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Thursday, April 25, 2024
HomeNewsWorldShots Fired: At Least Two Dead After Police Storm Sydney Cafe

Shots Fired: At Least Two Dead After Police Storm Sydney Cafe

iranian-cafe-terror-suspect
iranian-cafe-terror-suspect

The self-styled sheikh is a suspect in a murder case and well-known for his twisted campaign of writing hateful letters to the families of fallen soldiers. (Photo: AP)

A series of explosions were heard and several shots fired as police stormed the Sydney cafe in Australia, where an Iranian radical Islamist had been holding at least 9 hostages for approximately 16 hours. Ambulance crews have entered the building. Reports suggest one hostage and the gunman have been killed, but no police injured.

The explosions, believed flash grenades, came just before 2:30 A.M. local time from inside of fled Lindt Chocolat Cafe, where a man identified as Man Haron Monis, an Iranian also known for sending hate mail to the families of fallen soldiers, was holed up with an unknown number of captives. Police did not initially identify Monis, though they knew he was the suspect inside.

The standoff began Monday morning in Sydney’s central business district in Martin Place, a plaza in the heart of the city’s financial and shopping district that is packed with holiday shoppers this time of year. Journalist Chris Reason had tweeted the scene the moment the police stormed the cafe, and later followed up.

Four of the hostages were seen being taken from the cafe on stretchers, while one received CPR at the scene. Initially, it was believed that five people had managed to escape the cafe and people have been ordered by police to stay out of the area, but Reason had tweeted another account, though it has not been verified.

For hours, police and news crews surrounding the shop watched the frightened hostages at the Lindt Chocolat Cafe pressed against the glass in the front windows with their arms in the air. Television footage shows two people holding up a black flag associated with Islamic fanaticism, and Australian broadcaster Network Ten reported that Monis was seen wielding a shotgun and a machete, has forced hostages to call him “The Brother.”

Reason described the gunman as unshaven, wearing a white shirt and a black cap, and holding what appeared to be a pump-action shotgun. Monis could be seen pacing back and forth past the cafe’s four windows before the lights in the cafe went off, Reason reported.

Monis emigrated to Australia in 1996 and is widely known in Australia for his public campaign of writing letters to the families of fallen soldiers. The letters called them “murderers” and urged the families to lobby the government to withdraw from the coalition in Afghanistan. He was also charged in 2009 with “using the postal service to harass” in a case he fought all the way to Australia’s highest court, which ultimately dismissed his appeal.

Last year, he was charged in connection with the murder of his ex-wife in a case that is still pending and, in fact, he was free on bail at the time of the hostage standoff. He was charged earlier this year with sexual assault of a woman who went to his office in New South Wales for “spiritual healing.”

“This is a one-off random individual. It’s not a concerted terrorism event or act. It’s a damaged goods individual who’s done something outrageous,” his former lawyer, Manny Conditsis, told Australian Broadcasting Corp. “His ideology is just so strong and so powerful that it clouds his vision for common sense and objectiveness.”

As PPD previously reported, the Australian government raised terror warning level in September as a result of a credible domestic threat from “lone wolf” supporters of the Islamic State terror group. Counterterror law enforcement teams later conducted dozens of raids and made several arrests in Australia’s three largest cities — Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. One man arrested during a series of raids in Sydney was charged with conspiring with an Islamic State leader in Syria to behead a random person in downtown Sydney.

The Islamic State group, which now holds a third of Syria and Iraq, has threatened Australia in the past. In September, Islamic State group spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani issued an audio message urging so-called “lone wolf” attacks abroad, specifically mentioning Australia. Al-Adnani told Muslims to kill all “disbelievers,” whether they be civilians or soldiers.

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Latest comment

  • Did Barack Obama condemn the Sydney police yet for “acting stupidly”?

    I find it hard to hate people that I don’t even know, but that ISIS scum makes it easy.

    But, the problem is – Obama is in over his head.

    Obama has sat on his hands while ISIS took over Iraq and the middle east. He is a fool domestically and internationally. Obama has ruined our country.

    You pick a fight with Russia over an area which is part of their near abroad.

    You ruined health insurance. My health insurance is up to $450/month from just $200/month. My car insurance is currently only $25/month (from Insurance Panda) and renter’s only $15/month (from Eagle)…both private enterprise… but who knows when Obama will try to step in and socialize that?

    With everything Obama touched in shambles, Barry needs a new job. You mean to tell me our troops are supposed to go re-train the Iraqi soldiers who shed their uniforms and ran? Again? Couldn’t 5.6 billion be used for something more useful in our own country? The guy needs to step down before he is impeached.

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