3 Nov 2014

IS blamed for Sydney shooting

5:15 pm on 3 November 2014

A man who was shot outside an Islamic Centre in south-west Sydney was the victim of an attack by local Islamic State (IS) supporters, accroding to a witness.

An Islamic State flag on a hill by Kobane - another was on a building on the eastern side of the Syrian border  town.

An Islamic State Flag on a hill near Kobane Photo: AFP

A friend of the victim, a Shia Muslim who did not want to be identified, said a group of men drove past the centre in Greenacre several times before the shooting, calling out "IS lives forever", the ABC reported.

"They called us 'Shia dogs' and they threatened to come back down tonight and kill you, shoot you, whatever," the man said.

"We didn't believe them and we went home and we got a phone call that one of our community members got shot in the head.

"He was walking his family home so he can come back and do the cleaning (at the Islamic Centre) and they shot him in front of his family. His wife, she just fainted."

Police have not identified a motive for the shooting but said they were following several lines of inquiry.

IS is attempting to establish a caliphate in Iraq and Syria and they see Shia Muslims as opponents as they dominate the Iraqi Government.

Officers were called to an industrial area on Rosedale Avenue at 1.15am local time where they found the wounded man with pellet wounds to his face and shoulder.

"Police have cordoned off the area as a crime scene and are currently processing that scene," Inspector David Firth said.

"Police are speaking to a number of witnesses at the scene and are appealing for anyone with information who can assist with their inquiries to come forward, particularly those who may have seen a vehicle acting suspiciously in the area at the time.

"We do have some CCTV footage of the street that may help us with our inquiries."

Mr Firth said the injured man was helped by other people before paramedics treated him.

"Witnesses assisted the man. Emergency services were called a short time later and the 47-year-old man was treated by paramedics before being taken to hospital," he said.

"He is expected to undergo surgery for injuries that are not considered life-threatening."

The witness said he and other Shia community members were at the Islamic Centre for a prayer gathering before the shooting took place.

"They shot an innocent guy, a family man. This is Australia, it's a safe country. How can this happen?

"That's not a human act, it's just not human what they did.

"And we just want them (the attackers) to know, we're not afraid of them."

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