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Teen terror suspect's finger 'chopped off' after Sydney church attack - reports

Author
Cherie Howie,
Publish Date
Tue, 16 Apr 2024, 9:05pm

Teen terror suspect's finger 'chopped off' after Sydney church attack - reports

Author
Cherie Howie,
Publish Date
Tue, 16 Apr 2024, 9:05pm

A teenage boy arrested after a stabbing incident last night that NSW police are describing as a terrorist attack is understood to have had one of his fingers chopped off, overseas media are reporting.

“The 16-year-old … had one of his fingers severed in the alleged incident,” The Guardian reported.

“It is unclear if his finger was cut during the alleged attack or the ensuing melee.”

Police said the teen’s hand injury was “quite severe” and he was “fairly distraught”.

An image circulating on social media shows the Wakeley Church, Sydney, attacker sitting on a toilet with his hand bandaged 15 October 2024
picture supplied
An image circulating on social media shows the Wakeley Church, Sydney, attacker sitting on a toilet with his hand bandaged 15 October 2024 picture supplied

The Sydney Morning Herald was also reporting the development tonight, along with news the Australian Government has given X and Facebook’s parent company Meta 24 hours to remove videos and photos depicting “gratuitous or offensive violence” from the terrorist attack at Assyrian Christ The Good Shepherd Church in the West Sydney suburb of Wakeley.

“We expect them to remove this expeditiously within the next 24 hours,” eSafety commissioner Julie Inman Grant said on Tuesday afternoon.

“We know that every minute counts. The more this content is up there, the more it is re-shared, the more velocity and virality continues. And we need to stem that.”

The commissioner said the companies may face fines if they do not comply, and she had other social platforms in her sights.

The teen’s alleged knife attack on a bishop and a priest came three months after he was put on a good behaviour bond for previous offending, which included a knife crime.

His attack during the church service triggered a riot among worshippers and violence towards police and paramedics.

The incident, in which three people needed surgery, including the teen, came 48 hours after a knifeman stabbed up to 18 people in a Bondi Junction Mall, killing six before he was shot dead by a policewoman. That incident has been declared not to be terror-related.

Another 30 people, including police officers, were injured in the violence that followed last night’s church service stabbing.

A still image circulating on social media of the teen showed him handcuffed and sitting on a toilet, with his right hand bandaged, news.com.au reported.

“News.com.au understands one of his fingers was severed – not deliberately by any of the parishioners, but during the scuffle, police believe.”

Six people were killed by a knifeman in a Bondi Junction mall just 48 hours before the stabbing attack at a Sydney church. Photo / NZ Herald
Six people were killed by a knifeman in a Bondi Junction mall just 48 hours before the stabbing attack at a Sydney church. Photo / NZ Herald

Rumours had quickly spread through the crowd and on social media last night that vigilantes had “chopped off” some of the teen’s fingers.

He had received surgery at an unnamed hospital.

The news organisation had confirmed a graphic image circulating on Telegram purporting to show four severed fingers was fake.

But injuries to his hand were “quite severe”, NSW Police Acting Assistant Commissioner Andrew Holland said last night.

“He’s fairly distraught.”

Police confirmed a flick blade knife was used in the incident where a person approached the church altar while Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was speaking to parishioners in person and online.

In video said to have been filmed following the attack, the teen can be heard saying in Arabic: “If he [the bishop] didn’t get himself involved in my religion, if he hadn’t spoken about my Prophet, I wouldn’t have come here … if he just spoke about his own religion, I wouldn’t have come.”

Emmanuel has previously criticised Islam and the prophet Muhammad in public sermons, The Guardian reported.

This article was originally posted on the NZ Herald here.

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