Melbourne gunman named as terror suspect Yacqub Khayre

Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for what is now confirmed to have been a terror attack in Melbourne apartment building on Monday evening.

"The attack in Melbourne, Australia was carried out by a soldier of the Islamic State in response to the call for targeting the subjects of the coalition states," a statement from the group's Amaq news agency read.

IS' statement places the blame on Australia for taking part in a multi-nation initiative to take down the terrorist group.

The perpetrator killed in the police siege was earlier named as Yacqub Khayre, who was recently in court over his alleged role in a foiled terror plot.

Officers were called to the building in the beachside suburb of Brighton at around 4pm on Monday (local time), after reports of an explosion.

In the building's foyer they discovered a man's body, who they believe was shot. A second man, now revealed to have been Khayre, was allegedly holding a woman hostage in one of the apartments, refusing to let her leave.

Khayre opened fire on police officers when he ran from the building at around 6pm and was shot dead, police say. Three officers were injured in the stand-off but are believed to recover, while the woman has been rescued.

Melbourne police last night launched an investigation into whether the attacker had any links to terrorism - and now it's been revealed that he does, with Khayre having faced court in 2009 over the planning of a terror attack on a Sydney army barracks.

He was later acquitted of the crime, but was involved in a violent home invasion that saw him jailed for at least three years. Khayre was said to have beaten up a young woman and headbutted her father during the robbery.

He was believed to have been on parole when the hostage drama unfolded on Monday night, and was seen as a low-risk person of interest by anti-terror police, according to The Herald Sun.

During the siege, 7 News received a call from Khayre, and his hostage could be heard screaming in the background. "This is for IS, this is for Al-Qaeda," he reportedly told newsroom staff.



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