Breaking News — Two Hostages and Refugee Iranian Muslim Terrorist, Man Haron Monis, Killed in Sydney, Australia, 4 Injured, After 16 Hour Siege — Videos

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Story 1: Breaking News — Two Hostages and Refugee Iranian Muslim Terrorist, Man Haron Monis, Killed in Sydney, Australia, 4 Injured, After 16 Hour Siege — Videos

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Australia: Sydney cafe gunman “infatuated with extremism” says Abbott

Prime Minister Tony Abbott spoke from Canberra on Tuesday, following the Sydney hostage siege which ended after 17 hours at a Lindt chocolate cafe at Martin Place. Abbott stated the “lone gunman” was dead after a standoff with police, and that “tragically” two hostages were killed. A New South Wales police officer was also wounded by a gunshot to the face.

Sydney Hostage Police Storm Lindt Cafe in Sydney 2 Shot Dead – 3 Injured (RAW FOOTAGE)

BREAKING NEWS SYDNEY TERROR SIEGE 5 Hostage Left lintd cafe live video

President Of Australia On Terror Attack In Sydney

Australian Terrorist Attack: Gunman Takes Hostages In Sydney Cafe

President Obama praises Australia’s gun control

The Ultimate TRUTH About The Failed Gun Ban Control Experience (Documentary)

It is a common fantasy that gun bans make society safer. In 2002 — five years after enacting its gun ban — the Australian Bureau of Criminology acknowledged there is no correlation between gun control and the use of firearms in violent crime. In fact, the percent of murders committed with a firearm was the highest it had ever been in 2006 (16.3 percent).

Even Australia’s Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research acknowledges that the gun ban had no significant impact on the amount of gun-involved crime:

In 2006, assault rose 49.2 percent and robbery 6.2 percent.
Sexual assault — Australia’s equivalent term for rape — increased 29.9 percent.
Overall, Australia’s violent crime rate rose 42.2 percent.
Moreover, Australia and the United States — where no gun-ban exists — both experienced similar decreases in murder rates:

Between 1995 and 2007, Australia saw a 31.9 percent decrease; without a gun ban, America’s rate dropped 31.7 percent.
During the same time period, all other violent crime indices increased in Australia: assault rose 49.2 percent and robbery 6.2 percent.
Sexual assault — Australia’s equivalent term for rape — increased 29.9 percent.
Overall, Australia’s violent crime rate rose 42.2 percent.
At the same time, U.S. violent crime decreased 31.8 percent: rape dropped 19.2 percent; robbery decreased 33.2 percent; aggravated assault dropped 32.2 percent.
Australian women are now raped over three times as often as American women.

When you hand over your firearms,this is what you can expect!

Proof Gun Control is 100% BS

NRA: To See Where Gun Licensing Leads, Look To Great Britain

Suzanna Gratia Hupp explains meaning of 2nd Amendment!

“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed….”- Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, 1787

On October 16, 1991, Hennard drove his 1987 Ford Ranger pickup truck through the front window of a Luby’s Cafeteria at 1705 East Central Texas Expressway in Killeen, yelled “This is what Bell County has done to me!”, then opened fire on the restaurant’s patrons and staff with a Glock 17 pistol and later a Ruger P89. About 80 people were in the restaurant at the time. He stalked, shot, and killed 23 people and wounded another 20 before committing suicide. During the shooting, he approached Suzanna Gratia Hupp and her parents. Hupp had actually brought a handgun to the Luby’s Cafeteria that day, but had left it in her vehicle due to the laws in force at the time, forbidding citizens from carrying firearms. According to her later testimony in favor of Missouri’s HB-1720 bill[1] and in general, after she realized that her firearm was not in her purse, but “a hundred feet away in [her] car”, her father charged at Hennard in an attempt to subdue him, only to be gunned down; a short time later, her mother was also shot and killed. (Hupp later expressed regret for abiding by the law in question by leaving her firearm in her car, rather than keeping it on her person. One patron, Tommy Vaughn, threw himself through a plate-glass window to allow others to escape. Hennard allowed a mother and her four-year-old child to leave. He reloaded several times and still had ammunition remaining when he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head after being cornered and wounded by police.

Reacting to the massacre, in 1995 the Texas Legislature passed a shall-issue gun law allowing Texas citizens with the required permit to carry concealed weapons. The law had been campaigned for by Suzanna Hupp, who was present at the Luby’s massacre and both of whose parents were shot and killed. Hupp testified across the country in support of concealed-handgun laws, and was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1996. The law was signed by then-Governor George W. Bush and became part of a broad movement to allow U.S. citizens to easily obtain permits to carry concealed weapons.

