Sydney attack: authorities confirm the terrorist hypothesis in the attack on a church

The attacker was motivated by ideological and religious reasons to attack a Christian community from the Middle East, according to the Police.

The Australian Police confirmed this Monday that The knife attack in a Sydney church was a religiously motivated terrorist attack. According to investigators, the attacker intended to specifically attack the Christian community of the Assyrian Orthodox Church, a split from the Assyrian Church of the East.

The Assyrian bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel, who was the main target of the attack, was wounded in the attack, although he managed to survive it. Along with him, three other people present in the Christian temple were wounded.

The attacker is a 16-year-old boy, who was escorted by Police while leaving the crime scene and go into judicial custody. Outside the church, a congregation of parishioners that had gathered to protest the attack were waiting for him. According to the investigation, the terrorist acted alone and is a religious extremist.

The attack was recorded live, since the church used to broadcast online the liturgies of Mar Mari Emmanuel, who according to the Australian media gained fame through the internet. Although it is impossible to discern it in the videos circulating on social networks, several Australian media outlets claim that the attacker shouted "Allahu Akbar" during the attack.

The Christians who follow this Church come mostly from Iraq, Syria and other regions of the Middle East. Although they have historical origins, Islamism has practically erased these faiths from the map, which, like the Copts, are subject to repeated attacks, which is why many of their communities moved to Western countries in search of safety.

Police investigate disturbances outside the church

Shortly after the police forces intervened inside the temple to arrest the attacker, a large group of members of the Christian community gathered around the temple. The group soon adopted a violent attitude and requested that the terrorist be handed over to them. "Take him out!" the crowd can be heard shouting in some videos circulating on different networks.

Australian authorities had to deploy additional troops outside the church to keep the protest under control. In the images of what happened, some large crosses can be seen among the protesters. The Australian Police report damage to police vehicles and regret that some officers were injured. Karen Webb, Police Commissioner in New South Wales, assured that those who participated in the riots can expect "a knock at the door." "We will find them and we will prosecute them," Webb promised.