Visiting Bangladeshi Student Admits ‘Attempted Murder’ on Behalf of Islamic State

Victoria State Police

A visiting Bangladeshi woman stabbed a sleeping man in the neck in Melbourne, Australia, in what she admitted to police was an Islamic State-inspired terrorist attack.

The admission is contained in an interview released to the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, where Momena Shoma appeared, facing attempted murder and terrorism charges.

Wearing a black Islamic gown and veil revealing just her eyes, Ms Shoma refused to stand for Magistrate Sarah Dawes and entered no plea.

In the interview presented to the court, the 25-year-old said she wanted to “trigger the West” and attacked Roger Singaravelu, 54, while he was sleeping because he was “vulnerable” and “an easy target”.

She had no personal grudge against Mr Singaravelu, whose house in Melbourne’s northern suburbs she had moved into the day before she attacked him, she said.

“It could have been anybody, not necessarily should have been Roger,” she said.

“I attempted murder.”

That admission is in line with what was reported immediately after the attack, when Shoma allegedly told a neighbour that she had “purposefully come here [Australia] to kill.”

Neighbours said Ms Shoma had arrived the day before the incident and had planned to stay for 10 days.

Police said she had been enrolling in a course at La Trobe University and that it was understood she was wearing a black burka at the time of the attack.

Since September 2014, when the Australia’s terrorism threat level was raised, police have charged 85 people, including this woman, following 36 counter-terrorism operations around the country.

Ms Shoma was committed to stand trial in the Supreme Court at a date to be set.

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