5 Deadliest Mass Shootings in the USA

THREE DEAD IN BLOODY END TO SIEGE: Two hostages dead and Muslim gunman killed as police storm Sydney cafe with assault rifles and stun grenades moments after hostages fled

  • Police stormed the cafe in central Sydney where a gunman held hostages for more than 16 hours
  • Police moved in firing automatic weapons and throwing grenades as hostages were seen fleeing in terror from cafe
  • Live TV footage showed hostages running frantically from the cafe at shortly after 2 am in small groups 
  • It came hours after Man Haron Monis was named as the gunman holding people hostage in a Sydney café
  • Iranian refugee, 50, was charged with accessory in the murder of his ex-wife
  • He was also facing multiple charges of sexual assault while claiming to be a ‘spiritual healer’ 
  • Monis received 300 community service hours for sending hate mail to the families of Australian dead soldiers
  • The siege follows an unsuccessful attempt to have these charges overturned in the High Court on Friday 
  • He forced hostages to hold up a black flag with white writing in Arabic, an emblem linked to terror groups 

By Emily Crane and Daniel Piotrowski and Sarah Dean and Louise Cheer and Candace Sutton for Daily Mail Australia and Leesa Smith and Heather Mcnab

An Iranian-born gunman was killed, two of his hostages are dead and four injured after a dramatic and chaotic firefight brought an end to a terrorist siege at a Sydney cafe.

Teams of heavily armed police swooped on the Lindt Chocolat cafe in a hail of gunfire, ending a tense stand-off where Man Haron Monis had been holding around 17 people captive.

Police issued a statement describing the event as a confrontation with a 50-year man, who they said died after shots were fired. The man was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital, police said.

A man, aged 34, and a woman, aged 38, also died, the police said in their statement.

Of the injured, two women have non life-threatening injuries and a police officer was injured by gunshot pellets, the police said. Another woman has a gunshot wound to the shoulder.

Live television coverage earlier showed at least two people being taken away from the scene on stretchers, while one hostage was seen being carried out of the building. She appeared to be in pain and blood flowed down her legs.

Nine News reported that eleven hostages had been accounted for after the police raid, which occurred shortly after 2am.

An injured hostage is carried away on a stretcher by paramedics after police stormed the Lindt Chocolat cafe in central Sydney where around 20 people were being held by a gunman during a 17-hour siege. One hostage and the gunman were reportedly killed in the firefight

A hostage feared dead is carried out of the cafe after they were reportedly shot by the hostage-taker, prompting police to storm the building

A hostage feared dead is carried out of the cafe after they were reportedly shot by the hostage-taker, prompting police to storm the building

A female hostage is carried out and away from the cafe - clearly in distress with blood pouring down the legs

Man Haron Monis bound in chains in protest of his charges of using the postal service for menace

Man Haron Monis bound in chains in protest of his charges of using the postal service for menace

With terror etched on their faces, two female hostages run into the arms of armed police at the back of the building

With terror etched on their faces, two female hostages run into the arms of armed police at the back of the building

Siege over: Police raided the cafe in central Sydney early Tuesday, bringing a dramatic end to a 17-hour siefe. The raid came moments after some hostages fled the Lindt cafe after more than 16

Siege over: Police raided the cafe in central Sydney early Tuesday, bringing a dramatic end to a 17-hour siefe. The raid came moments after some hostages fled the Lindt cafe after more than 16

Petrified: Two heavily armed police officers assist a hostage away from Lindt Cafe in Martin Place in central Sydney

Petrified: Two heavily armed police officers assist a hostage away from Lindt Cafe in Martin Place in central Sydney

Police officers wearing armoured suits walk with a robot towards Lindt Cafe in Martin Place to check for booby traps after the siege ended

Police officers wearing armoured suits walk with a robot towards Lindt Cafe in Martin Place to check for booby traps after the siege ended

Seven Network reporter Chris Reason, who was watching the siege unfold from his newsroom across the road, said some of the hostages broke free after Monis attempted to usher the hostages from one side of the café to the other.

One man emerged from the cafe with his hands up and lay down on the ground in front of police. Seconds later, a group of at least five hostages escaped from the cafe.

It is believed that Monis then fired his shotgun, reportedly killing one of his captives. This appeared to be the trigger for tactical police to move in.

Within seconds, they had blasted through the cafe door and opened fire with automatic weapons, also hurling what appeared to be stun grenades. The sounds of explosions echoed through the city, and the flashes of rifle fire and the grenades lit up the area.

The gunfight lasted less than two minutes, and more hostages emerged after the police raid.

As the scene calmed down, a bomb disposal robot was seen entering the cafe.

Self-proclaimed Islamic cleric Man Haron Monis, a 49-year-old man living in southwest Sydney, came to Australia from Iran as a refugee in 1996.

He first came to the attention of authorities when he started sending hate mail to the families of Australian dead soldiers between 2007 and 2009, according to The Daily Telegraph.

The siege in the Lindt cafe in Martin Place on Monday reportedly followed an unsuccessful effort to have a conviction related to penning those letters overturned in the High Court on Friday, according to The Age.

Monis received 300 community service hours and a two-year good behaviour bond for the correspondence, which he claims were his version of sympathy cards and sent with the help from his girlfriend Amirah Droudis.

