Momena Shoma had just arrived in Australia when she allegedly stabbed one of the members of a host family she was staying with. The 24-year-old from Bangladesh was reportedly wearing a black burqa when she attacked one of the members of a Melbourne family as he slept next to his five-year-old. The family of a foreign student charged with an Islamic State-inspired terrorist attack has denied the “brilliantly academic” woman has any links to Islamic terrorists. The families of these jihadis always lie. That’s their jihad.
The host family, the victim, was Hindu. Considering the centuries long jihad war against Hindus, what were they thinking?
THE shocked family of a foreign student charged with an Islamic State–inspired terrorist attack has denied the “brilliantly academic” woman has any links to extremists.
Police allege Bangladesh national Momena Shoma, 24, inspired by IS, stabbed her homestay host, off-duty nurse Roger Singaravelu, as he slept by his daughter, 5, at his Mill Park home on Friday afternoon.
But Ms Shoma’s family say they do not believe that she could slash a man’s throat.
Her uncle, Professor Mohammed Aziz, told the Herald Sun: “We cannot picture her holding a knife. She is not an aggressive or cruel person.
“No way can she be part of terrorism. We are Muslim, but we are not terrorists or extremists.
“It is absolutely unbelievable. We are in shock — her father is almost dead. It is destroying for us.”
An exclusive photo of a younger Momena Shoma, who has been charged with an Islamic State–inspired terrorist attack. Picture: Supplied
It is understood Ms Shoma, who arrived in Australia on a student visa on February 1, had spent only one night at the Mill Park home.
The family spoke with Ms Shoma just a week before Friday’s attack.
“I spoke to her when she landed in Australia, and she was happy,” Prof Aziz said.
“She was fine and normal.”
Prof Aziz described Ms Shoma as a “brilliant” and “academic” student, saying: “All our children study abroad, such as the United States of America. It is not uncommon for us. Education is important.”
He and Ms Shoma’s father plan to fly to Melbourne to support her.
Prof Aziz said: “Something is missing — it does not make sense.
“The truth must come out.”
An exclusive photo of Momena Shoma. Picture: SuppliedPolice outside Roger Singaravelu’s Mill Park home on Saturday. Picture: Sarah Matray
An exclusive photo of Momena Shoma, who has been charged with an Islamic State–inspired terrorist attack. Picture: Supplied
Ms Shoma is on a scholarship to study a Masters of Applied Linguistics, and academic records show her grades have not slipped below a B.
It is believed she has studied in Australia before, without incident. Her qualifications include a certificate for community service.
Ms Shoma’s father has told Bangladesh High Commission secretary Nazma Akther how “shocked” his family was.
“He is claiming ‘Our daughter is not this way’,” Ms Akther told the Herald Sun. “Her father and uncle are shocked, so shocked and so upset.
“He said his daughter has no previous history of this behaviour.”
Ms Akther said she had spoken to Ms Shoma on Sunday.
“We’re keeping in touch with her,” she said.
“She told me she is OK. She is in custody, but is OK.”
Police tape outside Roger Singaravelu’s Mill Park home on Saturday. Picture: Sarah MatrayMomena Shoma’s passport. Picture: Supplied
The Herald Sun has been told Ms Shoma required medical assistance for scratches on her hands.
The Bangladesh High Commission has offered Ms Shoma assistance, but she has declined.
The Herald Sun has confirmed that Ms Shoma was subjected to all the usual security checks and “no adverse findings” had been identified about her background or her links.
A spokesman for Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said: “All visa applicants are required to meet character and security checks before being granted a visa.”
It is understood the process for Ms Shoma to enter Australia will likely form part of the police investigation into the attack on Mr Singaravelu.
Mr Singaravelu’s wife returned to their Callistemon Rise property on Sunday morning.
It is believed she was packing belongings for her husband, who remains in hospital, as well as for herself and her daughter.
She asked for privacy as she emerged from her home with two large suitcases.
The wife of stabbing victim Roger Singaravelu prepares a suitcase at their Mill Park home. Picture: Ian Currie
Friends told the Herald Sun Mr Singaravelu’s wife and daughter were “distraught” over what had happened, and did not want to stay in the house in the immediate future.
A woman who lives at a property in Merryn Close, Bundoora, where Ms Shoma had been living before moving to the Singaravelu family’s Mill Park home, said she was “trying to cope.”
“I’m more than surprised. I don’t feel very well talking about it,” she said.
The woman, who asked that her name be withheld from publication, has a young child living with her at the home.
It is not known how Ms Shoma’s accommodation arrangements came about.
Premier Daniel Andrews said Friday’s attack was a timely reminder that Victoria Police work “very hard every hour of every day”.
“This is, on the advice that I have, an isolated incident,” he said.
“There is no reason to believe that there are links to any other persons,” Mr Andrews said.
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