Results tagged “Australia”
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Prime Minister Abbott ordered an investigation into the Dec. 16 siege at a Sydney cafe by Man Haron Monis, an Iranian Sunni extremist who had been accused of violent crimes and was out on bail, that left three people dead and several others wounded. Iran claimed that it had asked Australia to extradite Monis 12 years ago.
Police stormed a cafe in downtown Sydney where Man Haron Monis, an Iranian self-styled cleric and known criminal, was holding hostages for 16 hours after forcing them to display an Islamist flag at the cafe window. Monis and two hostages were killed and a number of hostages were injured; others managed to escape. During the siege, Monis, a convert from Shia to Sunni Islam, had demanded that an Islamic State flag be delivered to the cafe.
A number of businesses in central Sydney were evacuated as a hostage situation unfolded in a downtown cafe, where hostages inside were forced to display an Islamist flag at the window. Three hostages have escaped. In a separate matter, two men who had been detained during counterterrorism raids in September were charged; one of them is accused of funding a terrorist group.
A Sydney court rejected appeals by five members of the Pendennis terrorist cell against their convictions and sentences. Another member of the cell, Khaled Sharrouf, left for Syria last year to join the Islamic State. Ahmad Saiyer Naizmand, an Afghan who become an Australian citizen in 2007, pled guilty on Dec. 8 to stealing a passport; he was arrested in August while trying to travel to Syria to fight alongside Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar for the Islamic State.
Immigration Minister Morrison reached out to the family of four brothers from Sydney said to have gone to Turkey to join the Islamic State in Syria; he also urged citizens to call a hotline to report any suspected terrorist activities. Over 60 Australians are known to be currently fighting abroad.
Banks are scaling back on overseas remittance services as government seeks to cut off terrorist funding sources; the New South Wales Crime Commission's latest report revealed that in one case that may have involved financing of terrorism in Syria and Iraq, a single remitter sent over $265 million overseas during an eight-year period. Ali al-Hasanat, an Australian resident with a criminal record who was deported to Jordan, is facing trial in Jordan for threatening to kill Australian tourists and bomb the Australian Embassy in Amman.
Prime Minister Abbott said that 200 Australian special forces troops will be moving into Iraq; they had been waiting for clearance in the UAE for over a month. The Defense Ministry declined to speculate on further troop commitments.
Authorities are seeking to determine the veracity of reports that an Australian man has died in Syria fighting for the Islamic State; if confirmed, it will be the third such incident in a month. The Islamic State and the Al Nusrah Front have seized thousands of hectares of cropland in Syria and Iraq developed by a longterm multimillion-dollar Australian government program.
A Shia Muslim man was shot outside an Islamic center in southwest Sydney, reportedly by local Islamic State supporters. Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar, two Australians who joined the Islamic State in Syria in late 2013, have been linked to Australian construction kingpin George Alex, who is currently under investigation for corrupt business practices.