The train carried about 1200 Broken Hill residents to Silverton where a picnic to celebrate the new year was to take place.
The two Muslim men, Gool Mohamed originally a Pashtun tribesman from Afghanistan and Mullah Abdullah from what is known today as Pakistan, decided to wage jihad against Australian infidels after Australia and the Ottoman Empire officially joined the opposite sides in the WWI.
The attack was not spontaneous. It was a very well planned and a premeditated act. Both men wanted to inflict as much damage and kill as many infidels as possible and having almost the entire population of the tiny settlement packed into forty open, wooden carriages where people sat in rows, shoulder to shoulder on flat wooden benches, presented a great opportunity to do just that.
Gool and Abdullah knew very well that each January 1st, the Manchester Unity Order of Oldfellows held its annual New Year’s day picnic. The train carriages were normally used for taking ore to Port Pirie but once a year they were washed thoroughly, fitted with wooden benches and transformed into the Broken Hill Picnic Train. It was a perfect target in a flat area, with the train moving slowly and people sitting close to each other without much chance to hide or run anywhere.
The two Muslim men used Gool’s ice-cream cart to transport their rifles, the flag and ammo to the place previously selected by them for the ambush, to avoid raising any suspicions.
The train left Broken Hill Sulphide Street station at 10 a.m.
About two miles out of Broken Hill, an ice cream cart flying a Turkish flag was noticed by those on the train. It was on the northern side of the line close to the railway fence and two men, later identified as Gool Mohamed and Mulla Abdulla, lay in a trench beside the track within 30 yards of the passing train. They began firing as the train drew level with them The firing continued as the train passed with 20 or 30 shots being fired in total.
The train was brought to a halt further up the line. It was found as a result of the attack on the train two people were killed and seven wounded. (source)
Six not seven people were wounded on the train the seventh injured person was a police constable, who was wounded during the pursuit, which followed the assault)
The murdered passengers were: 17-year-old Alma Cowie and William John Shaw who died instantly.
The six wounded people were: Mary Kavanagh, George Stokes, Thomas Campbell, Lucy Shaw (daughter of William Shaw), Alma Crocker and Rose Crabb.
Soon after the assault Gool and Abdullah withdrew towards the west. During their attempted escape they came across and murdered Alfred E. Millard who had tried to hide in his hut.
By this time the police were in full pursuit and when they sighted the two running assassins they fired their guns above their heads in order to force them to surrender, but instead Gool and Abdullah returned fire and seriously wounded Constable Robert Mills.
The murderous pair made their last stand at the top of a hill where they found good cover behind large rocks.
They were both shot dead by the police during an hour and a half gun battle.
Interestingly, the locals as well as most of the contemporary Australians, did not understand the nature of this terrible “incident”.
First of all, it did not appear possible to the people that the pair acted simply out of religious Islamic fanaticism. Patriotic zeal or even a simple act of revenge were blamed but religious piety was not even considered a valid reason for the massacre.
Secondly, people could not believe that the pair acted alone without any links and orders from a larger, organized group, as for most of non-Muslims it simply doesn’t occur that the orders to kill them are not given from enemies in this material world but by Allah himself from the depths and core of the Islamic religion.
As a result, the authorities suspected that the men acted on orders issued by their local German or Turkish handlers and the fact that the two were not even closely related to Turkey, or that they openly admitted in their letters to acting in the name of Allah just did not make any sense.
Islamic loyalties cannot be changed because their allegiances are hard-wired into their religious doctrine. There are many examples from the past, similar to the tragedy described above, and so it would be natural that our current leaders and “social visionaries” would come to a logical conclusion that forcing Muslim immigration upon an innocent population will all work out in the end – but in reality it is just like setting a time bomb with a hope that the timer will somehow stop ticking.
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