Sydney, Aug 24: A French man stabbed a British woman to death and wounded two men in an attack at a hostel in northeast Australia, police said on Wednesday (Aug 24).
The 29-year-old suspect visiting Australia did not have any known links to the Islamic State group and appeared to have acted alone, Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said.
"Investigators will also consider whether mental health or drug misuse factors are involved in this incident," Gollschewski said about the attack which took place last night at a hostel in the town of Home Hill, south of Townsville in northern Queensland.
A 21-year-old British woman was found dead at the scene and a 30-year-old British man was hospitalised in critical condition. A local man was treated and released for injuries.
A dog was also fatally wounded in the attack. Police were trying to determine whether the man - who shouted the Arabic phrase "Allahu akbar" meaning "God is great" both during the attack and while being arrested by police - had been motivated by extremism, or something else.
"While this information will be factored into the investigation, we are not ruling out any motivations at this early stage, whether they be political or criminal," Gollschewski told reporters in the Queensland state capital of Brisbane. The man has not yet been charged, but police weren't looking for any other suspects related to the incident, Gollschewski said. Police were treating the attack as a homicide, rather than a terrorism-related incident, Gollschewski said.
"The associated issues of what motivated him and whether that has any relevance to radicalisation is something we're going to explore fully, but we won't know for some time whether that's the case," he said.
The man had been in Australia on a temporary visa for about a year, Gollschewski said. Australian Federal Police Commander Sharon Cowden said her office was speaking to international police agencies about the attack.