Melbourne Bourke street terror attack victim named as local restaurant icon – reports

The victim of Melbourne’s Bourke Street attack on Friday was reportedly the owner of one of the city’s top coffeehouses and a local restaurateur icon.

Sisto Malaspina has been named by the Herald Sun as the victim of the fatal terror attack outside a Melbourne mall, which Islamic State has claimed responsibility for.

Australian media have also named the assailant as Mohamed Khalif, who was shot by police outside the mall and later died from his wounds.

Mr Malaspina has owned Pellegrini’s espresso coffee bar since 1974, with the café becoming the first in the city to have an espresso coffee machine and developing a cult following.

Two other people were also wounded in the attack, which happened after Khalif crashed his Holden Rodeo, set fire to it, and began a rampage with a knife.

One man who knew Mr Malaspina said the café owner had gone to help Khalif after the crash.

While his café is usually bustling with patrons, on Saturday it was closed, with a sign on the front door reading “due to an incident, Pellegrini’s will be closed until Monday the 12th”, reports the Herald Sun.

Police are guarding the store, where flowers are building up outside the store’s window.

On Islamic State’s Amaq news website, the group claimed “the one who executed the ramming and stabbing operation in Melbourne (..) is one of the fighters of the Islamic State and he executed the operation in response to (a call) to target the citizens of the coalition”.

The text was referring to a call in August by Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to “use bombs, knives or cars to carry out attacks” in countries taking part in the US-led coalition that put an end to the caliphate he declared in 2014 over parts of Iraq and Syria.

Khalif’s brother, Ali Khalif Shire Ali, was arrested in 2017 over an alleged foiled terror attack in Federation Square in Melbourne.

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