Radicalised ISIS supporter an ex-Qld private school pupil


The man shot and killed by police on the Logan Motorway in Brisbane on Thursday morning after lunging at officers with a knife has been identified as Raghe Abdi, 22.

Police went to the scene in Drewvale about 6am after reports of a man walking on the motorway causing a hazard to other road users.

Police confronted Abdi, who threatened them with a knife.

He was shot multiple times and despite receiving first aid, died a short time later.

Abdi, a former student at John Paul College, a private school in Daisy Hill, was facing charges after police alleged the Brisbane student was a radicalised ISIS supporter.

He was waiting to board a flight to Somalia in May last year on a one-way ticket when he was arrested at Brisbane International Airport by a Queensland joint counterterrorist group.

He was granted bail in September this year.

A man has been shot and killed by police on the Logan Motorway at Drewvale. Picture: 7 News Brisbane
A man has been shot and killed by police on the Logan Motorway at Drewvale. Picture: 7 News Brisbane

During his bail application counsel for the Commonwealth said Abdi had a radicalised belief system and that his mother said he had told her he had believed in ISIS since he was 14.

His mother has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

Abdi had been granted bail and was to wear a tracking device, abide by a curfew between 11pm and 6am and live with his father.

Deputy Commissioner Tracy Linford said police were notified last night Abdi's GPS tracker had been tampered with.

Officers went to Abdi's address about 4.30pm and spoke to his father.

They returned again last night at 8.30pm.

Officers then searched bushland where the tracking device was pinging.

At about 6am today police received a welfare call that there was a man walking on the Logan Motorway "in and among" the traffic.

Officers approached Abdi and tried to get him to a place of safety, Ms Linford said.

"It is unfortunate at the time the male person has produced a knife and upon advancing upon our police they have had to resort to using their police service firearms," she said.

Ms Linford said it was a "horrific scene".

Both officers were wearing body-worn cameras.

The officer who shot the man is believed to be a first-year constable.

The Logan Motorway eastbound is closed. Picture: 7 News Brisbane
The Logan Motorway eastbound is closed. Picture: 7 News Brisbane

Solicitor Terry O'Gorman said he had been informed by Abdi's father that Raghe had a "significant mental health turn" late yesterday.

"His father contacted police to seek assistance," he said.

"He was not able to locate his son last night.

"Current indications are he had a significantly bad mental health turn that culminated in him being shot dead".

Mr O'Gorman said it was unsurprising that police went to the scene given his client was walking on the motorway.

"I simply urge that the typical backgrounding by police that occurs by leaks to journalists after every police fatal shooting stop in this instance and that police stop feeding negative information about Abdi to selected journalists and let the coroner decide where the truth lies."

Mr O'Gorman said Abdi's father was devastated.

"His father is a professional man with significant standing in his community, he has a history liaising with police to improve community relations," he said.

"We are not going to rush to judgment and to criticise the police for their actions but we do expect and hope that there can be a rigorous and independent investigation, strongly oversighted not only by police from the CCC but by civilian investigators from the CCC, so that the coroner receives a brief that is fair, objective and looks at every relevant fact whether harmful to police or helps the police."

Ms Linford said police officers attending today did not have the background of Abdi and that he had removed the tracker.

Mr O'Gorman said Abdi had been on bail since September, having been in custody since May 2019.

"One of the significant grounds that he was released on bail was there was a risk that he would spend more time than he might get if he was convicted of the offences before the court," he said.

"The fact is that I'm not aware of any mental health problems that had developed since he was released on bail prior to yesterday."

Mr O'Gorman said Abdi was stopped at the airport he was interviewed by police in 2019.

"He said he was going to Somalia to visit his grandmother and family and that he was intending to return in a number of weeks," Mr O'Gorman said.

"Yes it is conceded that he had a one-way ticket but he indicated that he intended to get assistance from his family for the price of the ticket to return.

"The offence for which he was detained for investigation - namely was he going to Somalia to engage as a foreign fighter - he has never been charged with that and despite the fact that 18 months have gone by there is not the slightest suggestion that he ever would be charged.

"And my recollection in the (police) brief that he had no connection with ISIS at all.

"The allegation that he is a terrorist or some suggestion that he is a terrorist rejected by his family and rejected forcefully."

It is understood other law enforcement agencies are now involved in the investigation into this morning's shooting, with police in Queensland told their safety level remained low.

Police were going to talk to all of Abdi's associates to try to find out why he was there at the time.

Ms Linford said police were not calling the incident a terrorism event, but added police would examine if there were any terrorism links to the incident as part of the investigation.

She said she had viewed the bodycam footage and would not comment about it specifically because it was before the coroner.

"There are occasions when lethal force is the only option available to police," she said of why police fired their weapons.

A white car stopped when Abdi was on the motorway and police were trying to talk to the motorist.

Ms Linford said an alert was sent out to all officers today as a precaution until investigators can properly examine the circumstances of the incident and what happened in the hours after he removed the tracker.

Ms Linford also appealed for any witnesses or anyone with dashcam footage to come forward to police.

"The man was known to police, both to the AFP and to the QPS.

"He wasn't subject to a current counter-terrorism investigation but it is in the public domain already that he was on bail for some Crimes Act offences."


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