An 18-year-old man who was shot dead after wounding two police officers near Melbourne was a “known terror suspect” whose passport had been confiscated, Australian officials said Wednesday.
The man, whose name was not released, attacked two officers with a knife in the parking lot of a police station in the town of Endeavour Hills, about 20 miles southeast of Melbourne, the police said. One officer shot the man and killed him, the police said. The two officers, who worked together on a counterterrorism task force, were hospitalized.
In a video statement released from Hawaii, Prime Minister Tony Abbott described the man as a “terror suspect” who had mounted a fierce attack on the two officers, one of whom Mr. Abbott said was seriously hurt.
“Obviously this indicates there are people in our community who are capable of very extreme acts,” said Mr. Abbott, who was on his way to New York for meetings at the United Nations. “It also indicates that the police will be constantly vigilant to protect us against people who would do us harm.”
The incident follows recent warnings by the government that dozens of Australians are believed to be fighting overseas for the Islamic State and other extremist groups, constituting what officials called a threat to domestic security.
The man killed Tuesday first became a “person of interest” to the police about two months ago, and his passport was confiscated about a week ago, senior police officials said Wednesday at a news conference.
The officials, Acting Commissioner Andrew Colvin of the Australian Federal Police and Commissioner Ken Lay of the Victoria State Police, said the man had been seen carrying an Islamic State flag at a local shopping center. Mr. Colvin would not say why the man’s passport had been taken or whether he was believed to have been planning to leave Australia.