Man Haron Monis - also known as Sheik Haron - has been named as the gunman holding up to 15 people hostage in a Sydney café

Man Haron Monis – also known as Sheik Haron – has been named as the gunman holding up to 15 people hostage in a Sydney café

Heavily armed police remained posted around the cafe as night fell and the hostage drama continued into the night

Heavily armed police remained posted around the cafe as night fell and the hostage drama continued into the night. Inside, the remaining hostages were brought food and were observed by witnesses as looking ‘pained’

The hostage-taker was charged as an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife – who was allegedly stabbed and set on fire on a flight of stairs in her western Sydney apartment block in November 2013. The man’s current partner was charged with murder but they both received bail as the case was deemed too weak.

He was arrested in April this year for the sexual assault of a 27-year-old woman in 2002 after luring her to his clinic following claims he was as an expert in astrology, meditation and black magic, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Monis was slapped with an additional 40 charges in October after more victims came forward alleging incidents took place in his spiritual healing clinic in Station Street in Wentworthville, western Sydney.

High-profile Sydney Muslim leader Jamal Rifi told Daily Mail Australia he knew of the gunman but not on a personal level.

‘What he expressed did not reflect the Muslim community which is why he is not part of the larger Muslim community and that’s why he does not belong to a mainstream mosque,’ he said.

‘He wanted his name known and may want some gratification from the reaction to this’

The hostages were seized by the gunman on Monday morning after he stormed the Sydney cafe. Several captives made an early courageous break for freedom but it was thought that about 15 hostages remained in the cafe through the night.

During the stand-off with police, three videos were released on YouTube, believed to be of three female hostages putting the gunman’s demands to police. Those demands included the police bringing an ISIS flag to the cafe and insisting on a conversation with Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Daily Mail Australia decided not to air the disturbing footage which was taken down during the night. The gunman’s name was released soon after midnight, after senior police gave their approval to various media outlets.

The seige in the Lindt cafe in Martin Place on Monday follows an unsuccessful attempt to have the charges overturned linked to the hate mail he sent to the families of dead Australian soldiersin the High Court on Friday

The seige in the Lindt cafe in Martin Place on Monday follows an unsuccessful attempt to have the charges overturned linked to the hate mail he sent to the families of dead Australian soldiersin the High Court on Friday

The drama began unfolding Monday morning when the gunman entered the cafe, located in one of busiest plazas in Sydney’s central business district, and pulled a shotgun from a blue carry bag and disabled the doors.

Soon afterwards, hostages were seen with their hands pressed against the windows holding up the Islamic Shahada flag. It is an emblem of extremist group Jabhat al-Nusra, which is fighting the Assad government in Syria. The man was described as wearing a headband with Arabic writing on it.

Scores of police rushed to the scene, evacuating surrounding buildings and closing off part of the city. The scene sent shockwaves across Australia, where terror attacks have rarely touched home soil.

Paramilitary police armed with automatic rifles spent Monday surrounding the cafe, with senior commanders saying they were prepared to take a patient approach to the siege, hoping to end it through negotiation with the gunman.

A total of five hostages, including barista Elly Chen, managed to escape the cafe by scrambling out a side door about seven hours into the drama. Fear etched on their faces, they ran into the arms of waiting police.

It is understood the hostages escaped from the cafe, rather than being released by their captor. One former male hostage was taken to nearby St Vincent’s Hospital, in Sydney’s inner suburbs, and is being treated for a pre-existing condition.

The gunman flew into a rage when he realised some of his captives had escaped.

‘The gunman could be seen from here getting extremely agitated, shouting at remaining hostages,’ tweeted journalist Chris Reason.

The light inside the building went off through the night but police would not reveal whether it was a law enforcement or hostage-taker tactic. Mr Reason said he could see the gunman rotating the hostages through positions in the store’s window.

‘From inside Martin Place we can see the faces of hostages – pained, strained, eyes red and raw,’ he recounted. Food and water was also being delivered to the prisoners from the cafe’s back kitchens.

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Arriving as a refugee in Australia in 1996, the hostage-taker was charged as an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife - who was allegedly stabbed and set on fire on a flight of stairs in her western Sydney apartment block in November 2013

Arriving as a refugee in Australia in 1996, the hostage-taker was charged as an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife – who was allegedly stabbed and set on fire on a flight of stairs in her western Sydney apartment block in November 2013

A young female employee came running out of the Lindt cafe shortly before 5pm and was sheltered by waiting police

Another distraught female worker, cafe barista Elly Chen, bolted from the shop before taking cover with police

A total of five hostages have now escaped Lindt cafe – it’s believed they escaped and were not released

One of the young female employees was visibly upset as she grabbed hold of armed police

One of the young female employees was visibly upset as she grabbed hold of armed police

'Omg Elly!! So glad you're OK': Ms Chen, pictured, was the fifth hostage, scrambling from the cafe with her hands in the air

‘Omg Elly!! So glad you’re OK’: Ms Chen, pictured, was the fifth hostage, scrambling from the cafe with her hands in the air

Freedom: Ms Chen was helped to a cover immediately after she burst from the Lindt Cafe store

Freedom: Ms Chen was helped to a cover immediately after she burst from the Lindt Cafe store

Daily Mail Australia understands a 25-year-old female fashion industry worker and two female baristas aged in their 30s were among that number.

Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said overnight that police would do whatever it takes for the situation to be peacefully resolved.

Sydney was eerily quiet on Monday night. Office buildings went into lockdown earlier this morning, Martin Place train station – a central thoroughfare for workers – was shuttered. Events at the Opera House, such as a performance of the Nutcracker, were cancelled as the city icon was evacuated.

Hundreds of heavily armed police, operating under unprecedented Task Force Pioneer counter-terrorism protocols, were scouring the city, completely isolating the darkened cafe.

Two terrified men were spotted fleeing the Lindt cafe in Martin Place shortly before 3.45pm

Two terrified men were spotted fleeing the Lindt cafe in Martin Place shortly before 3.45pm

Two men, believed to be customers, ran around a corner and hid behind heavily armed police after six hours inside the cafe

Two men, believed to be customers, ran around a corner and hid behind heavily armed police after six hours inside the cafe

A male employee wearing an apron frantically ran out of a side fire exit and hid behind police

A male employee wearing an apron frantically ran out of a side fire exit and hid behind police

BThe three men are believed to have escaped from the cafe after six hours

Many remain: Around 10 hostages are thought to remain inside the Lindt chocolate cafe 

Many remain: Around 10 hostages are thought to remain inside the Lindt chocolate cafe

On Monday morning, columnist Chris Kenny, who was in the shop about 20 minutes before the siege began, said he understood the automatic glass sliding doors had been disabled after the gunman stormed the store.

‘I did speak to a couple of people who saw a bit more of this unfold than I did,’ he said. ‘One woman said she tried to go into the shop just after I came out with my takeaway coffee but the doors wouldn’t open.

‘So obviously whoever is doing this has disabled the automatic glass sliding doors to stop anyone else going in and she said immediately she could see there was a weapon.

‘The woman was quite frantic but very clear what she was telling (the police).

‘I know the faces of the people who are sitting there enjoying a morning coffee.’

2GB radio host Ray Hadley said he had three tense telephone conversations with one of the hostages inside the cafe and he could hear the gunman giving demands.

The hostage asked to be put to air live following the instructions of the gunman. However, Hadley refused saying he didn’t have the expertise to deal with the situation.

‘There are some people who are not well. They’ve been in there for five hours, they’re distraught,’ he said.

‘I’m not in a position to comply with requests that have been made, I can’t.

‘The media can’t play a role in negotiating with people purporting to be from Islamic State holding hostages in a cafe in Sydney. This is the job of authorities to solve htis problem.

‘They want us to say things that we simply can’t say.’

Witnesses described the chaotic scenes in the legal, business and media centre as it was shut down and scores of heavily armed police surrounded the Lindt building.

All of the chocolate chain’s stores around Sydney were closed following the incident, in an act of camaraderie.

Dozens of people are being held hostage by a terrorist who stormed into a central Sydney cafe with a gun and forced crying women to hold a black Islamic flag up to the window

Dozens of people are being held hostage by a terrorist who stormed into a central Sydney cafe with a gun and forced crying women to hold a black Islamic flag up to the window

A man believed to be one of the hostage-takers was filmed wearing a black headband covered in Arabic inside the cafe

A man believed to be one of the hostage-takers was filmed wearing a black headband covered in Arabic inside the cafe

Terrified customers and employees were among those standing with their hands against the window at the Lindt cafe in Sydney

Terrified customers and employees were among those standing with their hands against the window at the Lindt cafe in Sydney

A hostage could be seen pressing their hands up against the window of the cafe

A hostage could be seen pressing their hands up against the window of the cafe

One blonde-haired hostage was pictured inside the cafe through the glass doors standing in the middle of the shop

One blonde-haired hostage was pictured inside the cafe through the glass doors standing in the middle of the shop

SYDNEY SIEGE TIMELINE

9.45am – A number of hostages held inside a cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place with an Islamic flag pressed up against a window.

10.14am – Police establish a 150m exclusion zone around the cafe with specialist police outside the shop.

10.55am – The flag being displayed appears to be the Shahada flag which has been adopted by extremist groups such as the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front.

11.40am – Channel Seven air footage of alleged armed offender. He is middle aged with a salt and pepper beard, wearing a headband with Islamic writing.

11.51am – NSW Police try to make contact with the people inside the cafe. They advise workers who are trapped in buildings inside the police cordon to stay away from windows.

1.30pm – NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione says they had moved to a ‘footing’ similar to dealing with a terrorist attack.

1.55pm – NSW Premier Mike Baird says Sydney is being tested today, but ‘we will remain a democratic society’

2.45pm – Lindt Chocolat Cafe Australia thank the public for their support via Facebook, saying they are ‘deeply concerned over this serious incident’

3.37pm – Three male hostages run out of the cafe.

