No evidence of radicalization in Australian hostel killing: police

August 24, 2016 10:19 PM EDT

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SYDNEY (Reuters) - There is no evidence that a Frenchman who shouted "Allahu akbar" (God is Greatest) as he stabbed a British woman to death at a backpackers' hotel in Australia was radicalised or under the influence of a political ideology, police said on Thursday.

The dead woman has been identified as Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 21. A 30-year-old British man was in critical condition in hospital after the attack late on Tuesday in Queensland state, south of the tropical city of Townsville.

The 29-year-old Frenchman was in Australia on a valid tourist visa and had no known links to radical groups such as Islamic State, police said. There was also evidence he had consumed cannabis before carrying out the attack, they said.

"At this stage there is absolutely no, and I repeat, there is absolutely no indication of any form of radicalisation or any political motive in relation to this matter," Queensland Police Superintendent Ray Rohweder told reporters.

Australia, a staunch U.S. ally, has been on heightened alert for attacks by home-grown Islamist radicals since 2014 and authorities say they have thwarted a number of plots.

(Reporting by Matt Siegel; Editing by Paul Tait)



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