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Old 12-14-2014, 10:29 PM   #1
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Terrorist holds Hostages in Sydney

I`d like this to stay in "Off Topic", so no OTDE stuff please.
You may have heard an armed person is holding maybe 13 hostages in a city cafe in the CBD, run by the chocolate maker Lindt. Hostages were observed with their arms raised palms pressed against the glass window. A black flag with white writing, resembling the IS flag but possibly inaccurately, has been displayed. A major police operation is under way, city buildings have been evacuated, and streets closed. Public transport is partly affected. So far the Police say there has been no direct contact with the person involved, but there are suggestions he may have contacted the Press, another that he seeks to contact the Prime Minister (like the US President).
Some commentators suggest the lack of anything bad happening despite the siege having stated 5+ hours ago may indicate a better outcome, but who knows. I`m aware Islamists don`t support alcohol, but coffee and chocolate? We can`t know where this may go. May it end peacefully.
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:11 PM   #2
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I guess all we can do is wait for more information that may explain what is going on and hope the hostages are safe.
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:16 PM   #3
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It was reported by our local news affiliate stations on the West Coast USA. Wish nothing but the best for a safe resolution.
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:28 PM   #4
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We were blissfully unaware, as we were out having dinner, until Bruce pointed it out. Following it on the CNN site now but so far no updates.
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Old 12-15-2014, 01:15 AM   #5
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2 customers and one staffer came out of the cafe about 1.5 hours ago, and a further two, minutes ago. They appeared uninjured running out,possibly escaping rather than released, and scared, sheltering behind Police. A Lindt spokesman is quoted as saying the estimated number of staff and customers could have been as high as 50 (Sydneysiders love a coffee on the way to work, mid morning, all day really). Later reports are <30 persons
The Prime Minister is quoted as saying the event could be political. A witness says there was a tall middle aged man of Middle East appearance with a backpack and bag containing a long barrel gun in the cafe. Police evaded questions about whether there were explosives present, they evaded lots of questions, so whether there are or not is anyone`s guess.
Understand I`m just reporting what I`m hearing. Accuracy is uncertain. I`m wondering/hoping if this will turn out ok, that the person is not well organized, hopefully alone, not entirely in control, in view of possible escapes and no known injuries.So far, so good.
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Old 12-15-2014, 06:41 AM   #6
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Prayers for a safe resolution.
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Old 12-15-2014, 01:33 PM   #7
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Well, it's over but we don't yet know the injuries and deaths other than information says the man holding the others hostage was killed. I hope the hostages were ok but it appears at least some left on stretchers and there may be deaths.
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:25 PM   #8
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Thank you for the kind thoughts. Sadly,Americans know better than anyone how this feels. Last night a terrorism expert told an interviewer that as the gunman not hiding his identity he was not expecting to come out alive. And so it was.
Doing the best I can, relying a Channel 7 reporter who was beside a police sniper stationed in the TV channel studios overlooking the cafe, about 2am the gunman was seen agitated and moving the hostages about. Some then escaped. The remaining hostages were threatened, there may have been shooting in the cafe, a hostage at the window was seen to drop "down" thought to have been shot by the gunman, the police sniper called it in,8 seconds later police went in. In my experience our police negotiators are far more likely to let a siege continue, and keep negotiating, for as long as need be, to achieve the best outcome.
2 hostages are dead, whether by the gunman or from crossfire is unknown. The gunman is dead. Injured hostages are probably not seriously hurt. One police officer has facial pellet grazes. The gunman was armed with a shotgun.
The gunman/terrorist had a bad reputation. He was on bail in connection with the murder of an ex wife. He was convicted in relation to sending awful letters to the families of our soldiers who died in Afghanistan, and apparently had a long criminal record for assault, including sexual assault. He was a self styled Muslim cleric, originally from Iran. I doubt any mainstream Muslims recognized his claim as a cleric, he has been disowned and criticized by Muslim hierarchy here. There may well have been mental health issues.
In the face of a possible backlash, an "I will ride with you" movement has emerged, with citizens offering to ride on public transport with Muslims afraid to travel on their own, for fear of reprisal.
So it ends. There will be recriminations. Could it have ended better? I don`t know, I trust our police and authorities in situations like this. The best we can do now is support the hostages and their families.
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Old 12-15-2014, 04:03 PM   #9
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Could it have ended better? I don`t know, I trust our police and authorities in situations like this. The best we can do now is support the hostages and their families.
I think the other things you mentioned indicate it was in his mind a suicide by police mission. They wouldn't have gone in if they hadn't felt there was imminent danger to the hostages. I'm sure they had substantial information from the escapees and also those inside on social media sites. At one point even a video was sent from inside.

Bad reputation is an understatement. Lifetime criminal. Nothing to lose since he was in line for prison on the murder of the ex-wife.

When an assassin or terrorist or anyone is willing to die, it's very difficult to deal with them.

And an ugly reminder that no place is immune to such behavior.
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Old 12-15-2014, 05:06 PM   #10
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My daughter and her Australian husband live and work in downtown Sydney. Thankfully, she contacted us early this morning to let us know that they had evacuated and were safe.
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Old 12-15-2014, 05:25 PM   #11
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I am working around the corner from the Lindt Cafe at the moment, the building was locked down yesterday after police put up a pretty wide exclusion zone,I had a very eerie feeling seeing the deserted streets in the middle of a business day in our largest city, all to the backdrop of a lovely sunny Sydney day.

It does seem though that this was not a terrorist attack as such, more the result of one sick/criminal individual, not that that is any comfort to those poor devils caught up in it though.

I have to walk pass the cafe on my way to work this morning just like those poor people did yesterday, it makes me feel quite sad and angry.
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Old 12-17-2014, 02:36 AM   #12
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I took these photo's today during lunch.

Thousands of people came with flowers, the mood was very sombre, not really angry, more sad I think.
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Old 12-17-2014, 01:11 PM   #13
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Unfortunately, the US is the site of many mass shootings. That doesn't make it any easier to accept when they happen though.

My hearts go out to all involved in this incident.

I was glad to see that your government called it what it was--a terrorist act. Unlike our current leader(?) who refers to things like this as "workplace violence".
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Old 12-17-2014, 01:41 PM   #14
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Greetings,
Interesting, the creation of the "I will ride with you" movement. That alone says a lot about the Australian mindset with regards to their fellow citizens. Commendable.
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Old 12-18-2014, 12:10 AM   #15
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I was glad to see that your government called it what it was--a terrorist act. Unlike our current leader(?) who refers to things like this as "workplace violence".
The Australian government leaders as well as its citizens seem to have a more realistic view of world events overall than many in the US.

It's sad these things happen at all, regardless of the location. Perhaps an eventual positive outcome will be that, as this kind of thing proliferates around the world, even to places one would never expect, we (collectively) will become less and less tolerant of this kind of behavior, no matter who exhibits it and no matter what the reason or "justification."
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:25 AM   #16
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It's sad these things happen at all, regardless of the location. Perhaps an eventual positive outcome will be that, as this kind of thing proliferates around the world, even to places one would never expect, we (collectively) will become less and less tolerant of this kind of behavior, no matter who exhibits it and no matter what the reason or "justification."
Every generation we find major advancements in nearly every area except one. Mankind. The weapons may be different but the inability to peacefully coexist in the world has really not changed throughout history. With all mankind has learned, it seems incapable of learning something that basic. Something taught by every religion and by every secular and holistic approach. We find cures for diseases but we don't cure the most basic human frailty.
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