Stabbing in suburban Melbourne an act of terror: Police

CANBERRA - Police have alleged that a stabbing in Melbourne's northern suburbs on Friday (Feb 9) afternoon was inspired by the Islamic State.

Bangladeshi woman Momena Shoma was arrested at the scene on Friday after she allegedly stabbed a 56-year-old man while he slept, Xinhua reported.

On Saturday she was charged by the Victorian Joint Counter-Terrorism Team, a taskforce made up of officers from Victoria Police, Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).

The victim on Saturday underwent surgery for injuries police said were no life-threatening. His young child, who was present at the time of the attack, was not injured.

Ian McCartney, AFP deputy commissioner of National Security, said there was no ongoing threat to the community.

"We will allege this was a stand-alone, Islamic State-inspired attack, designed to cause harm to our community," McCartney told News Corp Australia on Saturday, according to Xinhua.

Shoma, who arrived in Melbourne on Feb 1 on a student visa, is facing one count of engaging in a terrorist act; a charge which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Ross Guenther said that Shoma was the only person of interest in the case.

"This is an isolated incident and the community can be assured that Victoria Police is doing everything we can to keep the community safe," he said.

"The community can expect to see an increased police presence at a number of events today and at major events in the coming weeks."

If police allegations are proved in court it will be the seventh terrorist attack on Australian soil since 2014 and the first since June 2017 but only the second in that period resulting in zero deaths.