2018 Melbourne stabbing attack

On 9 November 2018, a male attacker, Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, set his car on fire and stabbed three people, one fatally, in the Central Business District of Melbourne, Australia, before being shot and killed by police.[1] The incident is being treated as "terror-related" by Victoria Police.

2018 Melbourne stabbing attack
LocationBourke Street, Melbourne, Australia
Date9 November 2018 (2018-11-09)
4:20 pm (AEDT)
Attack type
Deaths2 (including attacker)
PerpetratorHassan Khalif Shire Ali


On 9 November 2018, at around 4:20 pm, a man set fire to a Holden Rodeo ute on Bourke Street between Swanston Street and Russell Street, in Melbourne's Central Business District. The attacker emerged from the vehicle before it burst into flames. Police stated that there were propane gas cylinders in the vehicle, but they did not explode.[2]

External video
Extended Footage - Bourke Street Melbourne Attack Warning: contains graphic footage.

The man then went on a stabbing spree with a large knife and wounded three pedestrians, one of whom was later pronounced dead at the scene. The attacker was then confronted by two Victoria Police patrol officers who arrived at the scene. A member of the public also attempted to ram a shopping trolley into the attacker.[3] After slashing at the police officers, the attacker was shot once in the chest by one of the officers. The attacker was then restrained and taken to receive medical treatment under guard, but later died in hospital.[4]

The attack is considered to be "terror-related" by police.[5] Police have confirmed that the attack was ISIS-inspired.[6] Islamic State has taken responsibility through its Amaq news website.[7][8][9]


Police identified the attacker as 30-year-old Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, who moved to Australia from Somalia in the 1990s with his parents and siblings, and attended Al-Taqwa Islamic College. He was married with a young son.[10]

The Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, Graham Ashton, told the media that the attacker was known to federal intelligence agencies but was not actively monitored.[11] Ali's 21-year-old younger brother, Ali Khalif Shire Ali, was arrested in November 2017 for planning to commit a mass shooting at Melbourne's New Year's Eve celebration.[12][13] The Australian Federal Police's acting national manager of counter-terrorism said Hassan's passport was cancelled in 2015 when ASIO believed he was planning to travel to Syria to fight for the ISIL terrorist group,[14] but he was never a target of joint counter-terrorism taskforce investigations as they did not believe he was a threat.[15][16] Relatives and acquaintances have described Ali as having mental health and substance abuse issues, being delusional and agitated prior to the attack, and complaining of "being chased by unseen people with spears."[17]


Sisto Malaspina, aged 74, was killed when the perpetrator stabbed him above his collar bone. Eyewitnesses said it appeared Malaspina was walking over to the car after it burst into flames to offer assistance, when he was stabbed. A former nurse tried to revive him by performing CPR but the stabbing had punctured a major artery causing too much blood to be lost.[18] Malaspina was the co-owner of Pellegrini's Espresso Bar, a nearby Italian coffee bar. Flowers, messages and photos have been laid in front of the shop as a tribute.[19]

Those injured were a 58-year-old retired businessman from Launceston, Tasmania,[20] who suffered knife injuries to the head and was taken to the Alfred Hospital for surgery[21] and a 24-year-old security guard from Hampton Park who received lacerations and was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital.[22]


On 12 November, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, who described Sisto Malaspina as a "Victorian icon", announced that Malaspina's family had accepted his offer of a state funeral.[23] The City of Melbourne also confirmed it was considering suggestions to rename Crossley Lane, which corners Pellegrini's in honour of Malaspina, telling The Age that "In the coming weeks, the City of Melbourne will consider a range of measures to recognise the life of Sisto Malaspina."[23]

Following the incident, Prime Minister Scott Morrison made remarks on national television suggesting that Muslim communities in Australia were partly responsible for failing to report extremism.[24] The Australian Muslim community responded critically,[25] with the Grand Mufti of Australia, Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, responding that Morrison's position constituted "serious discrimination" against Muslims, instead, the Mufti pointed to the fault of the security agencies for failing to prevent the attack.

