/ 06 May 2024

Teen terror back in the spotlight

Image source: AAP
Image source: AAP

The Squiz 

People in Perth have been left reeling after a 16yo boy was shot dead by police on Saturday after he stabbed a man with a knife and lunged at officers, in what WA Police Commissioner Col Blanch has called an “extremely confronting” incident. Although Blanch says it “has the hallmarks” of a terror attack and Western Oz Premier Roger Cook says there were “indications he had been radicalised”, it hasn’t yet officially been declared an act of terrorism. Investigators are still looking into the teen’s motives and “believe he was very much acting alone”. 

Wind it back a bit… 

Just after 10pm local time on Saturday, police received a call from the teen, telling them he was about to commit a crime. They then received a second triple-zero call after a man was stabbed in a Bunnings car park at Willetton, in Perth’s southern suburbs. Responding officers found the teen running around with a “large kitchen knife”. He charged at the officers, and after 2 unsuccessful attempts to taser him, was fatally shot. As for what else we know, Blanch says the teenager – a Caucasian boy who reports say had converted to Islam – was known to police and had been involved in a de-radicalisation program since he was 13yo. Blanch says the teen’s family have been “very forthcoming” with police and understands the situation the officers who shot the boy were in.

What about the man who was stabbed?

Blanch says the victim – who wasn’t known to the teenager – received a stab wound in the back and is in hospital in a serious but stable condition. He also acknowledged the incident comes at a time when tensions are running high across Oz in the wake of the Bondi stabbing attack and the Wakeley terrorist attack… He labelled Saturday’s events as “tragic” but insisted “we do live in a safe place and people in WA are safe and the police responded extremely quickly”. PM Anthony Albanese has also been briefed by ASIO Director-General Mike Burgess and the Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw. Albanese condemned the incident, saying Australia is “a peace-loving nation and there is no place for violent extremism”.

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