Asia

Australia shooting: Teen was 'known terror suspect'

Police and forensic officers investigate the scene of a fatal shooting of an 18-year-old man at Endeavour Hills Police Station in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, on 24 September 2014 Image copyright EPA
Image caption Police said the man stabbed the officers as they came to greet him

A teenager shot dead after he stabbed two police officers was a "known terror suspect" whose passport had been cancelled on security grounds, Australian officials say.

The incident happened at a Melbourne police station late on Tuesday.

The 18-year-old, who had been asked to attend an interview, stabbed two counter-terrorism officers several times. One of them then shot him.

Police would not confirm reports he made threats against PM Tony Abbott.

Media reports also said he had been seen with a flag of Islamic State (IS, also known as Isil), the radical Islamist group that controls areas of Iraq and Syria.

"It is true to say there was a flag involved, whether it was Isil or not is not absolutely clear to me but there are some concerns about that issue," Commissioner Ken Lay of Victoria Police said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The incident took place on Tuesday evening at a police station in Melbourne

The man, who was named in parliament as Abdul Numan Haider, is of Afghan origin and had been associated with al-Furqan, a radical group, local reports said.

Mr Lay said he stabbed the officers as they greeted him.

"One's extended his hand to shake his hand and the response has been he's been stabbed in the arm," he said.

"The attacker's then turned on the second police member and stabbed him three or four times in the body and in the head.

"The first wounded member has then shot and killed the young man."

Both officers required surgery, but were in a stable condition, police said.

Terror raids

The 18-year-old was described by Justice Minister Michael Keenan as "a known terror suspect who was a person of interest to law enforcement and intelligence agencies".

Police said the meeting at the Endeavour Hills police station was prompted by an escalation of activity that had led to concern.

Mr Abbott, who is overseas, said the incident showed "that there are people in our community who are capable of very extreme acts".

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Security has been tightened across Australia recently, including outside parliament

The incident came days after police conducted major anti-terror raids in Sydney and Brisbane in response to an alleged plot by IS followers to publicly behead a randomly-selected Australian.

One man has been charged with serious terrorism offences following that operation.

In recent months, Australian officials have been expressing growing concern over the the impact of Australians fighting with Islamist groups in the Middle East on domestic security.

They are concerned both about returnees and those who sympathise with the causes they advocate.

In response, the government is introducing new legislation to prevent Australians travelling to conflict zones to join militant groups, and to penalise those who do.

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