Police say treating Melbourne siege as 'terrorism incident'

Police say treating Melbourne siege as 'terrorism incident'”

Khayre was previously charged and acquitted for planning a terror attack in Sydney's Holsworthy army barracks in 2009, the newspaper reported.

Responsibility for the incident has been claimed by ISIS which justified it with Australia's membership of the US-led global coalition fighting against it in Iraq and Syria.

The prime minister questioned why Khayre was not behind bars, calling it "a shocking cowardly crime".

He then called cops to say he had a hostage, vowing to kill the woman if officers intervened. They added that he had a long criminal history.

AAP/Julian Smith/via REUTERS Australian police stand at the site of a siege at the Buckingham Serviced Apartments in Melbourne, Australia, June 6, 2017. He cut off his Global Positioning System bracelet after the hostage situation began. He was recognized as a refugee under Australia's humanitarian migration program and later became a citizen.

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.

"He has a long criminal history with us, but also from what we're piecing together comments he made related to Islamic State and Al-Qaeda certainly for us put this in the terrorism category", he said, adding that, Khayre was released on parole in November past year.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the attack underlined the need to be constantly vigilant.

Australia, a staunch ally of the United States and its escalating action against Islamic State, has been on high alert for attacks by home-grown militants returning from fighting in the Middle East or their supporters.

Victoria Police said their advice from the corrections department was that Khayre qualified for parole and had been obeying the terms of his parole since November previous year.

He lived in the Melbourne suburb Roxburgh Park with his mother and police will search their home on Today, as well as continue work at the Bay St serviced apartment block.

The siege came to a dramatic end when the gunman opened fire on police, hitting three male police officers, two of whom were hospitalised with gunshot wounds while the other was treated at the scene.

Prosecutors unsuccessfully argued that Khayre travelled to Somalia to obtain a religious ruling, in support of the Sydney plot.

Police said Khayre booked an appointment on Monday with an escort in an apartment building in Brighton and arrived carrying a sawed-off shotgun, sparking a 2-hour siege. The hostage was unharmed. Police earlier said they attempted to negotiate with him but Crisp said later he was not aware of any contact with the gunman.

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