Sydney Siege Crisis – Gunman Sheikh Man Haron Monis Shot Dead, Hostages Freed

December 15, 2014 | 0

The 2014 hostage crisis in Australia on December 15, 2014 in Sydney, Australia  created a state of unrest in the country.   A lone gunman entered the Lindt Chocolate Café at Martin Place in the morning, and held  customers and employees hostages.  Initially, five of the hostages escaped while around ten were still found to be holed up inside the building.

The crisis began at 9.44 AM  at the café at 53 Martin Place, Sydney.  Hostages were asked to hold the flag with the Arabic word ‘shahādah’ which means ‘There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of God’.   One of the hostages was seen being used as human shield by a terrorist who was seen to be be in his 50s, armed with a short gun and wearing a white shirt and black bandana.

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The gunman had even demanded to speak to the Austrailan Prime Minister on radio according to RJ Ray Hadley of Sydney 2GB.  There were reports that there were four devices planted around Sydney, two of them in the café building itself, though the police said that they have no found any such device.  While it initially appeared that few of the hostages were released, it was confirmed that all of the five hostages had escaped  Two female hostages even relayed the story to the media,  including the demands put forth by the gunman but the New South Wales Police has stated that the demands would not be published.

The grueling operation took 14 hours as the victims waited with bated breath for help.  It was the next day, at 2.10 AM when the police were able to enter the cafe , shoot the gunman and release the hostages.It is believed that 5 of the hostages were seriously injured.  Two hostages are believed to have been dead, while the third one who died is the gunman.

There were two Indians among the hostages, one of them was Ankith Reddy Vishwakanth  from Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. He had recently applied for Australian citizenship. He is working for Infosys and another man was Pushpendu Ghosh. Both have been released and are safe.

Sheikh Man Haron Monis- Name of the Gunman

Sheikh Man Haron Monis Sydney gunman

The gunman has been identified as Sheikh Man Haron Monis, he had fled to Australia from Iran in 1996. He has been charged with assaulting seven women. He is 49 years old and is a self-styled sheikh. He was also involved in the attempt to murder his wife.  He was arrested for an assault of a 27 year old woman who he had lured to his clinic with the hope of providing spiritual healing.

Sheikh along with his colleague Amirah Droudis, had taken up a campaign where he protested the presence of Australian troops in Afghanistan, by writing letters to the families of soldiers killed there.  He would call the soldiers who died there  as having ‘the dirty body of a pig’. He was arrested on charges of sending letters that caused harassment and unrest.

Haron  was charged by the NWS police for being an accessory that led to the murder of his ex-wife Noleen Hayson Pal, whom he had set fire. His friend Amirah Droudis, was formally charged with Pal’s murder. In December 2014, he posted a message on his website, ” I used to be a Rafidi but not any more. Now I am a muslim’.  ‘Rafidi’ refers to a derogatory term used for Shia, used by Salafis.

The 17  hour operation finally ended at 02.10 AM (Sydney time) with the police entering the cafe and shooting him to death. It is believed that the terrorist used gunfire to which the police retaliated and shot him.

The motive

The police has confirmed that Sheikh Man Haron Monis was not a part of any terrorist outfit but a lone fighter with a history of criminal cases against him.  He was known to dupe women, rape some of them and would lure victims with promise of astrology, numerology, meditation and black magic.  His frustration with Australian soldiers in Afghanistan, gives this move a ‘political’ dimension. The fact that he had a mental problem is also not ruled out.

Lindt Cafe – Gunman and Hostage Crisis (Pictures)

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The operation Lindt ends with hostages released

indian hostage ankith reddy sydney siege sydney hostages escaping

indian hostage pushpendu ghosh sydney attack indian hostage pushpendu ghosh(2) indian hostage sydney siege ankith reddy indian hostage victim sydney attack

 ankith reddy indian hostage sydney siege hostage escape sydney siege hostage indian hostage ankith reddy sydney siege

How the police killed Sheikh Man Haron Monis

At around 2.10 AM Sydney time, the  gunman Sheikh was trying to move the hostages from one side to the  other of the cafe, when a small group broke free and dashed for the exit. One of them ran towards the police and threw himself on the pavement, the police searched him before escorting him to a safe place. Six minutes later, a group of five hostages escaped from the  Martin Place exit.  It is believed that the gunman fired his shotgun in a state of pandemonium.  The police were informed that a hostage was down, which prompted the officers to barge into the building without any prior warning.

Percussion grenades which are known to create loud flashes of light, bangs and make the people lose their sense of focus and vision temporarily were thrown into the room. As the police stormed into Cafe Lindt, there was an exchange of gunshots. The officers were able to see clearly as they wore night vision goggles. They closed in on the gunman and killed him. It is believed that the gunman killed a hostage. Three more hostages are known to be injured in the attack.  As the smoke filled the room, the police helped the rest of the hostages to safety. It is believed that another  hostage has died from heart attack after the incident.

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