As Twitchy reported early Thursday, a 32-year-old Australian citizen of Afghan descent was arrested after targeting Christmas shoppers with his car. Both the driver and a second man, who was photographing the aftermath of the attack and who also reportedly had three knives on him, were arrested.
Police initially said there was no evidence that the incident was terror-related and that the driver had a history of mental health issues.
UPDATE: Police say driver in Melbourne car incident is Australian citizen with history of mental health issues; say no evidence incident is terror-related https://t.co/KA9juJlKgn
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) December 21, 2017
However, later in the day, police said the suspect was motivated by “perceived mistreatment of Muslims” but had no known links to any terrorist groups.
Breaking: Victoria’s Acting Police Commissioner tells @SkyNewsAust the alleged Flinders Street attacker ‘attributed his actions to perceived mistreatment of muslims’ but has no known links to any extremist group pic.twitter.com/axJU7gg3UA
— Amy Greenbank (@Amy_Greenbank) December 21, 2017
So the man of Afghan descent who drove his car into a crowd of Christmas shoppers because he was upset about mistreatment of Muslims still doesn’t count as a terrorist.
So the mental lone wolf didn't like how muslims were "mistreated" so decided to run down heaps of people with car. But it's *not* terrorism!?! ok… https://t.co/fQdfwIczT4
— Tweety McTweeterson (@Tweetenhoffer) December 21, 2017
Motive remains a mystery. https://t.co/r8oTUM9QUY
— JWF (@JammieWF) December 21, 2017
Doesn’t make sense,thought he was an ice addict with mental illness https://t.co/3axLyWbihQ
— samuel abbs (@abbs_man) December 21, 2017
— Betsy Brantner Smith (@sgtbetsysmith) December 21, 2017
Well the tropes didn't last long, did they… https://t.co/PCzkAmDrb6
— Andrew Lockley (@andrewjlockley) December 21, 2017
Just another moderate Muslim driving cars through crowds, completely unrelated to terrorism… this Orwellian explanation is a bit much even for the current environment. https://t.co/9MvHrOSOxV
— Jacob Kampen (@jacobkampen) December 21, 2017
Still saying it's not terror related? https://t.co/gZZFVPEvQ4
— Nolan 👌🇺🇸 (@Nolo4dolo) December 21, 2017
Doesn't matter if you have "no known links with terrorist organizations" or have mental health issues or smoke curried tortoise shell. If you commit an act of terror, you ARE a terrorist. https://t.co/R1KzIQbdug
— Mum on a Mission (@ethannahs_mum) December 21, 2017
— (((IsraelMatzav))) (@IsraelMatzav) December 21, 2017
Well, that's OK, then. So long as he had no links to any extremist group… https://t.co/gXjLP8iOCP
— Eileen Toomey-Wright (@ToomeyWright) December 21, 2017
"…no known links to any extremist group."
Besides being Muslim, of course. https://t.co/GHscmKn4eh
— TexitMachine (@BrowningMachine) December 21, 2017
The extremist group he belongs to is called Islam. https://t.co/yDiLQIibxf
— Winter Darknet Reptile Shapeshifter (@winter_darknet) December 21, 2017
Nobody's fooled https://t.co/wde16tDBXx
— FightAnotherRound (@semperfidem2004) December 21, 2017
Ah, so it was an Islam thing.
You could've knocked me over with a feather to find that out. Really. I'm shocked. Just shock-zzzzzzzzzz https://t.co/GzSk67ez00
— MonBossyMothma-WR (@nowhere_nh) December 21, 2017
Forgive me for my suspicions, and for casting a cold eye on the Australian police analogy, but when a man from Afghanistan rams a car at top speed, into innocent Melbourne pedestrians, 4 days before Christmas, I say, if it looks, swims and quacks like a duck, it could be a Jihad.
— Cllr Brian Murphy (@brianmurphycllr) December 21, 2017