The 29-year-old suspect visiting Australia did not have any known links to the Islamic State group and appeared to have attacked alone says Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski. Investigators also considering whether mental health or drug misuse factors are involved in this incident.
This knife attack which took place last night at a hostel in the town of Home Hill south of Townsville in northern Queensland. A 21-year-old British woman was found dead at the scene and a 30-year-old British man was hospitalised in critical condition. A local man was treated and released for injuries. A dog was also fatally wounded in the attack.
Police is trying to figure out whether the man who shouted the Arabic phrase "Allahu akbar" meaning "God is great" both during the attack and while being arrested by police was motivated by extremism or something else.
While this information will be factored into the investigation we are not ruling out any motivations at this early stage whether they be political or criminal" Gollschewski told reporters in the Queensland state capital of Brisbane.
The man has not yet been charged but police weren't looking for any other suspects related to the incident Gollschewski said. Police were treating the attack as a homicide rather than a terrorism-related incident says Gollschewski. The associated issues of what motivated him and whether that has any relevance to radicalisation is something we're going to explore fully but we won't know for some time whether that's the case," he said.
The man had been in Australia on a temporary visa for about a year.