On Friday, Melbourne witnessed yet another terrorist attack, as a 30 year old assailant named Shire Ali stabbed three people using a knife before being shot down by the police. Ali, reportedly emerged from a vehicle, which later burst into flames before he went on a stabbing spree at the Bourke street. One citizen who was standing nearby, tried to stop Ali by charging at him with his shopping trolley multiple times. This distraction created by the brave citizen, allowed the police to finally shoot Ali down.
Three people lost their lives in the attack, including owner of an iconic coffee bar at Bourke street. 74 year old, Sisto Malaspina who used to run Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar along with his friend and business partner Nino Pangrazio, lost his life in the brutal attack. Eyewitnesses said it appeared Mr Malaspina was walking over to the car after it burst into flames to offer assistance, when he was stabbed in the chest.
Josh Raygor, who was with Mr Malaspina when he died, said it initially was not clear what had happened, but that bystanders gathered to try to save the restaurateur’s life. “We just heard a lot of noise and I came out and saw him laying on the ground … I didn’t know exactly what was going on until I got closer,” Mr Raygor said.
Global terrorist organization, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Australian federal police authorities described the incident as a “wake-up call.” While Ali’s passport had been canceled in 2015 following reports of him planning to travel to Syria, the authorities never really regarded him as a legitimate threat and hence his actions were not closely monitored.
The authorities still don’t consider him to as a direct member of the ISIS but believe that he was inspired by them. It’s fair to say he was inspired,” Acting deputy commissioner for national security Ian McCartney said.
“We’re not saying was direct contact, we’re saying it’s from an inspiration perspective,” he added.
Meanwhile Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called on Muslim leaders to take “special responsibility” for stamping out radicalism in their communities, saying they must be proactive and “call this out for what it is”.
“Religious extremism takes many forms around the world, and no religion is immune from it … but here in Australia, we would be kidding ourselves if we did not call out the fact that the greatest threat of religious extremism … is the radical and dangerous ideology of extremist Islam,” he said.