An attacker who killed a man in a terrorist incident in central Melbourne was known to intelligence authorities through members of his family, police say.
The knifeman parked his ute in Bourke Street just after 4pm on Friday and stabbed three people. He was shot as he tried to stab two officers and died later in Royal Melbourne Hospital.
“We are treating this as a terrorism incident,” Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said on Friday night.
“Initially that person didn’t have any identification on them but we believe we now have confirmation of the identity of that person.”
Mr Ashton said the counter-terrorism unit was investigating and he couldn’t name the attacker but he revealed he’d come to Australia from Somalia in the 1990s, lived in Melbourne’s northwest and was known to police through relatives who were persons of interest.
The Islamic State group late on Friday said one of its fighters carried out the assault but provided no evidence for the claim, news agency Reuters reported from Dubai.
Witnesses said the attacker stabbed the victim, believed to be aged in his 60s, in the face.