Breaking: Siege at Sydney cafe

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Although I am not in Australia, this is what came up on my Facebook news feed: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11374445&ref=NZH_FBpage

Terrorists are holding up to 12 hostages in an armed siege in a cafe in Sydney where an extremist flag was being held up in a window.

Witnesses reported seeing staff and customers sobbing as they were forced to stand with their hands pressed against the windows of the Lindt cafe.

At least two gunmen are involved in the siege but dozens of armed police have sealed off the streets surrounding the site.
And reporting by 3 News: http://www.3news.co.nz/world/hostage-situation-in-central-sydney-2014121512#axzz3Lv67GfaV
 
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  • #2
Astronuc
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I just heard this -
reports that two armed men are holding 13 people hostage at a cafe in Martin Place in Sydney.
Some hostages standing with their hands up at the windows in the popular Lindt chocolate shop, which has two or three entrances. There is also a black and white flag being held up in a window. It is believed to be the Black Standard, a jihadist flag.
One comment already from the public "The flag says 'no god worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is his messenger" not an Isis flag but Islamic."

So there is one, possibly two, gunmen holding 12/13 hostages. Although the flag is not the ISIS flag, they are perhaps sympathetic to ISIS, or perhaps al Qaeda, or a jihadist movement.

http://www.news.com.au/national/a-man-is-holding-several-people-hostage-at-martin-place-cafe/story-fncynjr2-1227156241649

Earlier in the day -
TWO men have been arrested on suspected terror related offences during an early morning raid in Sydney.

An Australian Federal Police spokesman confirmed a 25-year-old Beecroft man was arrested by the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) .

The arrest was part of continuing investigations into the planning of a terrorist attack on Australian soil and the facilitation of travel of Australian citizens to Syria to engage in armed combat, the AFP said.
More news - Hostages held in Sydney cafe, Islamic flag seen in window: local TV (Reuters)
http://news.yahoo.com/hostages-held-sydney-cafe-islamic-flag-seen-window-004215441.html
 
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  • #3
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There could be explosive devices around Sydney - Sky News reported that contact had been made to a radio station and that demands were made - those contacting were either those in the cafe or in connection to those people in the cafe.
 
  • #4
lisab
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Courage to you all down there - my best hopes are with you.
 
  • #5
strangerep
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Recently, Australian police conducted preemptive raids, coordinated across several cities, acting on intelligence that something nasty was being planned. Some Islamist groups expressed outrage at such a "heavy handed" approach. I wonder what they'll say now, since clearly some of the psychotic A-holes slipped through the net.

(I used to work maybe 500m from that cafe.)

For ongoing coverage: Sydney Morning Herald.
 
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  • #6
Astronuc
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http://news.yahoo.com/major-police-operation-unfolding-sydney-235744145.html [Broken]
Hostage situation in Sydney café (I modified the title, since the use of 'erupts' left me thinking that some hostages may have been harmed.

Zain Ali, the head of the Islamic Studies Research Unit at the University of Auckland, said it was difficult to read the message because media images showed only the lower part of the flag. But he believed it was the Shahada, or declaration of faith, largely because a black flag with white writing in a contemporary context often contains that message.
"The whole point of politically motivated violence is to scare people out of being themselves," Abbott said. "Australia is a peaceful, open and generous society — nothing should ever change that. And that's why I would urge all Australians today to go about their business as usual."
http://news.yahoo.com/major-police-operation-unfolding-sydney-235744145.html [Broken]


I hope there is a peaceful resolution. My thoughts are with the hostages and their family and friends.
 
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  • #7
phinds
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Interestingly, the Grand Mufti of Australia has condemned this in the strongest possible terms. I find it refreshing and sadly unusual to see a Muslim cleric condemning Muslim terrorism.
 
  • #8
Astronuc
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Apparently, "Three people were seen fleeing from a Sydney cafe after they had been taken hostage -- with others still held inside as neighboring blocks remain locked down as police tried to make contact with the armed perpetrator, authorities said.

The hostages were being held in the Lindt Chocolat Café, a chocolate shop and cafe in Sydney's Martin Place, the city's financial district where the Reserve Bank of Australia and several commercial banks have their main offices. The area is also close to the New South Wales state parliament."

http://abcnews.go.com/International/hostages-sydney-choclate-shop/story?id=27594073


I find it refreshing and sadly unusual to see a Muslim cleric condemning Muslim terrorism.
Numerous Muslim clerics and institutions have been condemning ISIS and its violent activities, as well as condemning jihadist organizations sympathetic to ISIS or Al Qaeda.
 
  • #9
Danger
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Numerous Muslim clerics and institutions have been condemning ISIS and its violent activities, as well as condemning jihadist organizations sympathetic to ISIS or Al Qaeda.
Yeah, at least a couple on every news report every time something violent happens in the name of Islam. They really are peaceful people, except for the nut jobs. That can be said about almost any religion (and I'm an Atheist, to which it also applies).
 
