The 21-year-old man accused of killing a woman and stabbing another in a violent rampage in Sydney’s CBD yesterday was carrying a USB bearing references to recent terror attacks but does not appear to have links to terror groups himself, NSW Police say.
Speaking last night, New South Wales police commissioner Mick Fuller said accused attacker Mert Ney was as a “lone actor,” adding that authorities are not prepared to declare the deadly incident an act of terror.
“Ney’s long history of mental health problems appeared to be behind the attacks,” Fuller said.
Fuller today told 2GB that the USB, which contained references to extremist ideologies and recent attacks in the United States and New Zealand, will be investigated.
Authorities will also investigate Ney’s online activities.
“What is important from our perspective is really looking at his history on Facebook and other sorts of forums to see, was he in chat rooms? Does he have information on his computer, a manifesto in a sense?” 2GB
“Is there some evidence that can link this to terrorism so we can essentially throw the book at him?”
Ney reportedly used the Arabic phrase “allah akbar” during the incident, but The Guardian reports NSW Police Superintendent Gavin Wood last night said that statement would not be considered part of the “evidentiary base” in the investigation.
The Daily Telegraph reports Ney was already known to police due to issues pertaining to his mental health.
The paper reports Ney had a weapons possession charge dismissed in June on the condition he not commit another offence for nine months and seek mental health treatment.
Despite unconfirmed reports that Ney had escaped from a mental health facility before the rampage, he is not thought to have attended any treatment against his will.
Police are yet to interview the accused killer, who is under police guard at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital after surgery for a wound to his knee.
He is expected to be charged with murder and serious assault charges.
Ney allegedly killed a 24-year-old woman at an apartment on Clarence Street before taking to the streets yesterday afternoon, where he stabbed a 41-year-old woman at nearby Hotel CBD.
She woman was hospitalised with a wound to her back. She was taken to St Vincent’s and is reportedly in a stable condition.
Ney was apprehended by members of the public and a fireman, who have been hailed as heroes for their actions.
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