World

Abdul Numan Haider named as man shot dead after Australian police stabbed

Australian law enforcement officials have named the 18-year-old man who was shot dead after stabbing two officers from the Joint Counter Terrorism team outside a Melbourne police station Tuesday night.

Suspect had his passport cancelled, was allegedly seen last week in public with an ISIS flag

Facebook photos of Abdul Numan Haider, who was shot dead by police outside a Melbourne police station. (Facebook/ABC)

Australian law enforcement officials have named the 18-year-old man who was shot dead after stabbing two officers from the Joint Counter Terrorism team outside a Melbourne police station Tuesday night.

Abdul Numan Haider was the "person of interest" who had been expected to attend an interview at the Endeavour Hills Police Station when the incident occurred, senior law enforcement sources told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay said Haider, who was under investigation and had his passport cancelled, was allegedly seen last week with an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria flag.

A man who made threats against Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was killed Tuesday. Two Australian police officers were injured during the ordeal. (Lisa Maree Williams/Reuters)

"There's certainly information that he was present at the shopping centre in the last week or so with the flag that appeared to be an ISIS flag," Lay said.

"It's not an offence, but clearly it drew our attention to this person, and we had a conversation with this person."

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott condemned the recent attack by a young man thought to have been supporting the Islamic State group who had stabbed two Australian counterterrorism police officers in Melbourne.

"Obviously this indicates that there are people in our community who are capable of very extreme acts," Abbott said in a video message sent from Hawaii.

Abbott on his way to New York to attend a United Nations Security Council meeting on foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria, said he phoned the wives of two policemen injured in the incident to assure them of his government's support.

A forensic officer documents objects including a blanket at the scene of a fatal shooting at Endeavour Hills Police Station in Melbourne. (Julian Smith/AAP Image/The Associated Press)

Haider, whose family is from Afghanistan, had also been associated with the radical Islamic group called Al-Furqan.

It is understood he had recently moved away from the group.

Based in Springvale, an area of southeast Melbourne, associates of Al-Furqan were the targets of terrorism raids by Victoria Police and the Australian Federal Police in 2012.

Australian Federal Police (AFP) Acting Commissioner Andrew Colvin said authorities had been monitoring Haider for three months.

Disrupt and intervene

"A range of factors that gave us concern about possibly his intentions and what he may do, but again it wasn't specific," he said.

"I want to reinforce to everybody that police, as we did last week, take early action to disrupt and intervene when we need to.

"On this occasion we made the decision that we needed to talk to him to understand a little more what his thoughts and motivations may be."

A close family friend of the Haider family, who did not want to be identified, said Haider's family had become increasingly concerned about his behaviour in recent months.

They had encouraged their son to seek professional help from a counsellor.

It is understood that authorities visited the family in May to discuss Haider's behaviour.

Family concerned

Tuesday night, Haider's mother and father tried to prevent their son from leaving the house over concerns for his safety.

Despite their attempts, Haider left his Narre Warren home to meet with members of the Joint Counter Terrorism team who had requested a meeting at the Endeavour Hills Police Station.

It is believed Haider called police when he arrived at the station and told them he did not want to meet them inside the police station.

The two officers then went out to meet Haider and the altercation occurred.

Lay said Haider attacked a police officer who tried to shake his hand outside the station, and then stabbed another officer, about 7:40 p.m. local time on Tuesday.

"When our police members have approached this young man, one's extended his hand to shake his hand and the response has been he's been stabbed in the arm," he said.

Shot and killed

"The attacker then turned on the second police member and stabbed him three or four times in the body and in the head.

"The first wounded member has then shot and killed the young man."

One of the injured officers is from the AFP and the other is a Victoria Police member, they were both rushed to hospital.

Lay said both police officers required surgery.

ABC has been told that Haider had made threats against the prime minister, but Colvin said no specific threats were made.

"This is early stages of an investigation …. What I will say is and what I can be very confident on is there were no specific threats made," he said.

With files from The Associated Press

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