A 21-year-old British woman, Mia Ayliffe-Chung, was killed and a man was seriously injured when a French citizen stabbed three people whilst shouting “Allahu Akbar” in a hostel in Australia, according to reports. Police are investigating the incident that occurred late on Tuesday in Home Hill, a rural town south of Townsville in the state of Queensland. However, they did not confirm whether the attack was a terrorist one.
Queensland Police Service Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski told reporters that motives for the attack in which a 30- year- old British man was seriously injured and an Australian was inflicted with non-life- threatening injuries remain unknown. He said that “Initial inquiries indicate that comments which may be construed of being of an extremist nature were made by the alleged offender”. He continued by saying “This person appears to have acted alone,” and “He is a visitor to Australia and has no known local connections, however investigations are ongoing.”
Gollschewski said that investigators will examine whether mental health issues or drugs misuse were motivations. Police said the Frenchman, who arrived in Australia in March, shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the attack and when he was arrested. About 30 people in the hostel witnessed the attack.
In response to a question about whether the 29-year-old attacker had links to ISIS, Gollschewski replied in the negative and added that there is no threat to citizens. Sharon Cowden, an Australian federal police commander, said at the same press conference that while the alleged killer had no known links to extremist groups, investigators would be “speaking to all appropriate international law enforcement” to examine this. He added that the attacker was in the country legally and was not known to police up until now.