Initial reports were of a stabbing of two police officers in suburban Melbourne, however as more information becomes available, there is little doubt that this incident is terrorist related:
A MAN shot dead by police in Melbourne’s southeast tonight was a “person of interest” in a counter-terrorism operation and had been under surveillance for making threats against Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Senior intelligence sources confirmed he was among a number of people who have had their passports cancelled recently.
A Victoria Police officer and Australian Federal Police agent involved in a joint agency investigation were stabbed by an occupant of a car they pulled over outside Endeavour Hlils police station about 7.40pm.
It is believed the Victoria Police officer drew his gun and shot the alleged attacker dead.It is not known what the threat involved, or whether the man had been involved in planning some kind of attack. It is understood the counter terrorism operation was aimed at detaining and questioning the man in relation to the threats.
A bomb squad officer dressed in an explosives suit and bomb squad robot are combing the police station as forensic detectives comb the scene.
The Prime Minister was tonight on a plane to New York from Canberra, where he will attend UN meetings dealing with the rising threat of Islamic State.
A Monash Health spokeswoman confirmed one of the officers was taken to Dandenong Hospital in a stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries. He was expected to be discharged late tonight or tomorrow. The other was taken to The Alfred and his condition is unknown.
There are unconfirmed reports that the second officer is in a critical condition. We wish him well and hope for a speedy recovery, and thank both of them for their effort on our behalf.
While it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish the difference between random acts of drug, alcohol, insanity, or radical Islamic fueled acts of violence, this one appears to be the latter.
The passport cancellation is most likely the result of a reasonable suspicion that the person involved was attempting to leave the country in order to join foreign fighters in conflict zones. Threats against the prime minister (or anyone else for that matter) are not to be tolerated and it is reasonable to suggest that the police officers were within their rights here.
While its possible that the suspect was playing with a couple of cards short of a full deck, or the odd fatwa short of a jihad, there are reasonable grounds to think that this is a terrorist incident.