One Killed in Stabbing Attack in Australia; Assailant Shouts 'Allahu Akbar'

Queensland police trying to determine whether the man, a French national without known links to ISIS, was motivated by extremism.

Matt Siegel
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Illustration: A police officer in Sydney, Australia, July 21, 2016.
Illustration: A police officer in Sydney, Australia, July 21, 2016.Credit: Rob Griffith, AP
Matt Siegel

REUTERS - A 29-year-old Frenchman shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest) as he stabbed a British woman to death and wounded two people at a backpackers' hotel in northern Queensland, police said on Wednesday.

The man was in Australia on a valid tourist visa and had no known links to radical groups such as Islamic State, which has urged its followers to attack civilians with knives or other readily available weapons, police said.

A 30-year-old British man was in critical condition in hospital after the attack south of the city of Townsville late on Tuesday night.
Police said they were not ruling out any motive.

"Initial inquiries indicate that comments which may be construed of being of an extremist nature were made by the alleged offender," Queensland Police Service Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski told reporters.

"This person appears to have acted alone," he said. "He is a visitor to Australia and has no known local connections, however investigations are ongoing."
About 100 people have left Australia for Syria to fight alongside organisations such as Islamic State, Australia's Immigration Minister said earlier this year.

Australia, a staunch U.S. ally, has been on heightened alert for attacks by home-grown radicals since 2014 and authorities say they have thwarted a number of plots.

The FBI on Tuesday said that it was investigating a similar attack in Virginia, in which the suspect shouted the same words while attacking a man and woman with a knife. Similar attacks have recently occurred in France, Bangladesh and Germany.

There have been several "lone wolf" assaults, including a 2014 cafe siege in Sydney that left two hostages and the gunman dead. Also in 2014, police shot dead a Melbourne teenager after he stabbed two counter-terrorism officers.

In 2015, a 15-year-old boy fired on an accountant at a police headquarters in a Sydney suburb and was killed in a gunfight with police.

Police did not give details of the third person wounded in the attack, which was captured on video and witnessed by more than a dozen people. There was no ongoing threat to the community, Gollschewski said.

A dog was also killed in the attack, he added.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage

Flame and smoke rise during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City August 6, 2022.

Israel Should End Gaza Operation Now, if It Can