After an attack on Bourke Street was carried out by a suspected radical follower of the Muslim extremist group ISIS, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called on the Muslim community to become more “proactive” in the fight versus terrorism:
“Their community is the one that’s being infiltrated – and we have to say, that because it’s true, and it presents a real risk to the safety of Australia and themselves, and their own children.
“The leaders of the community need to know what’s going on in their community and there can be no excuses for looking (the other way). These people prey on vulnerable Australians, vulnerable young men particularly. They fill their heads full of this hate and this vile rubbish, to try and make sense of their lives.”
A Somalian-born man identified as Hassan Khalif Shire Ali went on a stabbing frenzy in Bourke Street, Melbourne after his plan to set off gas cylinders as explosives appeared to have failed. Ali injured 3 during the attack. One of the victims dies on the scene. Ali was shot dead by the police.
Shortly after the attack, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. The radical group confirmed in a statement on its website Amaq that Ali was a follower of their group.
In his address, Morrison asked the leaders of the Muslim community particularly the imams to be more proactive by identifying persons who are infiltrating and radicalizing members of their flock.
People who knew Shire Ali said that substance abuse may have led to the attack as he exhibited extreme delusional behavior prior to the incident. Isse Musse, an imam who was a friend of the family stated that the 30-year old man became increasingly paranoid and deluded.
PM Morrison, dismissed the idea that the attacker wasn’t a terrorist but a man with mental health issues.
“I think that’s an excuse. This bloke, radicalized here in Australia with extreme Islam, took a knife and cut down a fellow Australian in Bourke Street. There’s no level of intelligence or information that will stop that and the best way to try to prevent it is if we get tip-offs and information from the community.”