#AceNewsServices UPDATE: AUSTRALIA:Dec.15 – Sheik Man Haron Monis, an Islamic ‘spiritual healer’ who is facing charges of sexual assault and being an accessory to murder, has been identified as the man who has taken civilians hostage in a Sydney café, according to local media citing police sources.

“There’s no operational reason for that name to be held back by us now,” an anonymous police source told Reuters.

The Iranian-born 50-year-old fled to Australia in 1996, but came to prominence after 2007, when he began sending “hate mail” to families of soldiers, who died while fighting in Iraq.

Despite claiming to be a peace advocate, and even chaining himself to a courthouse, Monis was sentenced to 300 hours of community service last year.

Since then, his charge sheet has included much graver offences.

In December last year, Monis was accused of helping his current partner, Amirah Droudis, to murder his ex-wife, Noleen Hayson Pal. The woman had been stabbed several times and set alight in a Sydney apartment in April 2013.

A hostage runs towards a police officer outside Lindt cafe, where other hostages are being held, in Martin Place in central Sydney December 15, 2014. (Reuters/Jason Reed)

A hostage runs towards a police officer outside Lindt cafe, where other hostages are being held, in Martin Place in central Sydney December 15, 2014. (Reuters/Jason Reed)

Monis had been locked in a custody battle with Pal, and prosecutors say he staged a heart attack, car accident and a robbery to create an alibi on the day of the murder.

READ MORE: #Self-ish: Sydney siege selfies spark social media backlash

In April this year, Monis, who was on bail, was re-arrested after multiple reports of sexual abuse emerged.

Between 2000 and 2002, Monis styled himself as an “expert in astrology, numerology, meditation and black magic.” More than 40 women have alleged that he used this as an opportunity to sexually assault vulnerable clients, who came to him for help.

Hostages run past a police officer (C) near Lindt Cafe in Martin Place in central Sydney December 16, 2014. (Reuters/Jason Reed)

Hostages run past a police officer (C) near Lindt Cafe in Martin Place in central Sydney December 16, 2014. (Reuters/Jason Reed)

Despite police concerns that Monis could attempt to extract revenge against his accusers, the preacher was once again released prior to his hearing.

Monis, who accumulated more than 14,000 followers on his Facebook page before it was shut down on Monday, accused the government of systematic persecution.

Monis was due to face trial for both sets of charges next year.

On Monday he walked into Lindt cafe in central Sydney, reportedly brandishing a gun. More than a dozen hostages were thought to remain inside, before police began a storm as night fell.



#crimes, #hostages, #iranian, #violence, #women


#AceNewsServices – AUSTRALIA:Dec.15 – Up to 40 hostages are being held by an unknown individual at a café in central Sydney, Australia. A black jihadist flag was reportedly spotted at the site. Authorities have cleared the airspace over the city center to make way for police helicopters.

Video from FreeNews Australia

Monday, December 15

10:18 GMT:

Australian Twitter users have shown their support for Muslim population by offering to ride with them on buses and trains, or giving them a lift to work to ensure their safety.

The campaign was dubbed #illridewithyou.

“…and the (presumably) Muslim woman sitting next to me on the train silently removes her hijab,”wrote one Twitter user, “I ran after her at the train station. I said ‘put it back on. I’ll walk with you.”

10:14 GMT:

09:57 GMT:

09:55 GMT:

The Australian Muslim Community has issued a statement, saying that it “shares with fellow Sydneysiders their utter shock and horror at the unprecedented scenes emerging from the Lindt Cafe in Martin Place this morning.”

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

“Any such despicable act only serves to play into the agendas of those who seek to destroy the goodwill of the people of Australia and to further damage, and ridicule the religion of Islam.”

09:47 GMT:

09:42 GMT:

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione delivered a message to all the hostages kept at the café: “We are doing all we can to set you free.” He added that he doesn’t think there are other locations involved at the moment.

09:41 GMT:

“My call goes out to the state to pray for them [hostages], to pray for their families,” the premier of New South Wales, Mike Baird, told journalists.

09:39 GMT:

“We have the very best negotiators in the world working on this right now,” NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione told journalists. However, he couldn’t confirm whether the five hostages escaped or were released by the gunman.

“I want to praise Sydneysiders for what they’ve done today,” he added, “There’s no need for people to be in and around that area.”

“Our plan and only goal is to get those people out of that building. We have got contact with him [the gunman].”

09:34 GMT:

09:34 GMT:

#hostages, #jihadist, #police


#AceWorldNews – COLUMBIA – Nov.18 – Rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) came under heavy international pressure on Monday to free a general as the government suspended peace talks after his kidnapping, AFP said.

Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC)

Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) 

The EU urged FARC to free their hostages immediately and unconditionally, and the European Commission said the incident “seriously put at risk the continuation” of the peace talks to end Colombia’s 50-year-old conflict.

General Ruben Alzate disappeared in a remote region on the Pacific coast on Sunday, in what the government denounced as a kidnapping by FARC.


#general, #government, #hostages, #kidnapping, #peace-talks

‘ Forty Nine Hostages Held by Islamic State Freed ‘

#AceWorldNews – TURKEY (Ankara) – September 20 – Forty-nine Turkish citizens who had been held hostages by Islamic State (formerly ISIS) militants have been released, said Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

They were freed on Saturday and are already in Turkey, the official said offering no details on the circumstances of the release.

“Today at 5 a.m. we brought our citizens who were detained in Iraq to our country. From my heart, I thank the families who maintained their dignity,” Davutoglu said on his Twitter account.

The group, including diplomats, was captured in the Turkish Consulate in Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul on June 11, when the Islamist militants were advancing on the Iraqi cities in the north of the country.


#anakara, #hostages, #iraq, #isis, #islamic-state, #mosul, #turkey