3.50pm – NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn confirms negotiators have spoken with a gunman.

5.00pm – Two female Lindt workers leave the cafe.

Police kept their guns raised on the fire exit after an employee unexpectedly ran from the cafe

Police kept their guns raised on the fire exit after an employee unexpectedly ran from the cafe

Police are stationed behind a ballistic shield with weapons drawn outside the fire door where a hostage escaped from

Police are stationed behind a ballistic shield with weapons drawn outside the fire door where a hostage escaped from

Police officers were spotted climbing through the first floor window above the Lindt cafe to help evacuate those inside

Police officers were spotted climbing through the first floor window above the Lindt cafe to help evacuate those inside

Scores of police have surrounded the cafe in Martin Place amid claims the terrorists are also armed with a machete and may have explosives

Scores of police have surrounded the cafe in Martin Place amid claims the terrorists are also armed with a machete and may have explosives

Armed police have sealed off streets around the cafe and Martin Place station is shut

Armed police have sealed off streets around the cafe and Martin Place station is shut

Armed police have sealed off streets around the cafe and Martin Place station is shut

Police heavily armed with weapons have covering all corners of Martin Place 

Police heavily armed with weapons have covering all corners of Martin Place

Thousands of workers have been evacuated from the buildings in Martin Place and have been directed to another area

Thousands of workers have been evacuated from the buildings in Martin Place and have been directed to another area

People in the area encompassing Hunter, George, Elizabeth and Macquarie streets bordering Martin Place have been directed to remain indoors and away from open windows

People in the area encompassing Hunter, George, Elizabeth and Macquarie streets bordering Martin Place have been directed to remain indoors and away from open windows

Emergency services have shut down the area surrounding Martin Place as they continue the operation 

Emergency services have shut down the area surrounding Martin Place as they continue the operation

A Lindt cafe employee, who was due to start her shift just an hour after the Sydney hostage drama unfolded, said she was ‘shaking with fear’ when the gunman arrived.

Kathryn Chee, a chocolatier at the cafe said she meant to turn up early for her 11am shift because the business had been so busy in the lead up to Christmas.

‘It shakes me to the bone,’ Ms Chee told the ABC. She said her colleagues who are now hostages are ‘people who I hold like another family’.

‘It’s good I’m not there but I wish I could be there for them. That could be me standing there.’

Ms Chee said the young woman seen in footage holding an Islamic flag pressed against the window had ‘a look of sheer horror on her face’.

She says the woman is a thoughtful colleague who bakes treats for people’s birthdays.

Ms Chee said the male hostage seen in the TV footage is a funny guy who jokes with the customers.

Police have handcuffed a man 200m from the cafe with reports an officer has hit foot on what appears to be a small black handgun

Police have handcuffed a man 200m from the cafe with reports an officer has hit foot on what appears to be a small black handgun

Hostages: People could be seen with their hands pressed against the window of the Lindt cafe in Sydney

Hostages: People could be seen with their hands pressed against the window of the Lindt cafe in Sydney

Police have shut down Martin Place train station and office buildings in the area have been evacuated

Police have shut down Martin Place train station and office buildings in the area have been evacuated

Prime Minister Tony Abbott described the incident as ‘deeply concerning’ but said police were well equipped to respond

Officials have also evacuated the Opera House after reports of a suspicious device

Other areas of Sydney are feeling a heavy police presence as the siege at Martin Place continues

Other areas of Sydney are feeling a heavy police presence as the siege at Martin Place continues

Witnesses have described the chaotic scenes in Martin Place as the area was shut down and scores of police surrounded the building

Witnesses have described the chaotic scenes in Martin Place as the area was shut down and scores of police surrounded the building

Witnesses have described the chaotic scenes in Martin Place as the area was shut down and scores of police surrounded the building

The Seven Network newsroom, which is in a building opposite the cafe, was among the first to be evacuated, immediately followed by the nearby Westpac building and the Reserve Bank of Australia. Surrounding buildings soon followed or went into lockdown.

Even the city’s courts, including the venerable Downing Centre building, were sealed for the day, with police quickly vacating the areas.

Rosemary Healion, who works at Frederick Jordan Chambers, told Daily Mail Australia on Monday morning that ‘a couple hundred’ of her colleagues were inside at the time of the attack.

‘My colleagues are still in there. They’re trying to get them out now,’ Ms Healion told Daily Mail Australia.

Ms Healion said her office was on the ground floor, the same one as Lindt and they had been pushed behind the office’s reception area.

‘I’m so so worried as you would be. I was about to walk into the cafe. I get coffee there all the time.’

Window cleaner, David Wilson, managed to get a birds-eye-view of police swarming into Martin Place as he and a colleague cleaned the windows of a building across from Lindt.

‘We were looking around and there were cops running around and guns drawn. Some people came out, they looked like just coffee drinkers and that was about all we saw,’ Mr Wilson said, adding that his colleague’s first response was to get out his phone and start filming.

