The knife attack carried out on Monday night by a teenager in a Christian church in Sydneyin which a bishop, a priest and two parishioners were injured, was “a terrorist act”as stated this Tuesday by police sources.

“We believe that there are elements that satisfy (this statement) in terms of (a religiously motivated extremist act“, said this Tuesday the Police Commissioner of the Australian state of New South Wales, Karen Webb, at a press conference in Sydney.

The police chief added that the attacker went “with a certain degree of premeditation” to the Assyrian church of the Good Shepherd in the Wakeley district, about 30 kilometers southwest of central Sydney, to carry out this knife attack. Webb also clarified that the attacker, a 16-year-old teenager who was not identifiedwas not on any terrorist watch list.

Later, Mike Burgess, head of the Australian domestic intelligence agency (ASIO), declared this Tuesday at a press conference in Canberra that his country’s authorities will investigate whether the attacker had connections with other extremists.

An attack broadcast live

“At this time, we have no indication of that. But it is prudent that we do so to determine that there are no immediate threats or dangers to safety“said Burgess, together with the Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, who stressed that this attack is “disturbing” and that in his country there is no place “for extremist violence.”

The attack, which occurred around 7:00 p.m. local time (9:00 GMT) on Monday at the Assyrian Church of the Good Shepherd in the Wakeley district, was carried out while the religious ceremony It was broadcast live through social networks.

In the video you can see how this teenager dressed in black approaches the altar where the bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel – 53 years old and member of an ultra-conservative sect of the Orthodox Church Assyrian who has criticized Islam in public sermons spread on the networks – gave his sermon.

There, the young man appears stabbing the bishop repeatedly, even when he was on the ground, in an incident in which the priest Isaac Royel and two other parishioners who helped the religious and arrested the aggressor were injured.

The New South Wales Police Commissioner explained this Tuesday morning that the bishop and the priest “they are lucky to be alive“, without giving more details of his condition.

Riots with injuries and property damage

As a result of the incident, there have been riots around the church, located in a multicultural community in the southwest of Sydney, between the authorities and hundreds of residents who They asked that the person responsible for the attack be handed over to them, as seen in video published on social networks.

These riots left several injured officers, as well as damage to neighborhood property and police vehicles. This stabbing occurs about 48 hours after another incident with a knife recorded in a shopping center in the Australian city, which left seven dead -including the aggressor-.

The Police ruled out that Saturday’s attack was terrorist and investigated this Monday if it was due to a femicide. Australia – where the majority of attacks have been carried out by jihadists armed with knives or weaponse fire in the cities of Melbourne and Sydney – lowered the terrorist alert in 2022 from “probable”, a level that had been in effect since 2014, to “possible” (from the fourth to the third highest level on a scale of five).