Knife attack in Sydney church treated as ‘act of terrorism’

Australian police have declared the knife attack in Sydney, where a bishop and a priest were injured during a church service on Monday, as an act of terrorism. 

Police arrested a 16-year-old boy after the stabbing at Christ the Good Shepherd Church that injured Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel and a priest. Both are expected to survive.

New South Wales Police Commissioner Karen Webb said the suspect’s comments pointed to a religious motive for the attack.

“We’ll allege there’s a degree of premeditation on the basis that this person has travelled to that location, which is not near his residential address, he has travelled with a knife and subsequently the bishop and the priest have been stabbed,” Webb said. “They’re lucky to be alive.”

The teenager was known to police but was not on a terror watch list, Webb added.

The boy, previously convicted in January for offenses including possession of a switchblade and intent to commit a crime, was released on a good behavior bond by a Sydney court, ABC reported. Juvenile offenders cannot be publicly identified in New South Wales state.

In response to the attack, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said “There is no place for violence in our community. There’s no place for violent extremism.”

The attack comes after six people were killed in a shopping centre in Sydney on Saturday.

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