Queensland’s Deputy Police Commissioner Tracy Linford, above, today revealed that three people who killed two Queensland police officers and a neighbour last December executed a “religiously motivated terrorist attack”
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THE deadly shooting in the rural community of Wieambilla claimed the lives of Constable Rachel McCrow, 29, Constable Matthew Arnold, 26, and neighbour Alan Dare at their property in the Western Downs on December 12.
According to Linford, the three people who carried out the attack—Nathaniel, Gareth and Stacey Train—were influenced by “an extremist Christian belief system” known as premillennialism.
Stacey, her husband Gareth and brother-in-law Nathaniel (who was also her ex-husband), died during a confrontation with specialist officers after they had earlier ambushed four police officers at their property.
Nathanial Train was a “mild-mannered, respected school principal.”
Image supplied by the Queensland Police Union
Constables Rachel McCrow, 29, and Matthew Arnold, 26, above, were fatally hit after the four officers were sprayed with bullets by the Train trio, who were reportedly lying in wait in the bushes at the isolated Wieambilla property, about three hours west of Brisbane.
The officers had been asked to attend the property by NSW Police after receiving a tip-off that a missing person – who was Nathaniel Train – may be at the home.
What is premillennialism?
Premillennialism is the belief that after a period of extreme suffering, Jesus Christ will physically return to Earth for 1,000 years.
In its basic interpretation, there was a belief that Christ will return to the Earth … and provide peace and prosperity but it will be preceded by an era, or a period of time of tribulation, widespread destruction and suffering.
From left, Nathanial, Gareth and Stacy Train.
Saying that the trio, above, started preparing for the “end of days,” Linford explained:
Christian extremist ideology has been linked to other attacks around the world, but this is the first time we’ve seen it in Australia
Image via YouTube
Dr Josh Roose, an associate professor of politics and expert on far-right and religious extremism at Deakin University, said the thhree would have believed the world was “corrupt” and fast imploding.
It is a Christian belief that in effect, the world is so corrupt, so evil, so beyond repair that at some point, in the near future, we’re facing the implosion of the world effectively … an apocalyptic event and that Jesus will return to Earth.
Historically, cults and apocalyptic cults and so-on have always looked to what’s going on in the world around them and drawn upon that as evidence for the world ending.
Roose said there was “certainly a renewed momentum” in premillennialism fuelled by an “unprecedented culmination” of a “perfect storm of events”.
Combined with populist leaders, like Donald Trump, who really pushed this Christian textualist agenda, now we see the emergence of Christian nationalism in the US … there is a renewed momentum for such movements.
He added that there was always “potential for terrorism” across the “religious and political spectrum”.
Linford said a terrorist attack is defined as “a politically motivated attack driven by religious-motivated extremism or ideologically motivated extremists, or sometimes even by a single-issue-type ideology”.
It generally will result in death or serious injury … to somebody or serious damage to property, designed to intimidate government.
Queensland police said they do not believe any other people locally were involved in planning the attack but they are working with the FBI in the United States as part of their investigation into people who commented on the Trains’ social media posts.
She said the coroner will make the final determinations on the motivation and what led to the attack.
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