Mosque raided after Australia's terrorism-linked shooting
Australian authorities have raided a mosque that a 15-year-old gunman reportedly visited before he shot dead a civilian police employee in an “act of terrorism”.
New South Wales state police said religious leaders gave consent for the action. The mosque in western Sydney is close to the scene of the double shooting on Friday (Oct 2) afternoon.
“NSW Police yesterday executed a warrant at a mosque in Parramatta,” police said in a statement today.
“The warrant was undertaken by arrangement with leadership at the mosque who provided full assistance to police at all times.”
The 15-year-old gunman Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar had killed finance worker Curtis Cheng at close range outside the police force’s headquarters before he was shot dead by officers.
Police inspect the area outside the NSW state police headquarters located in the south-western Sydney suburb of Parramatta, Australia. PHOTO: REUTERS
According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the teen had visited the mosque before the shooting.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Saturday the attack “appears to have been an act of terrorism”.
Police would not provide further details about the raid, while senior sources told the ABC that the teen’s sister went missing Thursday and boarded a Singapore Airlines flight to Istanbul, adding that she could be bound for Iraq or Syria.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop would not comment on the report of the girl’s travels, but said Australian federal and state governments were in talks with Muslim communities after the boy was identified as being of Iraqi-Kurdish background and born in Iran.
Bishop told the ABC on Sunday:
“Yesterday, Prime Minister Turnbull and (NSW) Premier Mike Baird had a long conversation with not only... relevant agencies but also leaders in the Muslim community.
“We’re certainly reaching out to the leaders of the Muslim community but (also) working with the families at a grassroots local level.
“It’s the families that will be our frontline of defence against radicalised young people.”
Investigators have yet to establish why the teen – who has no criminal history – targeted Cheng, a 58-year-old father of two.
NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione Saturday described Cheng, who had worked for the force for 17 years, as “admired and respected by his colleagues”.
“He was a gentle man in every sense.”
Sources: AFP, Reuters