  • #10
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Yeah, at least a couple on every news report every time something violent happens in the name of Islam. They really are peaceful people, except for the nut jobs. That can be said about almost any religion (and I'm an Atheist, to which it also applies).
I'd rather say that are more or less peaceful people, that anyway breed nut jobs in outstandingly high number comparing to any major contemporary religion/ideology. (Yes, literally that: in case of London bombing there were concerned parents of one of terrorist who lost contact with their son and phoned police because were worried that something bad might have happened to him)
 
  • #11
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My thoughts are with the hostages and their families and friends. I hope this comes to peaceful conclusion with no one getting harmed.

The flag is the generic Islamist flag with the Shahada (testimony of faith). The same flag is used by Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra front in Syria, Boko Haram among other islamist militant organisations. ISIS uses a slightly modified version of it.
 
  • #12
Q_Goest
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Maybe some good has come out of this already. #illridewithyou

There were fears that Australian Muslims could become the targets of racially motivated retaliatory attacks.

Instead Australian Twitter users offered to accompany Muslims wearing religious clothes on public transport as a gesture of solidarity under the hashtag #illridewithyou.

The campaign started with a tweet from @sirtessa, a TV content editor and writer from Sydney whose real name is Tessa Kum. "If you reg take #373 bus b/w Cogee/Martin Pl, wear religious attire, & don't feel safe alone: I'll ride with you. @ me for schedule," she wrote.

Jacobs had tweeted that "....and the (presumably) Muslim woman sitting next to me on the train silently removes her hijab ... I ran after her at the train station. I said 'put it back on. I'll walk with u'. She started to cry and hugged me for about a minute - then walked off alone."
http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/15/world/asia/australia-hostage-illridewithyou/
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/ill-ride-you-australians-offer-4813308
 
  • #14
Astronuc
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Hostages were seen fleeing from the building and loud bangs were heard, followed by sustained gunfire, as heavily-armed officers stormed the building.
The hostage-taker was identified as Iranian refugee Man Haron Monis.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-30485355

"The suspect, 49-year-old Man Haron Monis, received political asylum in Australia in 1996 and was on bail facing a number of charges."

A troubled individual
http://news.yahoo.com/australian-hostage-taker-named-iranian-refugee-criminal-past-140521721.html

Hostage situation is resolved
http://news.yahoo.com/major-police-operation-unfolding-sydney-235744145.html [Broken]

Edit/Update:
Police storm Sydney cafe to end hostage siege, three dead
http://news.yahoo.com/hostages-held-sydney-cafe-islamic-flag-seen-window-004215441.html
A man aged 34, Lindt cafe manager Tori Johnson, and a woman, lawyer Katrina Dawson, aged 38 were killed, police said. Four were wounded, including a policeman hit in the face with shotgun pellets.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/nsw/a/25772503/siege-situation-in-martin-place/
Timeline
https://news.yahoo.com/sydney-hostage-crisis-live-report-010058537.html [Broken]
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-30485355
 
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  • #16
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The Sydney hostage siege is over, with unconfirmed reports three people - one of the them the gunman - are dead.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11374791 [Broken]
 
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  • #17
Astronuc
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Sydney cafe siege victims hailed as 'heroes'
http://news.yahoo.com/sydney-cafe-siege-victims-hailed-heroes-041951506.html
"Apparently seeing an opportunity Tori Johnson grabbed the gun, tragically it went off killing him. But it triggered the response of the police and eventual freedom for most of the hostages.
"Reports have also emerged that Katrina Dawson was shielding her pregnant friend from gunfire. These heroes were willing to lay down their lives so others might live."
Horror Over Deadly Sydney Siege Turns to Anger
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/australia-pm-lays-flowers-memorials-victims-27625504
 
  • #18
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http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11384858

Martin Place siege victim Katrina Dawson was struck by a police bullet when officers shot it out with gunman Man Haron Monis at the Lindt Cafe, the police investigation has reportedly revealed.

Fairfax media reports that multiple police sources have said Ms Dawson, 38, was struck by police fire that was not a direct shot and possibly a ricochet, when Tactical Operations Unit officers stormed the cafe just after 2am on December 16.

Monis had just executed another of the hostages, cafe manager Tori Johnson, at close range, and was killed in the shoot-out.
 
  • #19
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http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/65540999/sydney-cafe-siege-shot-execution-style

Lindt cafe manager Tori Johnson was forced to kneel by gunman Man Haron Monis before he was shot once in the back of the head, an inquest in Sydney has heard.

Counsel assisting the coroner, Jeremy Gormly, SC, has also revealed that barrister Katrina Dawson was struck by six fragments of police bullets after they ricocheted off hard surfaces, with one striking a major blood vessel..

The 38-year-old mother of three lost consciousness and died shortly afterwards.
 

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