An American citizen has been apprehended in Arizona and charged by the FBI for online statements that reportedly incited a “religiously motivated terrorist attack” in Australia, resulting in six casualties a year ago. Queensland police confirmed the arrest on December 1, withholding the suspect’s identity.
The incident occurred on December 12, 2022, at a remote property in Wieambilla, Queensland, where Gareth Train, along with his brother Nathaniel and Nathaniel’s wife Stacey, ambushed and fatally shot two police officers and a bystander during an investigation into a missing person. Following an hours-long gun battle, the Trains were ultimately shot dead.
Queensland Police Assistant Commissioner Cheryl Scanlon revealed, “We know the offenders executed a religiously motivated terrorist attack in Queensland. They were motivated by a Christian extremist ideology.” The FBI is actively investigating the alleged motives behind the attack.
The connection between the arrested American citizen and Gareth Train traces back to May 2020 when Train began following the suspect on YouTube. A year later, direct communication ensued, with the man reportedly sending messages containing Christian end-of-days ideology to both Gareth and Stacey.
Nitiana Mann, a representative of the FBI in Australia, emphasized that the arrest resulted from a collaborative effort between the two nations, stating, “The FBI has a long memory and an even longer reach. From Queensland, Australia, to the remote corners of Arizona.” Investigators from both countries worked tirelessly to ensure the suspect faces the alleged crimes.
Australia’s stringent gun laws, implemented after a 1996 shooting incident that claimed 35 lives, contribute to the rarity of gun crimes in the country.