Wakeley Church Stabbing  Officially Declared A Terrorist Act By NSW Police As 15 Y.O Is Arrested

A 15-year-old has been arrested after a church leader and several worshippers in Sydney’s west were stabbed on Monday night, in a horrific attack caught on the service’s live-stream. The attack is now being referred to as a “terrorist act”.

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was giving a service at the Assyrian Orthodox Church, Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley around 7.10pm on Monday when he was attacked by a man wearing a black hoodie. Footage captured by the live-stream showed the bishop falling to the ground before being stabbed a further five times. Father Isaac Royel was also stabbed, while four men were injured, according to police.

In footage captured after the attack, churchgoers are seen caring for Emmanuel while police arrest the attacker. Shortly after, large crowds gathered around the church and began engaging in riot-like behaviour. Police allege that the angry crowd began throwing objects at first responders.

“There is no such thing in Australia in taking the law into your own hands. It doesn’t exist,” NSW Premier Chris Minns said.

In a press conference update by NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb and NSW Premier Chris Minns on Tuesday morning, Webb declared the incident a terrorist act. She also confirmed that the teenager was known to police but was not on any terrorist watch lists and is believed to have acted alone at this stage of the investigation.

“The things that influenced my decision to declare this a terrorist incident was the actions of the individual who we will allege attended that church armed with a knife and stabbed the bishop and the priest, and others were also injured. We believe there are elements that are satisfied in terms of religiously motivated extremism,” Webb said when asked about what constituted a terrorist attack.

“And of course, the intimidation of the public through that person’s act by attending that church whilst it was being live-streamed, intimidating not only the parishioners in attendance but those parishioners who are watching online and subsequently, those people that turned up to the church on the outside and the subsequent riots that happened.”

Webb also alleged there was a premeditated element of the attack, as the attacker allegedly travelled a distance to attend the service.

“The bishop and the priest are currently in surgery. As I understand it, they are lucky to be alive,” she said.

Following the incident on Monday, NSW Acting Assistant Commissioner Andrew Holland told reporters that the 15-year-old “sustained injuries to his hand as a result of his actions.”

According to reports, the attacker had four fingers severed. However, Webb explained that police are unsure whether it occurred during the attack or as a result of the melee that occurred following the stabbing.

Holland confirmed that police made the decision to “retain the young person in the church for his safety”.

Webb and Minns also slammed those who participated in the riot which followed the attack, claiming that people who turned on police should expect a knock on the door.

“It might not be today. It might not be tomorrow, but we will find you and we will come and arrest you,” she said.

Authorities arrested a male who is assisting police with their inquiries following the attack and have confirmed that the injured people have suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were treated by NSW Ambulance.

No charges have been laid.

The incident occurred days after the Bondi Junction Westfield stabbing which left six people dead and a further dozen injured.

PEDESTRIAN.TV does not suggest that the two events are linked.

More info to come.

Image source: 9News.