Crown Resorts, in Melbourne, was initially thought to be under a terror attack; however, after police arrived, it turned out to be nothing. Police responded Tuesday, February 27, 2018, to several calls about a man wearing a backpack that was behaving improperly. He was erratic, agitated, and aggressive. The man claimed he was a terrorist and security thought they saw green plastic material in the backpack that may be explosives.
Crown staff was told by text message to leave the building and help clear out customers. Mild panic set in among clients who went to the exits and out onto the street. Victorian police, bomb squad, and emergency responders came to the casino to help set order and to try to talk the man down. They were able to take him into custody without any incident. He did threaten to come back to Crown Resorts and kill the casino manager.
Reports state the casino manager ordered the mans expulsion from the casino. Crowds were on the street watching the incident. Police went in with a robotic vehicle at first to examine the backpack. It was not found with explosives, but instead, green material relating to tobacco.
The Aftermath for Nadim
Nadim Ismail, on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, was charged with stating death threats, false statements, and false report to the police. Nadim is a Malaysian national, aged fifty-five. Ismail will need to deal with immigration and be detained for a short time. However, he will be released to Malaysia after a short while.
Simon Zebrowski, the magistrate, said Ismail is not a terrorist. He is just someone who came to Australia, had too many drinks, made stupid comments, which were inflammatory. Zebrowski also made a statement about casino staff and the emergency responders. Both entities kept everything together to ensure the perceived threat was taken care of without harm coming to anyone.
Casinos are not without their troubles. In 2017, two major incidents occurred with armed attackers. These incidents happened on casino property. Each one led to deaths. Already, 2018 has seen casinos launching mock terror drills to ensure they can effectively deal with terror attacks should they occur. These are happening around the globe and not just in Australia. The idea is to see how quickly emergency responders can arrive on scene and stop the attack. Real situations are always going to be different; however, pre-planning helps keep the panic under control.