popular restaurant owner who was stabbed to death by the Isis-inspired attacker on Friday.
Police conducted raids at two homes in the city’s western suburbs on Saturday, the day after Hassan Khalif Shire Ali drove a 4×4 vehicle loaded with gas bottles into the city centre, ignited the vehicle into a ball of flames, and then stabbed three people. Shire Ali was shot by police and later died in hospital.
“The event yesterday for us is a reality check, even with the fall of the (Isis) caliphate … the threat continues to be real,” the acting deputy commissioner for national security, Ian McCartney, said.
Shire Ali, 30, who came to Australian from Somalia in the 1990s, had his passport cancelled in 2015, but was not being actively monitored before the attack, police said.