A 22-year-old man accused of stabbing a man in Sydney and attempting to stab a police officer was inspired by the Islamic State group (ISIS), police say. It comes just days after the group called on its supporters in Australia to carry out lone wolf attacks.
The incident happened at 4 p.m. on Saturday when a 59-year-old man was attacked while walking through a reserve in a neighborhood in the Sydney suburb of Minto. The man was repeatedly stabbed and remains in a critical condition.
When police arrived at the scene, the 22-year-old suspect allegedly tried to stab a police officer before he was placed under arrest. A large knife was seized at the scene and the suspect, whose identity has not been released, was taken to a nearby police station.
Catherine Burn, the commissioner of New South Wales Police, said at a press conference on Sunday that the suspect is believed to have been "inspired" by the Islamic State, though she said there is no indication that he had direct links to the group.
"We know that this person has strong extremist beliefs inspired by ISIS. What made him actually act yesterday we don't know but hopefully our further investigations will uncover that," Commissioner Burn said.
New South Wales Police said the suspect was charged with Commit Terrorist Act and Attempted Murder after an initial investigation by the Joint Counter Terrorism Team. The victim and the suspect were not known to each other, police said.
"Police would like to reassure the community there is no ongoing threat in relation to this incident," New South Wales Police said in a press statement.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Saturday's attack, but it comes just days after the Islamic State group (ISIS) released a magazine that called on its followers in Australia to carry out lone wolf attacks.
"Light the ground beneath them aflame and scorch them with terror," the magazine said in an unusually specific call. "Kill them at the [Melbourne Cricket Ground], the [Sydney Cricket Ground], the Opera House, and even in their backyards. Stab them, shoot them, poison them, and run them down with your vehicles."
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