News State QLD News Police probe ‘Allahu akbar’ link to backpacker killing

Police probe ‘Allahu akbar’ link to backpacker killing

Mia Ayliffe-chung fatal stabbing
Ms Ayliffe-Chung was stabbed to death at the Home Hill backpackers. Photo: Facebook
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A British woman killed in a stabbing attack at a north Queensland hostel has been remembered as the “life and soul of a party”.

Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 21, was allegedly stabbed to death by a 29-year-old French man who yelled “Allahu Akbar” during the attack at Shelley’s Backpackers in Home Hill on Tuesday night.

A 30-year-old British man was in a critical condition in Townsville hospital on Wednesday afternoon following the attack, while a dog was also killed and a local man had minor injuries.

Tributes began to flow on Wednesday for Ms Ayliffe-Chung, a Gold Coast waitress who’d moved to north Queensland for three months to extend her working visa.

Her friend, Sam Gostelow, described Ms Ayliffe-Chung as strong and independent.

“You oozed life, and you were always the life and soul of a party,” Mr Gostelow posted to Facebook.

Mr Gostelow said he was about to travel north with her but had to change his plans and aimed to make the journey later on.

“The other man who was stabbed in this attack is currently fighting for his life … that would of been me if i had gone with them like planned,” he posted.

Another friend, Kyle Godwin, said the world had lost “one of the most beautiful young women to ever walk this planet”.

“A girl like no other, one of the happiest, full of energy, delightful, energetic and hilarious girl(s) I’ve come across,” he wrote.

Police said it was believed the suspect was acting alone.
Police said it was believed the suspect was acting alone. Photo: ABC

Ms Ayliffe-Chung had kept a running diary on Facebook of her time in north Queensland, which included humorous encounters with native wildlife like snakes and toads.

Queensland police were on Wednesday still trying to determine whether the attack was motivated by terrorism.

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said the man yelled “Allahu Akbar” during the attack and again while being arrested.

“While this information will be factored into the investigation, we are not ruling out any motivations at this stage, whether they be political or criminal,” he said in Brisbane.

“Investigators will also consider whether mental health or drug misuse factors are involved in this incident.”

Posted by Mia Ayliffe-chung on 2016年8月19日

Mr Gollschewski said the man, who was yet to be charged late Wednesday, acted alone and didn’t have any known links to Islamic State.

He said police weren’t looking for any other suspects and there was no known ongoing threat to the community.

“This is not about race or religion – it is individual criminal behaviour,” he said.

The man was lawfully in Australia on a temporary visa and there were no records of him being on any watchlist.

He had arrived in the country around March but had entered Queensland via another state and was staying at the hostel.