A man suspected of killing one woman and severely wounding another during a stabbing rampage in Sydney’s CBD had information on him detailing previous mass murder crimes.
NSW Police confirmed the death of a woman in her 20s found in a unit on Clarence Street was connected to the man’s stabbing rampage, which also saw a 41-year-old woman rushed to hospital with injuries to her back.
When authorities arrested the 21-year-old man from Western Sydney, they found a USB stick with information about “other crimes of mass casualties and mass deaths around the world”, police said.
“Information was found on him that suggest he has some ideologies in relation to terrorism but he has no links to terrorism and there is no current intelligence on this individual,” NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller told media on Tuesday evening.
“He has no apparent links to terror organisations.”
The information on the USB pertained to crimes committed in North America and New Zealand.
Video footage shows the man, who was armed with a large butchers knife, yelling "Allahu Akbar" in the CBD.
In regards to the information found on the USB stick, police said it was too early to draw a conclusion on a consistent type of ideology.
Tuesday afternoon’s rampage is not currently classed as a terror incident, but police could revise that as new information comes to hand.
“It will be reassessed again by the Joint Counter Terrorism Team to see if we have to reassess that terrorism threat,” Comm Fuller said.
“There are no links with him to any terrorist organisations, nor information that he was working on behalf of anyone else.”
Man recently lived at home with parents
The man apprehended on Tuesday afternoon, identified as 21-year-old Mert Ney, was known to authorities.
“I can say that he was known to police but his history was unremarkable compared to the crimes he has committed,” Comm Fuller said.
Police are looking into whether he was recently released or had escaped from a mental health facility.
He is known to suffer from mental health issues, which will provide the basis of the investigation.
Police said the investigation would centre around the man’s life in the past 12 months and how he ended up in a place where he could be accused of such horrible crimes.
“What's influenced him to go from an individual who was living with his parents and seemingly getting on with his life to turning into someone that's capable of such horrendous crimes,” Comm Fuller said.
“That is such an important part of the investigation and while we need to take an enormous amount of time to get that right.”
When asked if the material found on the USB stick resembled something akin to the ramblings of a mentally ill man rather than an ideologically-driven killer, Comm Fuller said it appeared that way.
“If I had to weigh it now, and I was forced to make a call, I would say the evidence all points to that,” he said.
The offender was taken directly to hospital and is being assessed for minor injuries. He will be interview by police on Tuesday night and likely charged.
The woman who was taken to hospital with stab wounds is in a stable condition.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the deceased woman is believed to be a sex worker. Police described the reason for the accused being in the unit where her body was found as a “business opportunity”.
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