The Melbourne stabbing attacker has been named, and he was known to counter-terrorism agencies

Robert Cianflone/Getty ImagesA burnt out car is seen in Bourke St on November 09, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.
  • A man, now named as Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, stabbed three passersby on a busy street in Melbourne, on Friday afternoon local time.
  • One of the victims died from his injuries in hospital. The two other victims remain in hospital.
  • Police shot Ali in the chest. He also died from his gunshot wound in hospital.
  • Police are treating the incident as a terror attack.
  • The assailant, who came to Australia from Somalia in the 1990s, was known to both state police and federal intelligence agencies.

The man responsible for the stabbing rampage on Melbourne’s Bourke Street yesterday has been named as Hassan Khalif Shire Ali.

Police are searching premises in Melbourne this morning as investigations continue into what is now being treated as a terrorism incident. Officers have spoken to Ali’s wife as part of their inquiries.

Ali was shot dead after stabbing at least three people in yesterday’s incident. One of them died of their injuries and two other men, aged 26 and 58, remain in hospital. The younger man is stable while the 56-year-old’s injuries are non life-threatening.

The ABC reported Ali is also known as Hassan Ali and Hassan Khalif.

ScreengrabAn image from a video widely circulated on Twitter showing the attacker on Bourke Street

His attack began when he crashed his car loaded with gas bottles in the Melbourne CBD, and proceeded to stab three people on the street before being shot by police.

Police were called to an incident in Bourke Street, in the heart of Melbourne, after reports of smoke and a car in flames at 4:20 p.m. local time.

The suspect punched an officer and threatened them with a knife. At the same time, passersby called out that members of the public had been stabbed.

Gruesome video shared online showed a car on fire pulled over to the street of the street. It then showed a man approach two police officers with what appears to be a knife, and attempt to stab them.

Police shot the suspect in the chest. The video is below and a warning: it contains graphic content people may find distressing.

Videos by other witnesses also showed other bystanders trying to keep the suspect away from people, with one of them running at the man with a shopping trolley.

The attacker died from the gunshot wound in hospital, Victoria Police chief commissioner Graham Ashton told reporters on Friday.

Fire and rescue officials also found gas cylinders inside the vehicle. A bomb response unit team remained at the the scene last night.

Ali came to Australia from Somalia in the 1990s. He lived in northern Melbourne.

Ashton said were not looking for any other attackers, but declined to categorise the incident as a “lone wolf attack.”

Prime minister Scott Morrison said he condemned “the act of terrorism in Melbourne today that has tragically taken the life of a fellow Australian who has died as a result of this evil and cowardly attack.

“I praise the bravery of the police who were on the scene and took action and those who selflessly came to the assistance of the injured and provided comfort to the distressed.”

He added: “Australians will never be intimidated by these appalling attacks and we will continue to go about our lives and enjoy the freedoms that the terrorists detest.”

Friday’s incident occurred in the same street where the accused driver James Gargasoulas allegedly drove down pedestrians during the lunchtime rush in January 2017. Witnesses are still giving statements to that attack.

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