SYDNEY (Reuters/AFP) - There is no evidence that a Frenchman who shouted "Allahu akbar" (God is Greatest) as he stabbed a British woman to death at a backpackers' hotel in Australia was radicalised or under the influence of a political ideology, police said on Thursday (Aug 25).
The dead woman has been identified as Ms Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 21. A 30-year-old British man was also in critical condition in hospital. Smail Ayad, 29, was accused of stabbing Ms Ayliffe-Chung multiple times late on Tuesday at a hostel in Home Hill, a rural town in north Queensland state.
The 29-year-old Frenchman was in Australia on a valid tourist visa and had no known links to radical groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the police said. There was also evidence he had consumed cannabis before carrying out the attack, they said.
Ayad - who is due in court Friday - faces one charge of murder, two counts of attempted murder, one count of serious animal cruelty and 12 counts of serious assault, Queensland Police said.
The French national is also accused of resisting police violently when he was taken from hospital where he had undergone a psychiatric assessment late on Wednesday, with officers using a taser and capsicum spray on him.
"At this stage there is absolutely no, and I repeat, there is absolutely no indication of any form of radicalisation or any political motive in relation to this matter," Queensland Police Superintendent Ray Rohweder told reporters.
Australia, a staunch US ally, has been on heightened alert for attacks by home-grown Islamist radicals since 2014 and authorities say they have thwarted a number of plots.