Terror in Australia

The largest city in Australia has been paralyzed by a hostage crisis at a popular café in the center of the city's business district.

It appears that a lone gunman has seized at least 18 Australians who were eating at the Lindt chocolate café about 9:45 AM local time (5:45 PM Eastern).  Five hostages either escaped or were freed early in the afternoon.  Some media reports are saying that an Islamic State flag has been seen through a window.

Reuters:

The Reserve Bank of Australia said staff had been locked down inside the building and were all safe.

The nearby U.S. consulate was also evacuated, according to an embassy spokeswoman, along with the Sydney Opera House. Tourists were being let back into the world-famous venue by early afternoon but performances on Monday and Tuesday were canceled. (snip)

In the biggest security operation in Sydney since a bombing at the Hilton Hotel killed two people in 1978, major banks closed their offices in the central business district and people were told to avoid the area. As night fell, large parts of the central city were all but deserted.

Muslim leaders urged calm, with the Australian National Imams Council condemning "this criminal act unequivocally" in a joint statement with the Grand Mufti of Australia. An inter-faith prayer meeting at one of Sydney's grand mosques passed off peacefully despite threats of protests from far-right groups. (snip)

Several media outlets reported they had been contacted by hostages passing on claims and demands from the gunman, including the possible presence of explosives in the building and elsewhere in the city.

Police said they were aware of media reports but said the "situation is contained in one area".

Concerns about an attack in Australia by Islamists have been growing for more than a year, with the security agency raising its national terrorism public alert to "high" in September.

Australia's anti-terrorism forces have thwarted at least one terrorist attack since September, so authorities have apparently been on top of the situation and have realized the danger for months.  But are they overreacting by virtually shutting down large parts of Australia's largest city because of a lone wolf terrorist?

It's not at all clear at this point that the hostage taker is a lone wolf, so their caution appears to be justified.  One academic who consults with the police on terrorism says "it's all about attention":

"We're possibly looking at a lone wolf who has sympathies to global jihad or someone with mental health issues in search of a cause," said Adam Dolnik, a professor at the University of Wollongong who has trained Sydney police in hostage negotiations. "This is all about attention."

The Islamic State called on their followers in September to attack civilians in Western countries, including Australia.  It appears that at least one Australian jihadist got the message.

Carol Brown adds:

And what says Prime Minister Tony Abbot?

Per The Australian:

TONY Abbott has emerged from a meeting of cabinet’s national security committee, saying authorities “don’t yet know the motivation of the perpetrator”.

“We have to appreciate that even in a society such as ours, there are people who would wish to do us harm…. (snip)

“The whole point of politically motivated violence is to scare people out of being themselves….

What?!

Mr. Abbott, I do believe there is enough evidence to even the most casual observer to realize this is an act of jihad against your country.  Every time you and others in the West play dumb, you weaken us that much further.  If you truly don’t know the motive, then you don’t deserve to be in a position of power.  And if you do know the motive and are being a coward, you also don’t deserve to be in a position of power.

Meanwhile, alluding to “people” who might want to harm Australians is yet another nail in the proverbial coffin.  Because it’s not people in general.  It’s people who are Muslim who follow the teachings of the Koran.

And Mr. Abbott, this isn’t about “politically motivated violence,” and it’s far more lethal than simply scaring people out of being themselves (whatever, exactly, that might mean).  It’s about Islamic violence aimed at subjugating or murdering the people you, sir, are supposed to protect and defend.

Seriously, Mr. Abbott.  Did you not notice that the gunman was wearing a black band around his head with Arabic writing?  And he forced hostages to hold the IS flag in the café window.  Did you not notice that, Mr. Abbott?  Do you not know what that flag stands for?

Mr. Abbott (and millions of your ilk), the motivation is the Koran. No sleuthing is required. Just a modicum of awareness and a willingness to face the truth.

The West is signing its own death certificate with the likes of Prime Minister Abbott, et al.

And so this week, Mr. Abbott leads the charge of fools as so many who have come before him and many more who will, regrettably, follow.

Until those in the West understand what is written in the Koran; until they grasp that not all religions are the same; until they absorb the fact that the Koran is about subjugation and murder, they will be forever damned to live enshrouded in ignorance, putting all of us in grave danger.

Islamic ideology is about world domination. Terror. Enslavement. Barbarism. Convert or die.

Wake up and fight it with everything you have. Or face the sword and its long shadow that is falling across the world. The battlefield is everywhere. Including cafes on busy streets in lovely Western cities.

What will it take? The enemy is here. Directly in front of us (and also hiding in the shadows).

We will soon reach a tipping point of no return. The enemy is fighting this battle on all fronts every minute of every day. While we go about our lives as if evil is not seeping underneath our doors like a noxious poison gas.

