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Sydney Police Say Stabbing Attack Suspect 'Inspired By ISIS'

by Phil Helsel /  / Updated 

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Police in Sydney charged a man with committed a terrorist act and attempted murder for allegedly repeatedly stabbing a stranger in an attack that was “inspired by ISIS.”

The New South Wales Police Force said a 22-year-old man was arrested after he allegedly stabbed a 59-year-old man who was walking through a reserve at around 4 p.m. Saturday local time (2 a.m. ET).

"We will be alleging before court that this was an act that was inspired by ISIS," NSW Police Force Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn told reporters Sunday local time. "It was a deliberate act yesterday that resulted in a person receiving extremely serious injuries."

The victim suffered multiple stab wounds and was in critical condition, and Burn said that while his condition may be improving his injuries were very serious.

Authorities did not identify the man who was arrested or release a motive, but said the attacker did not know his victim.

Police said the suspect tried to stab officers through a window before he was arrested.

Burn said she was limited in what she could say because the matter is before the court, but she said "there was clearly some degree of planning and preparation" involved and the suspect confronted police when they arrived. "He was going to attack them also. That didn’t happen fortunately," Burn said.

"We know that this person has strong extremist beliefs inspired by ISIS," she said. "What made him actually act yesterday we don’t know, but hopefully further investigations will uncover that."

Police said in a statement there is no ongoing threat to the community.

The arrest comes two days after authorities arrested an 18-year-old man outside the Sydney Opera House who allegedly said he was under instructions to carry out an attack on behalf of the terror group ISIS, the Associated Press reported.

He was charged with threatening to destroy property, but was carrying two canisters of automotive fluid, the AP reported. A psychiatric assessment has been ordered.

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