A debate over how we should deal with terrorism is now raging.
A debate over how we should deal with terrorism is now raging.

Karl arcs up at ‘politically correct’ terror response

As a debate rages over Australia's response to Friday's sickening terror attack in Melbourne, Karl Stefanovic has backed police and launched a scathing attack on their "timid" critics.

The Today co-host praised said he felt sorry for the young police officers who were forced to shoot the knife-wielding terrorist dead.

He said they were "consumed" by a "politically correct" message from the public - which dictates that they should try to keep the terrorist alive.

"People (were) yelling, 'Shoot him, shoot him' they tried their best not to," he said this morning. "I reckon, on second thought, someone comes at police with a knife you shoot them dead straight away?

"You know what the courage of the cops, this is a reminder again of what our police do. The first there, first to deal with it, fighting back. I'm amazed. Who would be a police officer? Who would be a police officer and they do it and they do it without complaint."

"They do it sometimes with the public hating them. But they're the first you call when you

need them and they were the first to respond. I salute them this morning."

The rant came after a counter-terrorism expert said Australia is leaving itself wide open to future attacks by training police to shoot terrorists dead.

Dr Allan Orr, a counter-terrorism and insurgency specialist who is researching and writing on the Sydney cafe siege - said Australia is "feeding the beasts" of terror and failing to prevent future attacks by giving cops shoot-to-kill advice instead of shoot-to-injure training.

He recommended creating a British-style rapid response anti-terror unit - with high powered weapons and access to helicopters - and powers to track people on terrorist watch lists to prevent more extremist attacks.

Dr Orr believes we’d all be safer if we keep terrorists alive to extract information. Picture: Supplied
Dr Orr believes we’d all be safer if we keep terrorists alive to extract information. Picture: Supplied

"These specialist police would be completely armed, unseen and just minutes away from the scene of an attack," he told Fairfax.

"In the UK these frontline officers don't deal with anything else but counter-terrorism, so they've got their play book down to response times of two minutes."

The call comes in response to a deadly attack in Melbourne's Bourke Street on Friday by Hassan Khalif Shire Ali.

Ali crashed his car full of gas cylinders before stabbing three people, killing prominent Italian restaurateur Sisto Malaspina.

There are calls for specialist terror police units. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images
There are calls for specialist terror police units. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

CALL TO DEPORT TERRORISTS

As Melbourne mourns over the tragic consequences of the deadly attack, a fierce debate is raging over how tough our immigration laws should be.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is advocating a tough-line approach which would allow the government to more easily deport residents before they become ­citizens.

"I've been very open about the cancellation of visas, the numbers have ramped up, because there are some people who should not go on to become Australian citizens,'' he said yesterday.

"The law applies differently, ­obviously, to someone who has ­Australian citizenship, by conferral or births, as opposed to someone here on a temporary status because they are the holder of a particular visa category."

Peter Dutton want s to toughen up immigration rules. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled
Peter Dutton want s to toughen up immigration rules. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has backed the call, according to the Herald Sun.

­"Deportation and the cancellation of visas are matters for the Commonwealth government, but we certainly support this action being taken against extremists and those who wish to do us harm," he said.

Ali was known to federal police and had his passport cancelled in 2015 amid fears the Somali-born man would travel to Syria.

"It is important for us to get as much information from the imams, from spouses, family members, community members, council workers, people that might be interacting with those that might have changed their behaviours, that they think have been radicalised," Mr Dutton told reporters in Brisbane.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he backs religious freedoms but has also called on Islamic leaders to call out the attack.

Those remarks that have in turn been labelled divisive by Muslim groups who say their community is not to blame for the actions of an individual and fear it could stoke Islamophobia.

Mourners have been laying floral tributes at the iconic Melbourne cafe, Pellegrinis. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images
Mourners have been laying floral tributes at the iconic Melbourne cafe, Pellegrinis. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

"It is extremely disappointing in such difficult times and during a national tragedy, when all Australians of all faiths and backgrounds should be called upon to unite and stand together against any form of extremism and violence, to see our nation's leader politicising this incident and using it for political gain," the Australian National Imams Council said in a statement on Sunday.

Mr Dutton says the government's community engagement programs have worked in building solid relationships with members of the public who have provided critical intelligence that has helped stop other attacks, but that there were still gaps in information gathering.

STATE FUNERAL OFFER

The family of a popular Melbourne restaurateur who was killed in the Bourke Street terror attack has been offered a state funeral as the city continues to mourn the tragedy.

Hundreds of flowers and cards line the footpath outside of Pellegrini's restaurant as staff let mourners know the tributes would be passed on to the family of Mr Malaspina.

The 74-year-old man was walking down Bourke St, just a few hundred metres from the business he had run for more than 40 years, when he was caught up in the horrific attack.

Mr Andrews spoke to the family of Mr Malaspina and offered a state funeral.

Sisto Malaspina was a local legend in the cafe scene. Picture: Supplied
Sisto Malaspina was a local legend in the cafe scene. Picture: Supplied

Tasmanian businessman Rod Patterson and a 24-year-old security guard were also injured in the attack.

The attacker's family has said the man had mental health problems in a note to reporters.

"Hassan suffered from mental illness for years and refused help. He's been deteriorating these past few months," a note given to Nine News showed.

"Please stop turning this into a political game. This isn't a guy who had any connections with terrorism but was simply crying for help," it read.

FUND FOR TROLLEY MAN GROWS

A bystander dubbed "the trolley man" for taking on an armed terrorist with a shopping cart during the deadly terror attack in Melbourne says he is "no hero" as his story comes to light.

Michael Rogers, who is homeless with few possessions, began ramming a shopping trolley into the terrorist in a bid to help.

"I threw the trolley straight at him, and I got him. I didn't quite get him down, though. I'm no hero," Mr Rogers told Seven News from the scene of the attack.

Seven reporter Robert Ovadia later told the program, "people think he deserves some sort of award for being a hero. He doesn't see himself necessarily as a hero but believes he did help save lives and defend his city as well."

A shy and humble Mr Rogers didn’t want to comment further when approached by the Sunday Herald Sun but agreed to pose for this photo with the trolley he used to fend off a terrorist. Picture: Nicki Connolly.
A shy and humble Mr Rogers didn’t want to comment further when approached by the Sunday Herald Sun but agreed to pose for this photo with the trolley he used to fend off a terrorist. Picture: Nicki Connolly.

A GoFundMe has since been set up for Mr Rogers, raising $98,000 in less than a day.

The fundraiser was created by Melbourne Homeless Collective, a registered charity that supports people experiencing homelessness.

"All funds donated to this campaign will go directly to Mr Rogers to help get him back on his feet," the page reads.

"He's a hero in our eyes and he can do what he feels best with any funds he receives. He risked his own life that day for nothing in return and you can't put a price on that."

PREVIOUS ATTACKER FACING COURT

It all comes as the previous Bourke St rampage attacker James Gargasoulas is set to give evidence this week to give his "explanation" of the car attack that killed six and injured dozens.

Gargasoulas, 28, has admitted his driving on that day caused the death or injury of 33 people on January 20 last year, but he's standing trial having pleaded not guilty to six charges of murder and 27 of reckless conduct endangering life.

- with wires, Megan Palin and Natalie Wolfe



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