By: Kyle James | 02-11-2018 | News
Photo credit: Roger Singaravelu | 9News

ISIS Recruit Stabs a Sleeping Father in Melbourne

A 56-year-old father lay sleeping in Melbourne, Australia and unaware he had been stabbed in the neck until he woke up in pain.

Roger Singaravelu was stabbed by an international student wearing a burqa while he slept at his home in Mill Park around 4:25 p.m. Saturday. Authorities described the stabbing as an "ISIS-Inspired attack" carried out by an extremist.

Fortunately, his five-year-old daughter who was also home at the time was not harmed. Singaravelu was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital where he underwent surgery as a result of his injuries.

<img src="" style="max-height:640px;max-width:360px;">

<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: @DougalBeatty | Twitter</span>

<img src="" style="max-height:640px;max-width:360px;">

<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: @DougalBeatty | Twitter</span>

The suspect has been identified as a 24-year-old Bangladeshi named Momena Shoma who recently moved to Australia on a student visa and was renting a room at the victim's home.

She was arrested at the scene for stabbing Singaravelu while he slept. The Joint Counter Terrorism Team charged her with engaging in a terrorist act under the Commonwealth Crimes Act Section 101.1.

Shoma did not apply for bail at a brief hearing in Melbourne Magistrates Court Saturday. The victim's family released a statement thanking friends and family for their support.

"At this time our focus is on the welfare of our family and his recovery. We would like to offer our thanks to our family, friendly neighbors and emergency services for their support and kindness."

"This is a very upsetting time and we ask that our privacy is respected to allow time to heal," the statement said. Shoma appeared in court wearing a blue jumper and had suffered an injury to her left hand requiring a nurse in custody.

Shoma traveled to Melbourne on a student visa February 1 and was renting a room at the victim's Callistemon Rise home while attending La Trobe University.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Ross Guenther said, "This is an isolated incident and the community can be assured that Victoria Police is doing everything we can to keep the community safe."

"The community can expect to see an increased police presence at a number of events today and at major events in the coming weeks. We will allege this was a stand-alone, Islamic State-inspired attack, designed to cause harm to our community," Guenther said.

"We deplore any attempt to intimidate our community. The AFP will continue to work together with Victoria Police to ensure the safety of the community and to protect our way of life in Australia."

Shoma became the 85th person to have been charged since the national terrorism threat level was raised on September 12, 2014. She is facing a maximum penalty of life in prison.

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