News National Gunman’s mental state known for years

Gunman’s mental state known for years

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The “fake sheik” behind the deadly Sydney cafe siege railed against Australian “terrorism” on his website a day before he took 17 people hostage.

In a chilling post on his personal website, self-proclaimed Muslim cleric Man Haron Monis vowed to fight the “oppression and terrorism of USA and its allies including UK and Australia”.

“If we stay silent towards the criminals we cannot have a peaceful society,” the 50-year-old posted on Sunday.

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“The more you fight with crime, the more peaceful you are.”

On Monday morning, he entered the Lindt cafe in central Sydney armed with a shotgun and took 17 people hostage.

The 16-and-a-half hour siege claimed the lives of mother of three Katrina Dawson, shop manager Tori Johnson and Monis.

Monis’ website, which included a graphic photo of dead children who appeared to be victims of an air strike in the Middle East, has been taken down.

It gave a glimpse into the motivation of the man described by his former lawyer, Manny Conditsis, as a “damaged goods individual”.

It also suggested he had recently turned towards a radical branch of Sunni Islam, having rejected his adherence to Shia Islam.

The Sunni-based Islamic State and other jihadist groups consider Shi’ites to be heretics.

Monis, who called himself Sheikh Haron but was labelled the “fake sheik” by the media and his own community, was born in Iran and came to Australia as a refugee almost 20 years ago.

Serious concerns were raised about him from within the Muslim community as far back as 2008, when Sydney-based Shi’ite cleric Kamal Mousselmani urged federal agents to launch an investigation into Monis.

Sheik Mousselmani said none of his fellow spiritual leaders knew who Monis was.

“The federal police should investigate who he is,” Sheik Mousselmani told News Corp Australia at the time.

The Iranian government also claims it had warned Australian authorities about Monis’s mental state.

“The psychological conditions of the person who took refuge in Australia two decades ago had been discussed several times with the Australian officials,” a foreign ministry spokeswoman told Iran’s Fars news agency.

“The situation of the hostage taker had been completely clear to the Australian-related officials.”

Monis came to the attention of police when he sent hate-filled letters to the families of dead Australian soldiers seven years ago.

On bail after being charged with being an accessary to the murder of his ex-wife, he also faced dozens of indecent and sexual assault allegations before his death on Tuesday.


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