Double murder, motorway shooting 'may be linked'

 

Police were last night investigating whether a radicalised ISIS supporter murdered an elderly couple in their home before he was shot dead by police, shouting "Allahu Akbar" as he lunged at them with a knife.

Former John Paul College student Raghe Abdi was shot multiple times early yesterday after police approached him following reports he was walking among traffic on the Logan Motorway.

The shooting came three months after Abdi, 22, was released on bail under strict conditions following his arrest by counterterrorism police at Brisbane Airport.

Abdi had a one-way ticket to Somalia, and investigators believed he was planning to fly there to fight for ISIS.

Detectives were last night investigating if Abdi had cut off his GPS tracker on Wednesday afternoon, travelled to Parkinson and murdered Maurice and Zoe Antill.

The Antills were found by police, having suffered significant injuries, after neighbours became concerned.

Police at a house at Parkinson in Brisbane's south where an elderly couple were found dead in suspicious circumstances. Picture: Cormac Pearson
Police at a house at Parkinson in Brisbane's south where an elderly couple were found dead in suspicious circumstances. Picture: Cormac Pearson

One neighbour told The Courier-Mail they heard a bang about 8pm on Wednesday and noticed the couple's dog barking yesterday.

"Police are investigating whether the alleged murder of a man and woman at Parkinson may be linked to the fatal shooting of a man at Drewvale this morning," police said last night.

The neighbour said the Antills were quiet and said had previously spent most Christmases together in the front yard having a drink.

After police arrested Abdi at the airport in May, he was not charged with foreign incursion offences but spent 414 days behind bars charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice and failing to comply with an order after refusing to give police access to his phone.

A court granted Abdi bail in September provided he live with his father, wear a GPS tracker and abide by a night-time curfew.

Deputy Commissioner Tracy Linford said police had been looking for Abdi since Wednesday afternoon after he cut off his GPS tracker.

She said officers went to his address at 4.30pm and again at 8.30pm, as well as searching an area of bushland where the tracker was signalling its location.

She said they found no sign of Abdi or the tracker and his parents had no idea where he had gone.

Ms Linford said the police officers who approached Mr Abdi on the motorway yesterday did not know who he was.

"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.

Raghe Abdi was shot dead by police on the Logan Motorway.
Raghe Abdi was shot dead by police on the Logan Motorway.

 

Ms Linford said it was a horrific scene.

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

"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."

Body-worn camera footage is expected to show Abdi scream "Allahu Akbar" before attempting to attack the police officers.

Officers attempted CPR at the scene. It is understood the officer who shot Abdi was a first-year constable.

"There are occasions when lethal force is the only option available to police," Ms Linford said of the reasons police fired weapons.

The incident resulted in all Queensland police being issued with a "be alert" warning.

AFP Deputy Commissioner Ian McCartney said: "In May 2019, the deceased, who we suspect was influenced by Islamic State, attempted to depart Brisbane International Airport for ­Somalia," he said.

"He was stopped and arrested on suspicion of an attempted foreign incursion."

Mr McCartney said Abdi was released without charge due to a lack of evidence but his passport was cancelled.

Abdi was later charged over attempts to get his mother and a friend to change or withdraw their statements.

"He was remanded in custody when he refused to ­answer the magistrate or acknowledge the authority of the court," Mr McCartney said.

A court in September heard Abdi had told his mother he had been a supporter of ISIS since the age of 14.

The court heard he had told his family he could no longer live with them because they were nonbelievers.

Police alleged Abdi had a wiped laptop and three phones when arrested at the international airport.

The scene of yesterday’s police shooting on the Logan Motorway at Drewvale. Picture: Liam Kidston
The scene of yesterday’s police shooting on the Logan Motorway at Drewvale. Picture: Liam Kidston

Solicitor Terry O'Gorman, who represented Abdi in September, said he had been told by the family that his client had a "significant mental health turn" on Wednesday.

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

"He was not able to locate his son (Wednesday) night.

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

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

Mr O'Gorman said his client had wanted to travel to Somalia to see his grandmother and had planned to return after a number of weeks.

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

In Parkinson, Paul Ciesiolka and his family have lived next door to the Antills for 18 years.

He watched them give ice blocks to his sons over the fence as they grew up and said, "You couldn't ask for better neighbours.

"They were always willing to help the kids and they are just good people to be around.

"They were going to come around for Christmas this year as we do usually and have a few drinks and things.

"You couldn't get better neighbours, that's why you live here for 18 years because you are surrounded by people like that, just lovely people."

 

Originally published as Couple found dead in Brisbane southside home