SYDNEY- Police in Melbourne have shot dead a “known terror suspect” who stabbed two officers, a day after the Islamic State group called for Muslims to indiscriminately kill Australians, officials said Wednesday.
The 18-year-old, whose passport was cancelled a week ago on security grounds, was killed on Tuesday evening, having arrived at a police station on the outskirts of Melbourne to attend a “routine” interview.
Named by media as Abdul Numan Haider, he was met by two members of the Joint Counter Terrorism Team and greeted them with a handshake before pulling out a knife and attacking both men, with one stabbed in the head, neck and stomach.
One officer fired a single shot that killed him, police said, adding that the teenager was carrying two knives.
“I can advise that the person in question was a known terror suspect who was a person of interest to law enforcement and intelligence agencies,” Justice Minister Michael Keenan said on Wednesday, adding that the attack was unprovoked.
Both police officers were in a stable condition after undergoing surgery.
The attack came after IS militants released a statement Monday urging the indiscriminate killing of citizens of countries taking part in the US-led coalition against the group, which has seized swathes of Iraq and Syria and declared an Islamic “caliphate”.
Australia was singled out, along with the United States, Canada and France.
“Obviously, this indicates that there are people in our community who are capable of very extreme acts,” Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in a statement.
“It also indicates that the police will be constantly vigilant to protect us against people who would do us harm.”
Canberra this month raised its terror threat level and last week carried out large-scale raids in Sydney and Brisbane to disrupt an alleged plot by IS supporters to abduct and behead a member of the public.
The government believes up to 60 Australians are fighting alongside IS jihadists, while 20 have returned home and at least another 100 are actively working to support the movement at home.