At around 10:45pm last night, an unmarked van carrying a bunch of gas cylinders was rammed into the headquarters of the Australian Christian Lobby, causing an explosion. 

Managing Director of the ACL Lyle Shelton tweeted about the incident multiple times this morning, denouncing the act and saying he was “shocked that this could happen in Australia”.

The ACT Police have now given a statement on the incident, saying it was “not religiously, politically, or ideologically motivated”:

The statement reads:

“The male presented himself to the Canberra Hospital with serious burn injuries. Police spoke briefly with the man before he continued with treatment. Police were able to establish the man’s actions were not politically, religiously or ideologically motivated.

Investigations are ongoing; however it is unknown when police will be able to speak with the man further, due to his medical condition.

Police have identified the man as a 35-year-old Australian Citizen residing in the ACT. The man is not previously known to police.”

Previous to this statement, Shelton spoke to different media outlets, linking the incident to Parliamentarians from the “extreme left” publicly disagreeing with the ACL‘s beliefs and policies. 

Speaking to ABC Radio, he said:

“I think something of this nature, that appears to be so deliberate, is an attack against the sort of things that we’ve been saying in the public square.

And obviously someone didn’t like that which we stand for, which we’ve advocated publicly.”

He also spoke of the numerous amounts of death threats that the ACL have received in the past year, due to the the group’s opposition view on same sex marriage, and the Safe Schools program

Shelton also told Sky News that he didn’t know the motive, but was concerned that the rhetoric of left-leaning politicians ‘hadn’t helped’:

“I stress I don’t know the motivation of last night’s attack but I’m very concerned members of Parliament, particularly on the extreme left, refer to us in the Parliament as hate groups [and] as bigots. That doesn’t help the situation. 

If there are people who are a bit unhinged out there, that sort of rhetoric doesn’t help that.

I think as a society we’ve got to have civil debate and we’ve got to stop the name calling and the slurs.”

Read the full police statement on the incident here: policenews.act.gov.au/news/media-releases/police-investigate-incident-deakin

Source: The Age / ACT Police.

Photo: Twitter / @LyleShelton.