A terrorist who fatally stabbed a pedestrian before being shot dead by police had planned to blow up his truck to cause more carnage, police said.
Hassain Khalif Shire Ali, 30, crashed his vehicle in a busy Melbourne street, setting it on fire before attacking three people with a knife.
Shire Ali launched his ISIS-inspired attack just a year after his brother was arrested over a New Year’s Eve terror plot on Melbourne’s central Federation Square.
Somali-born Shire Ali was shot by police on Friday after driving a blazing truck into a busy shopping area and stabbing three people.
He later died in hospital of his injuries.
The attack unfolded in front of hundreds of horrified shoppers on the city high street.
One of the victims, a 74-year-old man, died at the scene.
The other two victims were taken to hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Victoria State Police have said that Shire Ali had planned for his vehicle to explode, but barbecue gas cylinders in the back of his truck failed to ignite.
Authorities believe Shire Ali was “inspired” by the Islamic State, but isn’t thought to have any direct links with the extremist group.
Shire Ali’s brother is currently being held in prison and is awaiting trial.
Shock Melbourne footage shows police shoot knife killer as car blown up in street in terror attack
Speaking to reporters in Melbourne, Police Commissioner Graham Ashton said: “It looks like he’s attempted to ignite a fire in the car, we believe at this stage with a view to igniting those canisters with some sort of explosion, but that didn’t eventuate.
“He’s someone that was known to us,” added Ashton. “But he wasn’t someone we were monitoring on that level.”
Police also revealed Shire Ali’s criminal past, including theft, driving and drug offences.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement, but provided no evidence of their involvement.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the national terrorism advisory remained at "probable", the midpoint of a five-tier system, and told reporters in Sydney that radical Islam was the issue.
"I need to call it out. Radical, violent, extremist Islam that opposes our very way of life. I am the first to protect religious freedom in this country, but that also means I must be the first to call out religious extremism," he said.
Authorities say Australia’s vigilance has helped foil at least a dozen plots over the past four years, including a plan to attack Melbourne at Christmas in 2016 and a plan to blow up a flight from Sydney using a bomb disguised as a mincer.
Two hostages were killed during a 17-hour siege in a Sydney Café in 2014, by a "lone wolf" gunman who was inspired by Islamic State militants.
According to the Australian Broadcasting Corp two Melbourne properties were raided on Saturday raided in relation to Friday’s attack.
Police have said they do not believe there were anymore ongoing threats to the public.
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