Rodrigo Neryt was arriving at Channel Seven for his first day of work experience when he heard screaming out the front of the cafe.

‘I was at the corner when everything started. I saw people yelling and screaming and two police cars arriving at the scene. I saw what looked like a black ISIS flag and they were holding it up’.

Armed police evacuated office staff next to the Lindt cafe on Monday afternoon

Armed police evacuated office staff next to the Lindt cafe on Monday afternoon

Police helped direct employees who were in lockdown in a building near the cafe under siege

Police helped direct employees who were in lockdown in a building near the cafe under siege

Police in white jumpsuits were helping people climb from the offices on the level above the Lindt cafe

Women help an elderly lady as they are evacuated by NSW Police from Martin Place

Women help an elderly lady as they are evacuated by NSW Police from Martin Place

Three women were pictured rushing through Philip Street past armed police as they fled Martin Place

Three women were pictured rushing through Philip Street past armed police as they fled Martin Place

It is unclear how many people are involved in the siege in a Lindt cafe in Martin Place but people could be seen with their hands pressed against the windows (second window)

It is unclear how many people are involved in the siege in a Lindt cafe in Martin Place but people could be seen with their hands pressed against the windows (second window)

At least two gunmen are involved in the siege but dozens of armed police have sealed off the streets surrounding the site

At least two gunmen are involved in the siege but dozens of armed police have sealed off the streets surrounding the site

WHAT IS THE SHAHADA FLAG?

Held up to a window by terrified hostages, a black flag covered in white Arabic was the first sign that the Martin Place siege could be linked to extremist Islam.

Witnesses initially believed that it was the standard of ISIS. However, close examination revealed it was in fact the Shahada flag, bearing the words ‘There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah’

It is used by the extremist group, Jabhat al Nusra, which is fighting the Assad government in Syria.

But it has meaning for all Muslims, in that the Shahada is the Islamic Creed, one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which is recited by Muslims when they pray.

The flag displayed at the Lindt cafe

The flag displayed at the Lindt cafe

John Edwards works across the road from the cafe on the ninth floor of 53 Martin Place.

He said every floor of the building had been cleared about 11.15am.

‘We were evacuated out of the building from the basement,’ Mr Edwards told Daily Mail Australia.

‘All we were told by security was to get out.’

Lindt Australia issued a statement about the siege on its Facebook page.

‘We are deeply concerned over this serious incident and our thoughts and prayers are with the staff and customers involved and all their friends and families,’ they said.

Earlier this year, it was reported that Martin Place was the planned location of a terror plot. It was alleged in September that Omarjan Azari, the 22-year-old Sydney man arrested on terrorism charges, was planning a public beheading there.

The alleged terror plot, mentioned in a conversation between now deceased Australian terrorism recruiter in Syria, Mohammad Ali Barylei and Azari, involved selecting a member of the public at random, beheading them and then covering their body in a flag.

The whole incident was going to be filmed, and then used as propaganda for the Islamic State cause. Federal prosecutors said the alleged terror plot was ‘clearly designed to shock, horror and terrify the community’

Police Prosecutor Michael Allnutt said that Azari had made a threat which involved a ‘random selection of persons to execute’ during a telephone conversation with Baryalei.

Azari was arrested on September 18 and charged with preparing for an act of terrorism.

He is due in court this week for a bail application.

Thousands of office workers have relocated from Martin Place to Sydney's Hyde Park

Thousands of office workers have relocated from Martin Place to Sydney’s Hyde Park

Patients from the nearby Sydney Hospital patients were also evacuated alongside office workers

Patients from the nearby Sydney Hospital patients were also evacuated alongside office workers

Police are guarding the area in Hyde Park where people are congregating after evacuating 

Police are guarding the area in Hyde Park where people are congregating after evacuating

People evacuated from offices in Martin Place have been told to congregate in Hyde Park

People evacuated from offices in Martin Place have been told to congregate in Hyde Park

Martin Place is one of Sydney's busiest streets and is at the centre of the CBD

Martin Place is one of Sydney’s busiest streets and is at the centre of the CBD

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2873855/Gunman-takes-hostages-cafe-Sydney.html

Lindt Chocolat Cafe hostage drama in Martin Place, Sydney

December 16, 2014 – 3:01AM

Daniel Fallon

Siege hostages ‘our number one priority’

“We are doing all we can to set you free” is the message from the Premier and Police Commissioner to those held hostage.

1:24am: The man who is holding more than a dozen people hostage and placed Sydney’s CBD into lockdown is no stranger to the NSW police or the judiciary.

Self-described cleric, Man Haron Monis, 50, first came to attention of police when he penned poisonous letters to the family of dead Australian soldiers.

You can read the full story on Man Haron Monis here.

SIege gunman: Man Haron Monis.SIege gunman: Man Haron Monis. Photo: Nick Ralston

1:21am: As we enter day two of the hostage drama at Martin Place, we have kicked off a new live article for our readers. We’ll be switching off this live blog, and our reporters will be keeping you informed in our new blog.

