Though the official statement still is that none of all this has nothing to do with terrorism, Australian authorities have now stated that the driver of the white SUV who rode into the shopping crowds in Melbourne, Australia on Thursday, will be charged with 18 counts of attempted murder.
The press, however, is starting to doubt the official explanation, with the “Herald Sun” yesterday already explaining that the driver could be heard rambling about “Allah” and “Islam” as from the moment he was arrested.
<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Exclusive video of the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Melbourne?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Melbourne</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FlindersStreet?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FlindersStreet</a> attack.<br>Former <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Afghan?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Afghan</a> refugee who mowed down 18 pedestrians has been with 18 counts of attempted murder & one count of endangering life.<br><br>The incident has sparked the demand of complete ban on refugees from <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Afghanistan?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Afghanistan</a>.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/auspol?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#auspol</a> <a href="https://t.co/D6pYZ4QN1f">pic.twitter.com/D6pYZ4QN1f</a></p>— The Sydney News (@thesydneynews) <a href="https://twitter.com/thesydneynews/status/944434559214534656?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 23, 2017</a></blockquote>
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32-year-old Mr Saeed Noori, a former Afghan refugee who declared his actions because of the poor track record Australia has of treating Muslims, will appear in court later today.
Nine foreigners are among the 19 people who were injured after the white Suzuki SUV was deliberately driven into people. They are mostly tourists visiting Australia, including people from South Korea, China, Italy, India, Venezuela, Ireland and New Zealand.
Three people remain in a critical condition in hospital, including an 83-year-old man.
Given the harsh reaction of the Australian public, Prime Minister Turnbull was clear at his press conference that nothing should be ruled out at this point. He said about the victims: "Our consular officials are working hard to get in touch with their families and make sure they're aware of what's happened to their loved ones."
He then added that "no terrorism link has been identified" but that, however "nothing should be ruled out. This was a despicable and cowardly act. But I want to reassure Australians that this is an isolated incident.
"We should continue to go about our daily lives the way we always do."
Witnesses of the event said Mr. Noori ran through a red light before he started driving into the crowd: "We could hear this noise, as we looked left, we saw this white car, it just mowed everybody down."
"We heard thump, thump, thump. People are running everywhere."