Security Expert: Police Botched Sydney Siege
Global security expert Joe Siracusa has accused AFP officers of mishandling the hostage crisis in Sydney overnight.
In an interview on ABC Breakfast News this morning, Prof Siracusa from RMIT criticised the AFP for not taking a “kill shot” earlier when it became known that the perpetrator was well known to police and had a history of violence and sexual assault.
Man Haron Monis, 50, is a self-styled ‘sheik’ with a long history of run-ins with law enforcement.
Monis, also known as Sheikh Haron and Mohammad Hassan Manteghi, was on bail on a charge of accessory to murder, relating to the death of his ex-wife, who was allegedly stabbed and set alight in a stairwell of her Sydney apartment complex last year.
In March this year he was charged with more than 50 sexual offences including the 2002 sexual assault of a young woman which was allegedly carried out under the guise of ‘spiritual healing’.
Monis arrived in Australia as a refugee from Iran in 1996 and first became known to the public when he was charged with sending offensive letters to the families of Australian soldiers who had died in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the letters Monis called one Australian Digger ‘the son to a dirty pig, and to a dirty animal’, and urged the Diggers’ families to call on the government to pull troops out of Afghanistan.
In court Monis claimed he was a ‘peace activist’ and that his rights to free speech were being trampled.
It’s believed Monis lost a High Court appeal against his conviction just last Friday — an event which may have precipitated his decision to stage the Sydney siege.
Prof Siracusa has questioned why the controversial self-proclaimed “sheik” was allowed to walk free on bail given his extensive criminal history.
“The fact that this guy was on bail and known to police suggests there was a breakdown in communication” he said.
He criticised police for not taking a kill shot in the hostage situation despite multiple opportunities to do so.
“There’s no such thing as a lone wolf and it’s very likely this was a botched job.”
“You have to assume it’s botched from the very beginning” he said.
“Look when hostages die, it’s botched, okay. This is not a clean operation. This happens all the time when you go to rescue people. Sometimes you do it and sometimes you don’t.”
“I’m just wondering why they waited so long if they knew this was going to be lethal force.”
“You have file footage of him in his past life writing terrible letters to people. He is part of a conspiracy to kill his ex-wife. He was on sexual charges.”
“What is this guy doing out on bail… You know, it raises all these other questions.”