Aug 14, 2017

Endeavour Hills Police Station Terrorist Attack Coronial Inquest Findings Speech – 14 Aug 2017

On 23 September 2014, terrorism visited my electorate when a young man tried to kill two police officers by stabbing them to death in front of the Endeavour Hills Police Station. The coroner brought down his findings on 31 July this year. and I want to read into the record some of the findings of Coroner John Olle’s inquest into this event, which had worldwide ramifications, particularly with respect to the young man attempting to kill the two police officers post a fatwa that was issued by ISIL.

There has been a lot of conjecture by uninformed persons about what actually happened that night. So, for the purposes of clarity for those who seek to denigrate the work of the fine officers involved in the Police Force and ASIO, I’d like to read into the record the coroner’s findings with respect to this matter. The coroner’s findings read:

My investigation has revealed that the men and women who work in this increasingly complex field of counter-terrorism are committed, courageous and worthy of our utmost respect, and their commitment to preserving our national security is exemplary.

It must not be forgotten that the events I have investigated occurred in a vastly different landscape to the present.

Numan’s death occurred within days of an Islamic State fatwa, the impact of which could not be reasonably foreseen. There had been no terrorist attack world-wide of the nature of Numan’s attack on Officers A and B.

In the months prior to his death, Numan had settled on a course to fight overseas. He had been radicalised. In hindsight, several significant events occurred in the days prior to his death that may have culminated in Numan’s decision to carry out an opportunistic attack on police officers.

However, absent hindsight, I consider the risk assessments and decisions made to meet with Numan on that fateful night could not be reasonably subject to criticism.

I find that Numan engaged in a course of conduct that involved radicalisation and behaviour that was increasingly dangerous, ultimately causing his death.

I find that the gunshot that caused Numan’s death was fired by Officer A, but that other non-fatal tactical options available to Officer A would not have prevented the potentially fatal injuries being inflicted on officer B by Numan.

I make no adverse findings against any of the officers involved in the incident.

I express my sincere condolences to Numan’s family who have acted with unwavering composure throughout my investigation, irrespective of the immense grief they experience.

I also express my condolences to all the officers who were involved in this incident, in particular Officers A and B, whose lives have been changed immeasurably.

I know both Officers A and B and proudly say that I know them. I hope for them that this coroner’s finding brings them closure to a very traumatic event that will deeply impact the rest of their lives.


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