You can keep up to date with all our coverage throughout Tuesday here. 

12:37am: The hostage siege at Lindt Cafe in Martin Place has been given prominence on the front pages of newspapers in the United States where there is great sensitivity to any terrorist-related attacks. The siege in Sydney follows ‘the lone-wolf’ attack on Canada’s war memorial and parliament in Ottawa by an Islamic State sympathiser.

12:12am: Police continue to keep watch and maintain their positions outside the Lindt Chocolate Cafe.

A NSW Tactical Operations Group police officer maintains his position at the scene in Martin Place, Sydney.A NSW Tactical Operations Group police officer maintains his position at the scene in Martin Place, Sydney. Photo: Andrew Meares

11:54pm yesterday:

Muslim leaders brace for backlash

A coalition of Muslim groups has issued a statement expressing their “utter shock and horror” over the siege at Martin Place and “urging everyone to stay calm”.

“We reject any attempt to take the innocent life of any human being, or to instil fear and terror into their hearts,” the statement says.

Read the full story by Anne Davies and Tim Elliott here: Muslim leaders brace for backlash

11:48pm yesterday:

Overreaction from fear is a measure of a terrorist’s success

Peter Hartcher comments on the siege that has captured media attention around the world:

“Why do political activists turn to terrorism? Australia gave the world a lesson today.

They turn to terrorism to win attention, to cause fear, and to use that fear to produce an overreaction. That overreaction is the measure of their success.”

Read the full story here: Overreaction from fear is a measure of a terrorist’s success

11:28pm yesterday: Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn has commended the public for its patience during the ongoing operation.

“You, the community, made our job much easier than it could have been,” Deputy Commissioner Burn said.

“We only hope that co-operation and understanding continues tomorrow as we work to bring about a peaceful resolution to this situation.”

Bus services will run according to regular schedules, although some routes will be diverted around the affected area.

Train services will operate normally although Martin Place station remains closed.

People intending to travel to the Sydney CBD, away from the cordoned off area, are advised to go ahead with their plans.

Those affected by the operation are advised to contact their employers, monitor media reports and seek advice via the NSW Police website and social media platforms.

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn has commended members of the public for the cooperation they have shown police during the siege in Martin Place.NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn has commended members of the public for the cooperation they have shown police during the siege in Martin Place. Photo: Les Smith

11:16pm yesterday Daniel Fallon:

Public urged to go about its business as usual: police

Police are urging the public to go about their business as usual tomorrow.

Officers will continue to maintain a perimeter around a cafe at the corner of Martin Place and Elizabeth streets overnight where a man is holding a number of hostages.

Traffic and Highway Patrol police have cordoned-off parts of Hunter, Macquarie, King and Elizabeth streets.

  • Elizabeth Street between Hunter and King Streets – closed to all traffic
  • Elizabeth Street – northbound between Market and King Street – closed to all traffic
  • Phillip Street – between King and Hunter Streets – closed to all traffic
  • King Street – between Elizabeth and Phillip Streets – closed to all traffic
  • Macquarie Street – between St James Road and Hunter Street – closed to all traffic

10:50pm yesterday: Elly Chen, one of the employees who fled the Lindt Cafe at about 5pm on Monday, was a talented student and athlete, according to her social media accounts.

Friends and relatives flooded her Facebook page with messages of relief that she had made it from the building.

A waitress, believed to be Elly Chen, flees Lindt cafe on Monday afternoon.A waitress, believed to be Elly Chen, flees Lindt cafe on Monday afternoon. Photo: Jason Reed/Reuters

10:21pm yesterday: The hostages inside the cafe have now been there for more than 12 hours.

Here is a timeline of events from earlier in the day.

9.44am: Man seen entering Lindt Cafe, carrying blue sports bag with gun inside.

9.45am: Police called to scene.

9:50am: Police clear area and cordon off Martin Place.

10am: Cafe staff and customers pressed against windows with hands raised.

10:02am: Hostages forced to hold up flag with Islamic script.

10:45am: Sydney Opera House evacuated.

11:20am: Prime Minister Tony Abbott announces national security committee of cabinet convened for briefings.

About 1pm: Talkback host Ray Hadley claims to have spoken to a hostage who spoke under instruction of a gunman.

1:53pm: Premier Mike Baird says “we are being tested in Sydney today”.

1:58pm: NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione says “at least one” armed offender is holding an undisclosed number of hostages.

3:35pm: Three people – one staff member and two others – seen running from cafe.

4:04pm: NSW Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn says the number of hostages is fewer than 30

4:59pm: Two female employees of Lindt run from cafe.

8:20pm: Premier Baird and Police Commissioner Scipione foreshadow extension of hostage crisis into Tuesday. Scipione says the Lindt Cafe is the only building in the city police are now interested in.

Martin Place Siege exclusion zoneMartin Place Siege exclusion zone Photo: NSW government

10:11pm yesterday: This is a map of the exclusion zone around Martin Place in Sydney’s central business district, distributed by the NSW Government.

