6 Dec 2023

US man arrested in connection with police killings in Australia

7:36 pm on 6 December 2023

By Alasdair Pal

Queensland police say Constable Rachel McCrow, 29, and Constable Matthew Arnold, 26, were killed in a seige at a remote rural property.

Photo: Supplied/ Queensland Police

An American man has been arrested in connection with the religiously motivated killing of two police officers and a third person in rural Australia last year, police said on Wednesday.

The 58-year-old man was arrested by the FBI in Arizona on 1 December for allegedly sending extremist Christian materials to the three people who carried out the shooting, police in Australia's Queensland state said.

Constables Matthew Arnold, 26, and Rachel McCrow, 29, were killed last year while attending what police have called a "terrorist attack" at a remote property in Wieambilla, about 300km northwest of Brisbane.

The attackers - relatives Gareth, Stacey and Nathaniel Train - engaged in an hours-long gunbattle with the police before they were eventually shot dead. A 58-year-old neighbour was also killed.

"We know the offenders executed a religiously-motivated terrorist attack in Queensland. They were motivated by a Christian extremist ideology," Queensland police assistant commissioner Cheryl Scanlon told reporters.

Nitiana Mann, a representative of the FBI in Australia, said the arrest was the result of a joint investigation between the two countries.

Gun crime is relatively rare in Australia, which implemented some of the world's toughest gun laws after a gunman killed 35 people in April 1996 at a cafe and tourist site at the former colonial prison of Port Arthur in the island state of Tasmania.

- Reuters