Police Stormed Cafe & Ended Sydney Hostage Siege, 2 dead, including the hostage-taker
By MICHELLE INNISDEC. 15, 2014 The New York Times/ Click on the link below to read the report http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/16/world/asia/sydney-australia-hostages.html?_r=0الذي يحتجز الرهائن في اوستراليا هو لاجئ إيراني وصاحب سجل اجرامي ويدعي أنه شيخ. اسمه مان هارون مونس كما جاء في التقارير الصحافية
Hostage-taker In Sydney named as radical Muslim cleric Man Haron Monis
Sheik Man Haron Monis. (AAP)
Radical Muslim cleric Sheik Man Haron Monis has been revealed to be the ringleader in the Sydney cafe siege that has seen up to 15 people held hostage since yesterday morning.
Monis was born Manteghi Bourjerdi and fled from Iran to Australia in 1996 where he changed his name to Man Haron Monis and assuming the title of Sheik Haron.
The self-styled sheik did not enjoy the support of mainstream Muslims, according to community leader Dr Jamal Rifi
He has gained media attention in the past for a “hate mail” campaign, protesting the presence of Australian troops in Afghanistan.
The campaign saw him and his partner Amirah Droudis post hate-filled letters to the families of dead Australian soldiers.
The family of Brett Till, an Australian solder killed by a roadside bomb in 2009, was just one of the families who received a letter.
“We sat in our homes, reading these letters … This man accusing my husband of being a child killer,” widow Bree Till said at the time.
9NEWS was given police clearance to release Monis’ name.
In November 2009 Monis appeared in court claiming to be a peace activist but later chained himself to the courthouse in protest of charges laid against him.
Monis escaped jail time but was sentenced to 300 hours of community service and placed on a two-year good behaviour bond in September 2013.
He again received attention from police in November last year when he allegedly organised the murder of ex-wife Noleen Pal.
Ms Pal had been stabbed and her body set alight in a Werrington apartment block, allegedly by Ms Droudis.
In April this year he was charged with sexually assaulting seven women while working as a spiritual healer in Wentworthville, where he claimed to be an expert in astrology, numerology, meditation and black magic.
In October Monis was charged with an extra 40 sexual offences relating to his work as a spiritual healer.
He is currently on bail and due to appear in court over indecent and sexual assault charges in February 2015.
Earlier this month Monis announced via his website he used to be a Rafidi, one who rejects legitimate Islamic authority and leadership, but “now I am a Muslim”.
© ninemsn 2014
Australian hostage taker named Man Haron Monis, Iranian refugee with criminal Past
SYDNEY (Reuters) – An Iranian refugee convicted of sexual assault and known for sending hate letters to the families of Australian soldiers killed overseas is the armed man holding an unknown number of hostages in a Sydney cafe, a police source said on Tuesday.
Man Haron Monis, an Iranian refugee and self-styled sheikh, remained holed up in the cafe some 15 hours after the siege began.
“There’s no operational reason for that name to be held back by us now,” said the police source, who declined to be identified.
(Reporting by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Mike Collett-White)
Sydney siege: The new security threat: one man, a gun and a flag
THE AUSTRALIAN /Greg Bearup
DECEMBER 16, 2014
IT wasn’t particularly complicated, but it was immensely effective. Australia has been terrified. They say a horse race stops this nation, but yesterday it ground to a halt for one man with a gun and an Arabic flag.
For months police had been howling about the danger of a lone wolf. This may all turn out to be more lone nut case, than lone wolf, but this man provided a template for others more radical, and more able, to follow. The days of elaborate plots to blow up Lucas Heights or the Harbour Bridge appear over. We may have entered the era of one evil man with one simple plan.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister and his key ministers effectively convened a war cabinet, hundreds and hundreds of armed police flooded the streets of Sydney, trains were stopped, the city took on an eerie feel as it was cleared of cars, thousands of workers were evacuated from the CBD — the economic impact was immense — while the rest of the nation stood glued to their TVs, in shock, hoping and praying that those on the inside of the Lindt cafe would make it out alive.
The taxi driver who picked me up was unwilling to take me where I wanted to go — he feared bombs had been secretly planted throughout the city and that, after this job, he was heading out to work the suburbs. He dropped me off blocks away, at Hyde Park.
IN DEPTH: Sydney siege
Michael Giannikouris, a demolition worker who had downed tools to go to the scene of the siege, said he was frightened. “I just can’t really comprehend what has happened,” he told me. “This all just seems to be escalating and I don’t know where it will end.”
It began shortly before 9.45am. Three motorcycle policemen arrived at the scene, others were charging around the corner on foot. They talked to a woman who had been trying to get into the cafe, but found the automatic doors were locked shut. She looked inside to see a man with a gun — she was frightened but very clear in her descriptions. She was adamant it was a shotgun rather than a rifle.
Across the mall, witnesses saw a man in a white shirt with his arms up at the window — they thought the gunman may have given himself up, only to realise it was the grim face of a hostage.
It was a siege. The cafe is just across the road from the Seven Network’s studio and so it wasn’t just those in the mall who witnessed this terror. When the TV network beamed live shots of two people being forced to hold up a black flag with Arabic script, it became something else entirely.
Shortly after midday the switch operators at 2GB took a call from a man who claimed to be a hostage. Ray Hadley, who was on air, came in to speak to the bloke; he thought it could be a hoax.
“I said, ‘Give me your number and I’ll call you back,” Hadley says. “So I did. I could hear the hostage taker in the background giving instructions — he had an Australianised Middle-Eastern accent. He wanted to talk to the PM. He wanted an ISIS (Islamic State) flag and he wanted the government to admit that it was a terrorist attack. He said he would release people if those demands were met. I could hear him barking those instructions and those instructions were relayed by the young bloke to me.”
Hadley called Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and Premier Mike Baird, who were on their way to a news conference. They sent over a police negotiator to handle further calls.
If it was the gunman’s intention to make people frightened, it worked.
If it was his intention to create chaos, it worked.
If it was his intention to grab the attention of the Prime Minister, it worked.
If it was his intention to show just how easily a simple act of violence can disrupt so much, he succeeded in that, too.
In September, my colleague Paul Maley and I began researching a long article on two Australian-born terrorists, Mohammed Elomar and Khaled Sharrouf, who are now fighting for Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. We talked to a number of young radical Muslims in Sydney’s west and at that point their anger was being directed towards the Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad. We have no real beef with Australia, they told us.
Since then, that’s all changed. Many of these young Muslim radicals, who wanted to go off and fight Assad, have had their passports cancelled and Australia has joined the bombing of the Islamist fighters they were hoping to join.
That pent-up frustration, that angry fervour, has now been turned towards the country that offered refuge to their parents fleeing war a generation ago. What will those angry young men be thinking now?
Australians will wake this morning more fearful than they were yesterday, and that goes for Muslim Australians as well. I spoke yesterday with a moderate Muslim friend who fears a backlash against his children and his relatives. “I was at the airport the other day, chatting with some friends, and within 20 minutes the feds were questioning us. How do you think that makes us feel? This is a step back for everyone, but especially the Muslim community. If someone else commits a criminal act, it is a criminal act. If someone, who happens to be Muslim, commits a criminal act the whole of the Muslim community is tarred with that brush.”
This man, in his 40s and born in Australia, says there was no Shia/Sunni divide when he was growing up; they were all just Muslims. That is changing. He didn’t have to make a choice between moderate Islam and radical, because there was only moderate Islam.
Yesterday’s act of violence disgusted him and made him fearful, just as it did the great majority of Muslims in this country. The thing about terrorism is that you only need to attract one nutter with a gun and flag.