Hostage-taker in Australia had been acquitted of terror plot

Khayre took a woman hostage in an apartment in a beach-side suburb of Melbourne, and is accused of having shot and killed someone else in the foyer of the building.

Police in Australia say they are treating a shooting and two-hour siege in Melbourne as terrorism after Islamic State said it had inspired the attack.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for Monday's incident, but Comm Ashton downplayed their statement.

Authorities said the 29-year-old gunman had a long criminal history and was on parole at the time of the attack.

When he arrived, he shot dead the Chinese-Australian concierge and took the woman hostage before warning police not to intervene.

Police were called to the scene after emergency calls reported loud bangs or explosions, Crisp said, adding no detonations had been confirmed.

"Subsequently he (Khayre) came out of the apartment with a shotgun and commenced to fire at police at the entryway to the apartments", Ashton said.

Australian police say a shootout in which two men died, three police officers were wounded and a female hostage was freed is being treated as a terror attack.

So-called Islamic State also later said it was behind the attack via online media, but police said they did not believe the claim was evidence the attack had been planned. He was recognized as a refugee under Australia's humanitarian migration program and later became a citizen, police said. "It underlines the need for us to be constantly vigilant, never to be deterred, always defiant in the face of Islamist terrorism".

"How was this man on parole?" he said, according to BBC.

Channel 7 News Yacqub Khayre outside court on December 23, 2010 after being acquitted of helping plot a terror attack on the Holsworthy army base.

Khayre had previously been charged and acquitted in a suicide bombing terror plot, and later arrested for a home invasion.

Deputy Commissioner Patton said recent foiled terrorism plots in Victoria - the Anzac Day attack, one targeting a Mother's Day fun run involving pipe bombs, and a plot centred around a potential attack at Federation Square at Christmas time - was proof police prevention strategies were working.

Mr Ashton said the offender had most recently done prison time for "reckless intentionally causing injury while in prison, as well as for an arson while in the correctional system". He had a long record of violence. he had been charged with a terrorist offence some years ago and had been acquitted.

"He was known to have connections, at least in the past, with violent extremism".

But Mr Andrews said Victoria already had the country's toughest parole regime and Khayre had complied with conditions, including drug-testing and curfews.

"Nothing we have found thus far suggests to us this was anything that was planned or done in concert with others", he said.

  • Leroy Wright