With prayers for all of those inside that café…

The largest city in Australia has been paralyzed by a hostage crisis at a popular café in the center of the city's business district.

It appears that a lone gunman has seized at least 18 Australians who were eating at the Lindt chocolate café about 9:45 AM local time (5:45 PM Eastern).  Five hostages either escaped or were freed early in the afternoon.  Some media reports are saying that an Islamic State flag has been seen through a window.

Reuters:

The Reserve Bank of Australia said staff had been locked down inside the building and were all safe.

The nearby U.S. consulate was also evacuated, according to an embassy spokeswoman, along with the Sydney Opera House. Tourists were being let back into the world-famous venue by early afternoon but performances on Monday and Tuesday were canceled. (snip)

In the biggest security operation in Sydney since a bombing at the Hilton Hotel killed two people in 1978, major banks closed their offices in the central business district and people were told to avoid the area. As night fell, large parts of the central city were all but deserted.

Muslim leaders urged calm, with the Australian National Imams Council condemning "this criminal act unequivocally" in a joint statement with the Grand Mufti of Australia. An inter-faith prayer meeting at one of Sydney's grand mosques passed off peacefully despite threats of protests from far-right groups. (snip)

Several media outlets reported they had been contacted by hostages passing on claims and demands from the gunman, including the possible presence of explosives in the building and elsewhere in the city.

Police said they were aware of media reports but said the "situation is contained in one area".

Concerns about an attack in Australia by Islamists have been growing for more than a year, with the security agency raising its national terrorism public alert to "high" in September.

Australia's anti-terrorism forces have thwarted at least one terrorist attack since September, so authorities have apparently been on top of the situation and have realized the danger for months.  But are they overreacting by virtually shutting down large parts of Australia's largest city because of a lone wolf terrorist?

It's not at all clear at this point that the hostage taker is a lone wolf, so their caution appears to be justified.  One academic who consults with the police on terrorism says "it's all about attention":

"We're possibly looking at a lone wolf who has sympathies to global jihad or someone with mental health issues in search of a cause," said Adam Dolnik, a professor at the University of Wollongong who has trained Sydney police in hostage negotiations. "This is all about attention."

The Islamic State called on their followers in September to attack civilians in Western countries, including Australia.  It appears that at least one Australian jihadist got the message.

Carol Brown adds:

And what says Prime Minister Tony Abbot?

Per The Australian:

TONY Abbott has emerged from a meeting of cabinet’s national security committee, saying authorities “don’t yet know the motivation of the perpetrator”.

“We have to appreciate that even in a society such as ours, there are people who would wish to do us harm…. (snip)

“The whole point of politically motivated violence is to scare people out of being themselves….

What?!

Mr. Abbott, I do believe there is enough evidence to even the most casual observer to realize this is an act of jihad against your country.  Every time you and others in the West play dumb, you weaken us that much further.  If you truly don’t know the motive, then you don’t deserve to be in a position of power.  And if you do know the motive and are being a coward, you also don’t deserve to be in a position of power.

Meanwhile, alluding to “people” who might want to harm Australians is yet another nail in the proverbial coffin.  Because it’s not people in general.  It’s people who are Muslim who follow the teachings of the Koran.

And Mr. Abbott, this isn’t about “politically motivated violence,” and it’s far more lethal than simply scaring people out of being themselves (whatever, exactly, that might mean).  It’s about Islamic violence aimed at subjugating or murdering the people you, sir, are supposed to protect and defend.

Seriously, Mr. Abbott.  Did you not notice that the gunman was wearing a black band around his head with Arabic writing?  And he forced hostages to hold the IS flag in the café window.  Did you not notice that, Mr. Abbott?  Do you not know what that flag stands for?

Mr. Abbott (and millions of your ilk), the motivation is the Koran. No sleuthing is required. Just a modicum of awareness and a willingness to face the truth.

The West is signing its own death certificate with the likes of Prime Minister Abbott, et al.

And so this week, Mr. Abbott leads the charge of fools as so many who have come before him and many more who will, regrettably, follow.

Until those in the West understand what is written in the Koran; until they grasp that not all religions are the same; until they absorb the fact that the Koran is about subjugation and murder, they will be forever damned to live enshrouded in ignorance, putting all of us in grave danger.

Islamic ideology is about world domination. Terror. Enslavement. Barbarism. Convert or die.

Wake up and fight it with everything you have. Or face the sword and its long shadow that is falling across the world. The battlefield is everywhere. Including cafes on busy streets in lovely Western cities.

What will it take? The enemy is here. Directly in front of us (and also hiding in the shadows).

We will soon reach a tipping point of no return. The enemy is fighting this battle on all fronts every minute of every day. While we go about our lives as if evil is not seeping underneath our doors like a noxious poison gas.

With prayers for all of those inside that café…