See also


  1. "Melbourne attack: Man shot dead after fire and fatal stabbing". BBC News. 2018-11-09. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
  2. Albeck-Ripka, Livia (November 9, 2018). "Melbourne Stabbing Spree Leaves Two Dead, Including Attacker". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-11-10.
  3. Wyatt, Tim (November 9, 2018). "Isis claims responsibility for Melbourne stabbing rampage". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-11-10.
  4. "One person dead after stabbing in Melbourne CBD, man shot by police". news.com.au. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  5. Albeck-Ripka, Livia; Richter, Tracy (9 November 2018). "Melbourne Stabbing Spree Leaves Two Dead, Including Attacker". New York Times. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  6. Henriques-Gomes, Luke (2018-11-10). "Melbourne CBD terror attack a 'wake-up call', Australian police say". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-11-12.
  7. "Terror attacker grew increasingly 'delusional'". NewsComAu. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  8. "Melbourne police see Islamic State 'inspiration' behind stabbings". Reuters. November 10, 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-12.
  9. "Melbourne stabbing attack was 'terrorism incident', police say, as Islamic State claims it". news.com.au. November 10, 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-12.
  10. Mills, Joe Hinchliffe, Simone Fox Koob, Melissa Cunningham, Tammy (10 November 2018). "Bourke Street attacker: Hassan Khalif Shire Ali 'delusional, agitated' before deadly rampage". The Age. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  11. Davey, Melissa; Knaus, Christopher; Wahlquist, Calla; Zhou, Naaman (2018-11-09). "Melbourne attack: police name Hassan Khalif Shire Ali and say he was known to them". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-11-10.
  12. "Bourke Street attacker "failed in his plan to cause explosion"". SBS News. 2018-11-10. Retrieved 2018-11-10.
  13. Cavanagh, Rebekah (2018-06-20). "Accused terrorist to face Supreme Court trial". News.com.au. Retrieved 2018-11-10.
  14. "Bourke Street attacker had passport cancelled but wasn't deemed a threat". 10 November 2018.
  15. Mills, Tammy; Cunningham, Melissa; Hinchliffe, Joe; Wells, Rachel; Boseley, Matilda (2018-11-10). ""A wake-up call": Police link Bourke Street terror attack to IS". The Age. Retrieved 2018-11-10.
  16. Ferguson, John (2018-11-10). "Bourke Street killer was not national security threat, says AFP". The Australian. Retrieved 2018-11-10.
  17. Hinchliffe, Joe; Mills, Tammy; Cunningham, Melissa; Fox Koob, Simone (2018-11-10). "Bourke Street attacker: Hassan Khalif Shire Ali 'delusional, agitated' before deadly rampage". The Age. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  18. Lloyd, Shelley (2018-11-10). "Bourke Street attack victim, Pellegrini's co-owner Sisto Malaspina, remembered as "best boss"". ABC News. Retrieved 2018-11-10.
  19. Henriques-Gomes, Luke (2018-11-10). "Sisto Malaspina – owner of Pellegrini's cafe – identified as Bourke Street victim". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-11-10.
  20. Loomes, Phoebe (2018-11-10). "Survivor tells of offering help, being stabbed in head". News.com.au. Retrieved 2018-11-10.
  21. Koob, Simone Fox; Boseley, Matilda (2018-11-10). "Two men recovering after being stabbed during Bourke Street attack". The Age. Retrieved 2018-11-10.
  22. Henriques-Gomes, Luke (2018-11-10). "Bourke Street attack: police say Melbourne CBD terror assailant had links to Islamic State - latest updates". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-11-10.
  23. Fix Koob, Simone (12 November 2018). "Sisto Lane: Name change mooted for Pellegrini's laneway as family accepts state funeral offer". The Age. Melbourne. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  24. Martin, Lisa (13 November 2018). "Political circus arrives at Pellegrini's as cafe reopens after Bourke Street attack". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  25. "'Making excuses': Scott Morrison doubles down in response to Bourke Street attack". news.com.au. 13 Nov 2018.
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