Wed. May 22nd, 2024

Anthony Albanese Urges Everyone to Stay Chill After Terrorist Incident; Cops Warn Rioters Will Face the Music

Jamie Roberts By Jamie Roberts May14,2024
Key Points
  • A knife attack at a church in Sydney’s west was broadcast on the church’s live stream.
  • The footage showed a person dressed in black approaching and stabbing the bishop multiple times.
  • A 16-year-old, who is known to police but was not on a terror watch list, is in custody.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has declared Australia is “no place” for extremism after NSW Police declared a stabbing at a western Sydney church last night was a “terrorist incident”.
A 16-year-old boy is in custody after the attack on Monday night at Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley, where Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was stabbed during a service being broadcast on the church’s live stream.
Albanese on Tuesday said the incident was “disturbing”.
“There is no place for violence in our community. There’s no place for violent extremism. We’re a peace-loving nation,” he said.

“This is a time to unite, not divide, as a community, and as a country.”

A man in a black suit and white shirt stands in front of an Australian flag.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Australia was “overwhelmingly a harmonious society” and called for calm as an alleged Sydney church stabbing was declared a terrorist incident. Source: AAP / Lukas Coch

Opposition leader Peter Dutton said he and his colleagues “stand ready to support the government”.

“I think the offer of bipartisanship support at the moment is important,” he told reporters.

“I have expressed that in my letter to the prime minister today that we stand shoulder to shoulder with the government to provide reassurance to the Australian public at the moment who, off the back of Bondi, what we saw in western Sydney, and what the Jewish community is experiencing at the moment, I think people would expect us to take that stance and we do.”

Crowds gather after knife attack

The attack led to violence on the street near the Assyrian church, where hundreds of people gathered and scores of police tried to disperse the crowd during which officers were injured and vehicles damaged.
NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said rioters “could expect to be prosecuted”.
Albanese denounced the violence.
“We understand the distress and concerns that are there in the community, particularly after the ,” he said.
“But it’s not acceptable to impede and injure police doing their duty, or to damage police vehicles in a way that we saw last night.

“People should not take the law into their own hands, but should allow our police and our security agencies to do their job.”

A police officer taking photos.

NSW forensic police at Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley, Sydney, on Tuesday. Source: AAP / Bianca De Marchi

ASIO Director-General Mike Burgess said the attack appeared to be religiously motivated.

“Our job is to look at individuals connected with the attacker to assure ourselves there’s no one else in the community with similar intent. At this stage, we have no indications of that,” Burgess said.
Earlier on Tuesday, NSW Premier Chris Minns addressed the media alongside Webb.
He said the “terrorist act” had sparked a “major and serious criminal investigation”.
Minns said he had convened a meeting of faith leaders representing religious communities across western Sydney late Monday night.
He said they “endorsed and supported a unanimous condemnation of violence in any form, called for the community to follow first responder and police instructions and called for calm in the community”.
He acknowledged that Sydney was on edge following an unrelated stabbing attack at on the weekend. He said anyone who engages in “tit-for-tat violence” would “be met with the full force of the law.”

Police say stabbing a ‘terrorist incident’

Footage of Monday’s attack at the Christ the Good Shepherd Church showed a person dressed in black approaching and stabbing the bishop multiple times to the head and upper body at the altar as parishioners screamed and ran to the cleric’s aid.
Bishop Emmanuel and a senior priest were injured in the attack. They were taken to hospital in a stable condition.
Webb said the teenager made comments that pointed to a religious motive as he launched the attack.
“After consideration of all the material, I declared that it was a terrorist incident,” Webb said.

The teenager was known to police but was not on a terror watch list, the commissioner added.

A bishop holding a sermon in a church

The suspect is “known to police” and not a regular attendee at the church, NSW Police officials have said. Source: Supplied / YouTube

The weapon used has been described as a flick-knife and detectives are also investigating if the boy lost fingers as part of the attack or the unrest afterward.

“We’ll allege there’s a degree of premeditation on the basis this person has travelled to that location, which is not near his residential address, he has travelled with a knife and subsequently the bishop and the priest have been stabbed,” Webb said.

“They’re lucky to be alive.”

A screenshot of a message from a church updating people on the condition of the attacked bishop

Christ the Good Shepherd Church released a statement on Monday. Source: Supplied / Facebook

The attack led to street violence near the Assyrian church, where hundreds of people gathered and scores of police tried to disperse the crowd during which officers were injured and vehicles damaged.

About 30 people were treated over several hours at the location, including seven who were taken to hospital, NSW Ambulance said.
Multiple police officers were injured at the scene.
NSW Police Acting Assistant Commissioner Andrew Holland told reporters on Monday night the violent images captured inside the church probably caused the uproar in the community.
“People saw that, responded and unfortunately we ended up with a public order incident,” he said.
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Jamie Roberts

By Jamie Roberts

Jamie is an award-winning investigative journalist with a focus on uncovering corruption and advocating for social justice. With over a decade of experience in the field, Jamie's work has been instrumental in bringing about positive change in various communities.

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2 thoughts on “Anthony Albanese Urges Everyone to Stay Chill After Terrorist Incident; Cops Warn Rioters Will Face the Music”
  1. Albanese’s call for unity and calm in the face of this disturbing incident is crucial. It’s time for us to come together as a nation and reject violent extremism. Let’s stand strong against division and work towards peace.

  2. Albanese’s statement is spot on. It’s crucial that we come together in times of crisis rather than resorting to division. Let’s stay united and spread peace in our community.

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