Two men shot by police near the NSW border were persons of interest to counter-terrorism police.
It’s been revealed the two men were being watched by counter-terrorism detectives after converting to Islam while in prison.
The men were shot after police tried to intercept a vehicle near a camping ground at Barnawartha North about 3pm on Wednesday.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Clive Rust told reporters the men, brothers aged 30 and 19 from NSW, were on the radar of counter terror authorities and are believed to have links to outlaw motorcycle gangs.
Act Asst Comm Rust said counter-terror police attempted to speak with the men, as part of “standard procedure”, at a service station in the area, but they fled.
Counter-terror officers called in local uniform police to assist, he said.
Act Asst Comm Rust alleged the pair then rammed a police car before stepping out armed with a knife and what’s believed to be a tomahawk.
One of them is then alleged to have lunged at police.
Both were shot by officers and taken to Albury Hospital with serious injuries. The 30-year-old was later flown to Melbourne.
The pair had recently relocated to Victoria from NSW, and the counter-terrorism detectives wanted to speak with them as part of "standard procedure," Comm Rust said.
"They were attempting to speak to them to assess whether or not they are any risk to community safety. This is just a standard procedure for CT (counter-terrorism) investigators," he said.
"There was no ongoing CT investigation and there is no threat to the community."
Detectives are treating the incident as a "violent attack on police members" and not as a terrorist incident.
It is believed the men had been camping in the area.
Professional standards will investigate the shooting.
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