News National No conspiracy to ambush police

No conspiracy to ambush police

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Police don’t believe Melbourne terror suspect Numan Haider was conspiring with others to ambush police.

Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton said there were some young males in Haider’s presence before he attacked two officers and was then fatally shot on Tuesday night.

But police said it was a “moving” investigation and it was not their theory that there was a conspiracy to ambush the officers.

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“We haven’t ruled anything in or out,” Mr Ashton told reporters on Friday.

“It’s not our prevailing theory this was an ambush.”

Mr Ashton said Australian Federal Police were looking into whether Haider searched for Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s next visit to Melbourne and his movements.

He said he could not confirm or deny if that had happened, but said the AFP did not have any specific information about threats to Mr Abbott.

It’s too early in the investigation to rule out further arrests, he said.

Mr Ashton said Haider’s family were in shock and had been co-operating and will continue to co-operate with police.

They also wanted answers as to why the 18-year-old became radicalised, he said.

Mr Ashton said the investigation, expected to go on for months, will focus on what motivated Haider.

“Over the coming days and weeks we will talk to many people to find out what motivated him,” he said.

“We’ll certainly be alleging this young man attacked police and police officers resorted to lethal force in their defence.”

Haider, a known terror suspect, was fatally shot outside Endeavour Hills police station after stabbing two officers on Tuesday night. His passport was cancelled on security grounds last week.

Police say counter-terrorism officers had been aware of Mr Haider for about three months, and had invited him to the station after becoming concerned about his behaviour.

Mr Ashton said police are not currently working on any direct threat in regard to community safety or any individual.

Chief Commissioner Ken Lay said there have been instances where Muslims have been insulted about their garb or threatened.

Those incidents had not been officially reported to police and it was “not huge numbers”, he said.

Abdul Numan Haider. Photo: Facebook

He urged members of the community who have experienced such abuse to report it to police.

“Members of the faith community need to have the confidence to bring it to Victoria Police,” he said.

“These are crimes we don’t want happening in the community at this difficult time.”

One of the injured officers has left hospital, but the other needs more treatment.

“Their health is improving and their spirits are good,” Mr Ashton said.

“But certainly they are devastated that this young man is dead.”

Mr Ashton said the officers were visited by a representative of the Islamic community in hospital.

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