A 24-year-old woman has been charged with allegedly engaging in an ‘Islamic State inspired’ terrorist act after stabbing a man in the neck as he slept in his Melbourne home.
Momena Shoma, a Bangladeshi national, allegedly attacked the 56-year-old man at his Callistemon Rise home in Mill Park, southeast Melbourne, on Friday afternoon.
He was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital where he will undergo surgery on Saturday for non-life threatening injuries.
The man’s young son was also present during the stabbing but was not injured.
The woman was arrested at the scene and taken to hospital with a hand injury.
She had travelled to Melbourne on February 1 on a student visa and was renting a room at the property while studying.
The Victorian JCTT, which is made up of resources from the Australian Federal Police, ASIO and Victoria Police, has charged her with one count of engaging in a terrorist act under the Commonwealth Crimes Act Section 101.1.
Ian McCartney, AFP acting Deputy Commissioner, National Security, confirmed the incident was linked to Islamic State.
‘We will allege this was a stand-alone, Islamic State inspired attack, designed to cause harm to our community,’ acting Deputy Commissioner McCartney said.
‘We deplore any attempt to intimidate our community. The AFP will continue to work together with Victoria Police to ensure the safety of the community and to protect our way of life in Australia.’
Deputy Commissioner McCartney said there are no subsequent terrorism threats to the community.
The woman will front Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Saturday.
Investigators will be executing search warrants at the Mill Park home and another home in Bundoora, north Melbourne, where the woman had previously stayed.
There is no suggestion that anyone in the Bundoora residence was involved in the incident in any way.
Police are not looking for anyone else in relation to the investigation which they believe was an isolated incident.
‘This is an isolated incident and the community can be assured that Victoria Police is doing everything we can to keep the community safe,’ Acting Deputy Commissioner Ross Guenther said.
‘The community can expect to see an increased police presence at a number of events today and at major events in the coming weeks.
‘We urge people to report any suspicious activity to triple zero (000), Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400.’
Since 12 September 2014, when the national terrorism threat level was raised, police have charged 85 people – including this woman – as a result of 36 counter terrorism-related operations around Australia.