Former private schoolboy who ‘totally radicalized’ an elderly Brisbane couple before being shot dead by police
Raghe Abdi killed elderly Brisbane couple in 2020 Police shot Abdi dead the next day Inquest heard Abdi had jihadist beliefs
A young man shot dead by police on a Queensland highway after stabbing an elderly couple to death was ‘absolutely radicalised’, an inquest has heard.
Terrorism expert Levi West couldn’t think of anything that would have avoided Raghe Abdi’s deadly December 2020 encounter, saying the 22-year-old seemed determined to go down a certain path.
The investigation suggested Abdi killed elderly couple Maurice and Joe Antill at their home the following morning before shooting at officers on the Logan Motorway with a knife and shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’.
It was later described as a ‘terrorist incident’.
An inquest heard Rage Abdi (pictured) was ‘absolutely radical’ and held jihadi views before fatally stabbing an elderly couple and being shot dead by police.
Investigation revealed that Abdi killed an elderly couple, Maurice and Joe Antill, in their home before being shot dead by police.
Abdi was monitored by the counter-terrorism team in 2019 after he tried to leave Brisbane Airport for Somalia amid investigations into whether he was preparing to engage in foreign infiltration.
Mr West told the inquest into the 2020 death that Abdi had little doubt of his jihadist beliefs, perhaps from exposure to friends and social networks.
He told coroner Stephanie Gallagher on Thursday: ‘My assessment was that he was absolutely radicalised.
He said it was a reasonable possibility that Abdi may have been motivated ‘in part’ by jihadist ideology when he engaged with police while walking along the Logan Motorway.
Mr West, director of terrorism studies at Charles Sturt University and a national security consultant, said: ‘At this point in his journey, life has gone very, very, very badly and it has been going badly for some time.’
‘As it is based on his beliefs his option is not final suicide.
‘But if you can engage law enforcement in a situation where you’re probably going to die, it gets you out of the suicidal dilemma.’
However, Mr West said he had found no evidence to suggest the deaths in the Antilles were motivated by the Islamic State terror group or jihadist ideology.
‘I found very little evidence to understand exactly how this situation came about, why he went to the house he went to, what he tried to do with the property,’ he said.
‘I’m not sure it was preventable. I don’t think the Counter Terrorism Unit could have done anything about it because I don’t think it was ideologically motivated – it was opportunistic at best.’
Under cross-examination, Mr West said Abdi’s alleged behavior at the Antilles home was consistent with Islamic State’s propaganda directive ‘in a broad sense’.
Police interrogators alleged that Abdi assaulted the elderly couple before going to their home, grabbing a knife and fatally stabbing them in their back yard.
Mr West said the authorities used the full spectrum of counter-terrorism measures to assist Abdi before the shooting.
‘They tried every available tool, from sticks to carrots, to encourage him to try another way,’ he said.
‘Of course the big caveat is that we can’t force him to do any of those things.’
The 22-year-old was shot dead by police after brandishing a knife and shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ at officers on Queensland’s Logan Motorway in December 2020 (pictured).
Terrorism expert Levi West told an inquest that he couldn’t think of anything that would have avoided the fatal shooting. He also said Abdi’s death was not the result of a policy or operational failure (pictured, police firing closes lanes of Logan Motorway).
Mr West said Abdi’s death was tragic but not the result of a policy or operational failure.
Asked if he could think of anything that could have avoided a fatal showdown with the police, Mr West said: ‘Not really… he was determined regardless that he was going to go a certain way and sometimes that’s what happens. ‘
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