Miércoles, 20 Junio, 2018

Australia launches terror probe after deadly Melbourne siege

Malita Javier | 07 Junio, 2017, 11:14

'There should be a presumption against parole for someone who has in the past had some involvement into terrorism-related activities, ' he told Sky News on Tuesday night.

Before any of the facts were known, the media and the federal and state governments declared that his actions were a terrorist attack, even though Yacqub Khayre phoned a TV station to claim to be acting for both Al Qaeda and Islamic State, two rival organisations that are at war with each other.

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA-A gunman who killed a man and took a woman hostage before dying in a police shootout had been acquitted of plotting a terror attack at a Sydney army base years earlier, police said Tuesday.

Police were called after neighbours heard the shotgun discharge as Khayre killed a Chinese-born Australian man employed by the escort agency in the lobby. Three police officers were wounded. Khayre nevertheless had a criminal record of over 40 offenses, including aggravated burglary, unlawful assault and drug possession.

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At the time of Monday's siege in Melbourne, he was on parole for a violent home invasion. The GPS monitoring device he was supposed to wear was disabled - a fact the police did not realize until the hostage standoff began. He was recognized as a refugee under Australia's humanitarian migration program and later became a citizen.

Australian police have said they are treating a deadly shooting and siege in Melbourne as a terrorist incident, after the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group said it was behind the attack.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the attack underlined the need to be constantly vigilant. In May, an ISIS propaganda magazine called on followers to take hostages in order to draw police to the scene, which matches the pattern of Khayre's attack.

The prime minister questioned why Khayre was not behind bars, calling it "a shocking cowardly crime". The Age reports that Khayre was charged and acquitted over plans for a suicide attack on the Holsworthy army barracks, and he was considered a "peripheral player" in an anti-terror investigation. Three of the accused were convicted and sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment, but Khayre was found not guilty by the jury.

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The Victorian Supreme Court was told during that case that Khayre had been a worshipper at a Melbourne mosque and at a nearby prayer hall regarded by police as an "incubator" of extremist ideology.

Police are pictured outside the Buckingham Serviced Apartments in Brighton in Melbourne, Australia, June 6, 2017 after police on Monday shot dead Yacqub Khayre after he held a woman hostage. The woman escaped unharmed.

Khayre had been on parole since late past year and had a long record of serious criminal offending including offences for drugs, firearms and violence and was being investigated for possible links to terrorism.

Police said the Melbourne siege was the fifth terrorist incident in Australia since the threat level was lifted in September 2014.

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Khayre was given a 5.5-year prison term but was granted parole in December.


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