Premier Mike Baird has requested those who work inside the zone stay at home tomorrow.

10:06pm yesterday: Here is the Herald’s editorial on today’s siege, running online and in tomorrow’s newspaper.

The next test is to ensure we see this sad event for what it is – and what it is not. While there were a number of instances on Monday when Sydneysiders and the media jumped to conclusions about the link between this event and  other incidents around the city, in most cases people were rightfully reluctant to jump to conclusions about the motivations of the gunman or the extent of his plans.

Nonetheless, a temptation lingers in the community to catastrophise about such criminal behaviour; to believe that because we have endured one siege from at least one deranged individual, we are at risk of many more. Rationally, that is highly unlikely.

9:58pm yesterday:

A recap on the siege in Martin Place

  • Hours after five hostages escaped from the Lindt cafe, one of the remaining women switched off the lights inside.
  • Premier Mike Baird has asked Sydneysiders to go about their day as usual on Tuesday
  • There is an exclusion zone near the cafe, bordered by Pitt, Elizabeth, Hunter and King Streets.
  • NSW Police have activated Task Force Pioneer, which they use in terrorism related incidents.
  • A coalition of Muslim groups has expressed their shock and horror at the siege. They have urged calm.
  • Sydneysiders have united under the hashtag #illridewithyou offering company to Muslims wearing religious garments as they travel in the city.

Suzanna Gratia Hupp explains meaning of 2nd Amendment!

“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed….”- Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, 1787

On October 16, 1991, Hennard drove his 1987 Ford Ranger pickup truck through the front window of a Luby’s Cafeteria at 1705 East Central Texas Expressway in Killeen, yelled “This is what Bell County has done to me!”, then opened fire on the restaurant’s patrons and staff with a Glock 17 pistol and later a Ruger P89. About 80 people were in the restaurant at the time. He stalked, shot, and killed 23 people and wounded another 20 before committing suicide. During the shooting, he approached Suzanna Gratia Hupp and her parents. Hupp had actually brought a handgun to the Luby’s Cafeteria that day, but had left it in her vehicle due to the laws in force at the time, forbidding citizens from carrying firearms. According to her later testimony in favor of Missouri’s HB-1720 bill[1] and in general, after she realized that her firearm was not in her purse, but “a hundred feet away in [her] car”, her father charged at Hennard in an attempt to subdue him, only to be gunned down; a short time later, her mother was also shot and killed. (Hupp later expressed regret for abiding by the law in question by leaving her firearm in her car, rather than keeping it on her person. One patron, Tommy Vaughn, threw himself through a plate-glass window to allow others to escape. Hennard allowed a mother and her four-year-old child to leave. He reloaded several times and still had ammunition remaining when he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head after being cornered and wounded by police.

Reacting to the massacre, in 1995 the Texas Legislature passed a shall-issue gun law allowing Texas citizens with the required permit to carry concealed weapons. The law had been campaigned for by Suzanna Hupp, who was present at the Luby’s massacre and both of whose parents were shot and killed. Hupp testified across the country in support of concealed-handgun laws, and was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1996. The law was signed by then-Governor George W. Bush and became part of a broad movement to allow U.S. citizens to easily obtain permits to carry concealed weapons.

  • Map: Where Is ‘Open Carry’ Legal?

    • By RANIMOLLA

    As people on both sides of the debate regarding open carry—the practice of carrying firearms in plain view—have been turning up the heat, more companies are being forced to take a side.

    Gun-rights advocates see the practice as a way to normalize gun ownership and deter crime, while gun-control activists believe carrying guns in stores and restaurants is disruptive to the public and encourages violence.

    Recently, TargetStarbucks and Chipotle have asked their patrons not to bring their guns. After petitions by gun-control groups such as Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Kroger said it would uphold local and state laws in the 34 states it operates.

    Carrying a firearm in a concealed manner is legal in all states, but open carry has more restrictions, especially for handguns. Though federal law doesn’t restrict the open carrying of handguns in public, several states—including California, Florida, Illinois, New York, South Carolina and Texas—ban the practice, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Thirteen states require a special permit or license to open carry. The remaining 31 states don’t require one. The laws are different for long guns, which are commonly associated with hunting.

    In a Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012 photo, Rick Ector carries his Smith and Wesson 9mm as he prepares to pump gas in Detroit. Ector is pushing to make Detroit an “open carry” city and organizes public dinners and picnics where each legally licensed attendee wears a handgun. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

    Why is open carry causing so much of a stir when concealed carry is so widespread?
    “Concealed carry—you don’t know who’s doing it and it doesn’t cause as much concern as open carry,” said Laura Cutilletta, senior staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “One is a danger you know, and one is a danger you don’t know.”
    According to Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action,”The National Rifle Association strongly supports conceal carry and open carry, and we will continue to lead the charge to protect and expand the right to self defense for law abiding Americans throughout the country.”

  • http://blogs.wsj.com/numbers/map-where-is-open-carry-legal-1715/

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