Sydney.jpg
Photograph: Photo by Ryan Wick, used under CC BY

A Sydney man charged with committing a terrorist attack was inspired by the Islamic State extremist organization, local police said Sunday.

The 22-year-old man was charged after he allegedly stabbed an elderly man and then tried to attack a police officer on Saturday evening in the south-western Sydney suburb of Minto. 

The 59-year-old victim was stabbed multiple times while walking through a small park and remains in a critical condition in hospital, police said.

When a police officer arrived at the scene, the attacker, Ihsas Khan, allegedly tried to stab the officer before being arrested. A large knife was confiscated. 

A senior police officer said the attack was "planned" and "deliberate".

"This was clearly a very volatile, very violent situation that police and members of the community were confronted with," New South Wales Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn told reporters in Sydney.

The accused allegedly shouted certain words at the scene, which led police to believe he was inspired by the Islamic State group.

"We know that this person has strong religious beliefs inspired by ISIS. What made him act yesterday we don't know," Burn said.

An Australian counter-terrorism team has charged him with committing a terrorist act and attempted murder.

Police said the victim and the attacker were not known to each other.

Burn also confirmed that Khan was known to police but not in connection with any terrorist group.

"He has had a couple of interactions with local police over matters where we might say his behaviour was odd or unusual...He is a person of concern," she said. 

"This really highlights the challenge - this is the new face of terrorism, this is the new face of what we have to deal with."

Australian Attorney-General George Brandis said police found material related to the terrorist organization in a search of the man's home.

On Friday, a Sydney court ordered an 18-year-old man to be hospitalized for a psychiatric assessment after he allegedly threatened an attack at the Sydney Opera House claiming he was instructed to do so by Islamic State.

The two incidents come the same week it was revealed that the Islamic State group had issued a directive for its followers to conduct "lone wolf attacks" targeting iconic attractions such as the Opera House and Bondi Beach.

"Stab them, shoot them, poison them, and run them down with your vehicles. Kill them wherever you find them," the directive said.

Latest news

Plane crashes at airport in Melbourne

A five-passenger charter plane has crashed into a building next to Essendon Airport in Melbourne, with witnesses reporting explosions, fire and black smoke, police said Tuesday.

Air France pilots give green light to lower cost subsidiary

Members of Air France's main pilots union on Monday voted to accept the creation of a new lower cost subsidiary that the flag carrier hopes will help it compete on long-haul routes.

US Army General McMaster tapped as Trump's national security advisor

Army Lieutenant General HR McMaster will be the new White House national security advisor, US President Donald Trump told reporters Monday.

Greece's creditors want sweeping reforms before next bailout payment

Greece must make sweeping reforms to its labour market, pension system and collective bargaining agreements in order to receive its next vital bailout payment, the country's European creditors said Monday.

President wants to recall "politically appointed ambassadors", can't do it without gov't

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said that many politically appointed Croatian ambassadors were not carrying out state policies but that she could not replace them without the government to appoint career diplomats who would fight for Croatia's interests.

Izetbegovic hopes ICJ will confirm Serbia's responsibility for genocide

The Bosniak member of the tripartite presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegovic, on Monday rejected criticism stirred up by the announcement that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) would be requested to review its judgement made after Bosnia sued Serbia for genocide.

British lawmakers locked in heated debate over Trump's state visit

Allowing US President Donald Trump to visit Britain would be akin to "pimping out the Queen," one British lawmaker said Monday during a heated debate in British parliament over two petitions concerning the US leader's future state visit.

Vitaly Churkin, Russia's sharp-tongued ambassador to the UN, dies

Russia's long-time ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died in New York on Monday, following a career that spanned four decades and saw Russia emerge from the Soviet Union and experience many turbulent events in its relations with the West.

French police raid National Front over European Parliament payments

France's far-right National Front Monday said that investigators had searched its offices in relation to allegations that it misused European Parliament funds.

Unhappy Presidents' Day: Trump still manoeuvring after Sweden comment

Donald Trump used his first Presidents' Day in office to continue trying to talk his way out of comments implying a terrorist attack in Sweden that never happened.

Croatia supports Kosovo's territorial integrity - Grabar-Kitarovic

Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on Monday expressed the support to Kosovo's territorial integrity and Euro-Atlantic aspirations during her talks with the visiting Kosovo Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj.

Petrov rules out early parliamentary election

Parliament Speaker and Bridge party leader Bozo Petrov on Monday dismissed speculation about a reshuffle of the parliamentary majority, saying an early election was likelier, but that right now he did not see "such a scenario."