ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona man accused of inciting ‘religiously motivated’ attack that left 6 dead in Australia

Dec 6, 2023, 6:29 AM | Updated: Dec 7, 2023, 7:17 am

Queensland Police Service Assistant Commissioner Cheryl Scanlon and FBI representative Nitiana Mann...

Queensland Police Service Assistant Commissioner Cheryl Scanlon and FBI representative Nitiana Mann, right, leave after speaking to the media during a press conference in Brisbane, Australia, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023. A U.S. citizen has been charged in Arizona over online comments that allegedly incited a deadly attack in Australia a year earlier. (Jono Searle/AAP Image via AP)

(Jono Searle/AAP Image via AP)

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A U.S. citizen has been charged in Arizona over online comments that allegedly incited what police describe as a “religiously motivated terrorist attack” in Australia a year ago in which six people died, officials said Wednesday.

Queensland state police officers Rachel McCrow and Matthew Arnold and innocent bystander Alan Dare were fatally shot by Gareth Train, his brother Nathaniel Train and Nathanial’s wife, Stacey Train, in an ambush at the Trains’ remote property in the rural community of Wieambilla last Dec. 12, investigators said.

Four officers had arrived at the property to investigate reports of a missing person. They walked into a hail of gunfire, police said at the time. Two officers managed to escape and raise the alarm.

Police killed the three Trains, who have been described as conspiracy theorists, during a six-hour siege.

The FBI said agents arrested 58-year-old Donald Day Jr. near Heber Overgaard, Arizona, last Friday on a U.S. charge that alleged he incited the violence through comments posted online last December.

Authorities said a federal grand jury indicted Day on two counts of interstate threats. The indictment said that from about the beginning of 2022 until Feb. 2, 2023, Day “engaged in a course of conduct demonstrating a desire to incite violence and threaten a variety of groups and individuals including law enforcement and government authorities.”

Day, who lives in the northeastern Arizona town of Heber, was remanded to custody after he appeared in a Phoenix court on Tuesday and faces a potential five-year prison sentence if convicted, according to Arizona prosecutors.

The FBI is still investigating Day’s alleged motive.

“The attack involved advanced planning and preparation against law enforcement,” Queensland Police Assistant Commissioner Cheryl Scanlon said, referring to the Trains. “We know that the offenders executed a religiously motivated terrorist attack in Queensland. They were motivated by a Christian extremist ideology.”

Gareth Train began following the suspect on YouTube in May 2020. A year later, they were communicating directly.

“The man repeatedly sent messages containing Christian end-of-days ideology to Gareth and then later to Stacey,” Scanlon said.

FBI legal attaché for Australia Nitiana Mann said the FBI was committed to assisting the Queensland Police Service in its investigation.

“The FBI has a long memory and an even longer reach. From Queensland, Australia, to the remote corners of Arizona,” Mann added. “The FBI and QPS worked jointly and endlessly to bring this man to justice, and he will face the crimes he is alleged to have perpetrated.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A man died after a motorcycle crash early Sunday morning in Desert View Village. (MCSO Photo)...

David Veenstra

Motorcyclist dead after crash in Desert View Village, near Cave Creek

A man died after a motorcycle crash early Sunday morning in Desert View Village, near Cave Creek, according to authorities.

25 minutes ago

World's Biggest Bounce House (XL Event Lab photo)...

Damon Allred

World’s Largest Bounce House coming to Phoenix for weekend stop on nationwide tour

The Big Bounce America is bringing its coterie of inflatable attractions to Phoenix this weekend, featuring eight inflatables.

1 hour ago

Singer Matt Shultz of Cage the Elephant performs onstage during day two of the 2021 Pilgrimage Musi...

Damon Allred

Grammy-winning Cage The Elephant announces Phoenix stop during North American tour

Grammy Award-winning rock band Cage The Elephant announced a stop in Phoenix on its upcoming summer tour in conjunction with a new album.

2 hours ago

SkyBridge Arizona is an emerging business park in Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. It, along with othe...

Ron Davis/Phoenix Business Journal

Major aerospace developments near Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport move forward

The skyline around Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport has some changes in store, including major aerospace develoments.

3 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump gestures at a campaign rally Saturd...

Associated Press

Donald Trump wins Missouri and Idaho caucuses, sweeps Michigan GOP convention

Trump continued his march toward the GOP nomination, winning caucuses in Idaho and Missouri and sweeping the convention in Michigan.

14 hours ago

Maine man, 79, dies while hiking Pyramid Trail in Sedona...

Damon Allred

Gov. Katie Hobbs announces Extreme Heat Preparedness Plan, establishes chief heat officer

Gov. Katie Hobbs announced the state's first Extreme Heat Preparedness Plan, creating the country's first state level heat officer.

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Arizona man accused of inciting ‘religiously motivated’ attack that left 6 dead in Australia