Australian media names man who carried out Melbourne terror attack

The man who carried out the terror attack outside a Melbourne mall yesterday has been claimed by Islamic State as being one of their fighters.

Media in Australia have named him as Mohamed Khalif and the Herald Sun reported he also goes by the name of Hassan Shire.

Khalif was shot by police at the scene on Friday and later died of his wounds in hospital.

A bystander also died in the attack and two other people remain in hospital.

The attack happened at 4.20pm local time on Bourke Street when Khlaif crashed his Holden Rodeo and then set fire to it.

He then went on a rampage with a knife, trying to stab members of the public and police, before being shot in the chest.

Superintendent David Clayton said police responded quickly to the incident, which was originally reported as a car on fire. 

"As they got out of the car they were confronted by a male brandishing a knife and threatening them.

"At the same time, passersby were calling out that members of the public had been stabbed.

"Police shot the male in the chest."

Khalif's brother, Ali Khalif Shire Ali, was arrested in 2017 over an alleged foiled terror attack in Federation Square in Melbourne. 

The Islamic State group says Khalif was one its fighters.

The group's Amaq news website provided no evidence for the claim.

"The one who executed the ramming and stabbing operation in Melbourne (..) is one of the fighters of the Islamic State and he executed the operation in response to (a call) to target the citizens of the coalition," Amaq said on Friday.

The text was referring to a call in August by Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to "use bombs, knives or cars to carry out attacks" in countries taking part in the US-led coalition that put an end to the caliphate he declared in 2014 over parts of Iraq and Syria.