The Somali-born terrorist at the centre of Friday’s lone wolf terror attack on Melbourne’s inner-city was a known security risk.
The man, 31, died on the operating table Friday night, hours after running rampant through Melbourne’s Bourke Street, stabbing three men, one fatally.
He had been known to police for years due to his family’s known connections to terror groups in North Africa.
But it was revealed shortly after his death that his wife had gone missing the night before the horrific attack and is believed to have been radicalised.
In a press conference on Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton revealed the attacker’s family had known connections to terror groups, making him a ‘person of interest’ on a state and federal level.
Sources told the Herald Sun authorities were likely to use the law to detain the attacker’s wife and other associates deemed to be a security risk, but she was revealed to have gone missing and is presumed to have been radicalised.
The Somalian national was revealed to have moved to Melbourne’s north-western suburbs in the 1990s, and later had his passport cancelled.
The man was one of 300 Victorians on a list of ‘persons of interest’ who counter-terrorism authorities deemed as posing a potential security risk.
Some bystanders say the attacker was shouting ‘Allahu Akhbar’ as he chased bystanders with a knife, though Mr Ashton said he could not confirm.
The man did have a history of cannabis use, theft and driving offences.
Police are expected to investigate the any potential connection between the man and North African extremism groups.
Witnesses of the terror attack on Friday afternoon told authorities they saw the man narrowly avoid a collision with a packed tram, before crashing his ute.
He got out of the car and set it alight, before extracting a knife from the car and brandishing it at civilians.
He stabbed three men, one of which died shortly after. Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said the deceased man was aged in his 60s.
A 26-year-old and a 58-year-old were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.