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The fatal attack on beloved Melbourne identity and cafe owner Sisto Malaspina in Bourke Street almost three years ago was a premeditated act of terrorism, a coroner has ruled.

Victorian State Coroner John Cain has handed down his findings into the horrifying 19-second attack by Hassan Khalif Shire Ali in November 2018, finding it was motivated by his adherence to Islamic extremism and ISIS.

He found opportunities to prevent the attack may have been missed, but he was unable to conclude that Shire Ali’s trajectory toward it would have been averted if intelligence gaps had been filled, if a different threat assessment had been made or if Shire Ali had not been bailed weeks earlier.

Mr Malaspina, the co-owner of Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar, was one of three people stabbed in a frenzied attack by Shire Ali who was a national security person of interest.

A coroner has ruled that Hassan Khalif Shire Ali's stabbing rampage was a ¿premeditated ISIS terrorist attack.  Hassan Khalif Shire Ali is pictured lunging at police who were forced to take him down

A coroner has ruled that Hassan Khalif Shire Ali's stabbing rampage was a ¿premeditated ISIS terrorist attack.  Hassan Khalif Shire Ali is pictured lunging at police who were forced to take him down

A coroner has ruled that Hassan Khalif Shire Ali’s stabbing rampage was a ‘premeditated ISIS terrorist attack.  Hassan Khalif Shire Ali is pictured lunging at police who were forced to take him down 

The horror began when Shire Ali set fire to gas tanks in his car.

Bystander Rod Patterson believed he was running to help the driver when he was blindsided by Shire Ali and stabbed in the head with a 22cm hunting knife.

Shire Ali then overpowered Mr Malaspina, repeatedly stabbing him before chasing down security guard Shadi and stabbing him in the neck.

He turned then on police, who tried first to disarm him with their batons before one fired his weapon.

In a hearing on Monday, Judge Cain said the available evidence supported a finding that Shire Ali’s actions constituted a premeditated act of terrorism and an ISIS-inspired attack, attributable to Shire Ali’s adherence to an extremist interpretation of Islam.

Pellegrini's Expresso Bar owner Sisto Malaspina (pictured) was a much-loved Melbourne identity before his life was tragically cut short in November 2018

Pellegrini's Expresso Bar owner Sisto Malaspina (pictured) was a much-loved Melbourne identity before his life was tragically cut short in November 2018

Pellegrini’s Expresso Bar owner Sisto Malaspina (pictured) was a much-loved Melbourne identity before his life was tragically cut short in November 2018

Police seen running toward Hassan Khalif Shire Ali (pictured, in grey jogging bottoms)_ to stop him from stabbing others during a terrorist attack on November 9 in 2018

Police seen running toward Hassan Khalif Shire Ali (pictured, in grey jogging bottoms)_ to stop him from stabbing others during a terrorist attack on November 9 in 2018

Police seen running toward Hassan Khalif Shire Ali (pictured, in grey jogging bottoms)_ to stop him from stabbing others during a terrorist attack on November 9 in 2018

He said while the actions of one man that day were intended to intimidate and harm, the acts of many others who stepped in demonstrated the opposite result.

He praised Mr Patterson and other bystanders, including two off-duty police officers who acted with real courage, and in scant regard for the consequences for themselves.

Judge Cain also found the use of lethal force by police was justified in the circumstances.

The two officers who first arrived on the scene, known as A1 and B2, believed they were responding to a car fire but instead found themselves confronted with an armed and determined assailant.

He commended them for their presence of mind, restraint and effective collaboration in a volatile and dangerous situation, noting one of the officers only graduated from the police academy five months earlier and it was their first time working together.

Police were just one day away from arresting Hassan Khalif Shire Ali (on the ground) but were too late when the rampage attack began on Bourke Street

Police were just one day away from arresting Hassan Khalif Shire Ali (on the ground) but were too late when the rampage attack began on Bourke Street

Police were just one day away from arresting Hassan Khalif Shire Ali (on the ground) but were too late when the rampage attack began on Bourke Street

Judge Cain said there was evidence Shire Ali’s criminal behaviour was escalating in the lead-up to the attack, including allegations he assaulted an acquaintance, damaged a vehicle with a sledgehammer, assaulted a person with a hammer, was involved in a hit-run and kicked a car door after an altercation with a stranger.

All of those were reported to police.

On October 12, 2018 Shire Ali was pulled over by police. He had five warrants outstanding and was bailed on the side of the road by a police sergeant.

Judge Cain found those actions were reasonable and appropriate.

Pellegrini's Expresso Bar Sisto Malaspina died after he was repeatedly stabbing in the Bourke rampage in 2018. He's pictured hamming it up with cafe staff in 2010

Pellegrini's Expresso Bar Sisto Malaspina died after he was repeatedly stabbing in the Bourke rampage in 2018. He's pictured hamming it up with cafe staff in 2010

Pellegrini’s Expresso Bar Sisto Malaspina died after he was repeatedly stabbing in the Bourke rampage in 2018. He’s pictured hamming it up with cafe staff in 2010

Source: Daily Mail

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