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Turnbull Questions Parole System Following Melbourne Siege


Turnbull Questions Parole System Following Melbourne Siege

The Islamic State organisation have claimed responsibility for a hostage and shooting in the central Melbourne suburb of Brighton last night, the Guardian reports.

The incident began around 4pm when police received a phone call about an explosion in a Brighton apartment block. Upon arriving at the apartment block they discovered a woman being held against her will by a gunman — since identified as Australian national Yacqub Khayre — in an apartment.

At 6pm the gunman left the apartment, shooting at police, with police returning fire and killing the gunman.

A victim was also discovered in the foyer of the apartment block, reportedly from a gun shot wound. At this stage, there remains conflicting reports on whether that victim was discovered before or after the gunman confronted police.

The female hostage has been taken to hospital with three police officers treated for injuries as well.

Following the incident, ISIS released a statement via their news service, saying: "The attack in Melbourne, Australia, was carried out by a soldier of the Islamic State in response to the call for targeting the subjects of the coalition states."

On Tuesday morning, police named Yacqub Khayre as the gunman in the siege. Khayre is known to police, previously charged with a 2009 terrorist plot that targeted the Holsworthy army barracks in southern Sydney.

Victorian police chief, Graham Ashton, spoke to the media on Tuesday morning, confirming Khayre was released from prison in November and was parole at the time of the attack. Ashton added that police "believe at this stage from the information we have that he was acting alone and there isn't a sort of ongoing threat in relation to any plot or anything around this individual." He went on to say that while ISIS have claimed responsibility for the attack "they always tend to jump up and claim responsibility every time something happens."

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Yacqub Khayre outside court in 2010. Credit: ABC News.

The man who was killed during the attack has yet to be named, but confirmed as someone who worked at the serviced apartments. The female hostage was allegedly lured to the apartment using an escort service.

Police are currently executing a search warrant on Khayre's residence, in the north Melbourne suburb of Roxburgh Park.

In a press conference on Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull condemned the attack as a "shocking, cowardly crime", while also raising questions of the parole system, saying: "there have been too many cases of people on parole committing violent offences of this kind." 

"How was this man on parole? He had a long record of violence. A very long record of violence. He had been charged with a terrorist offence some years ago and had been acquitted," Turnbull added, also saying he has "raised these [issues] today with the Victorian premier, whom I called last night and I called again this morning."


Topics: ISIS   Terrorism


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