2014 Sydney Siege

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On 15 December 2014 at approximately 9:45am, Iranian-born self-proclaimed Islamic cleric Man Haron Monis entered the Lindt Cafe in Martin Palaca, Sydney, Australia, armed with a sawn-off pump action shotgun. He proceeded to take seventeen individuals in the building as hostages, and ordered them to take turns in holding a black Islamic flag (then mistaken by media outlets to be a flag of the Islamic State) through one of the cafe's windows; he also ordered several hostages to create videos outlining his demands for their release, which included a live conversation with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott via radio and the delivery of an Islamic State flag to the building.[1] Such demands were never met, and at 2:30am the following morning, Monis executed one hostage while others fled; he was subsequently shot and killed by Australian police, signalling an end to the tragic event, but another hostage died as a result of the crossfire.[2]

Subsequent investigation revealed that Monis had previously been hospitalised for mental illness,[3] had claimed that he was once a member of Iran's Intelligence service when he actually had only ran a travel agency,[4] and was regarded as a pest by the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils.[5] At the time of the incident, he was on bail for multiple sexual assault charges.[6]

That's not it, however.

Conspiracy theories and other lunacy[edit]

Within hours of the siege coming to a close, events followed their depressingly predictable course, and copious YouTube videos emerged declaring that the Sydney Siege was a false flag terror attack used by the global elites to extend the police state in Australia, that all involved were "crisis actors", and that Man Haron Monis himself was an actor or rodeo clown. Or something like that. While this notion gathered some support soon enough, some conspiracy theorists who would usually adhere to such propositions in the given context denounced such an idea.

  • Alex Jones' Infowars immediately claimed that it was a false flag to act as a justification for further conflict against the Islamic State in the Middle East.[7]
  • Henry Ward, an Islamic convert and conspiracy theorist, argued that the perpetrator, Man Haron Monis, was, in fact, a Christian extremist and terrorist working for the Catholic Church. He had little to no evidence to back up these statements — not even the kind of "evidence" that conspiracy-addicted cranks would consider to be "valid" — and for this reason, Ward's theory is considered to be a baseless conspiracy theory.
  • A Christian conspiracy theorist YouTube channel, Edifying Others, argued that the perpetrator, Man Haron Monis, was in fact a gnostic luciferian Illuminati terrorist working for the NWO. Their evidence? His surname "Monis" is one letter short of 'monism', a doctrine Christian conspiracy theorists regard as akin to the ecumenical movement for a one world religion.[8]
  • TeamWakeemUP also claimed that the siege was a false flag and used the fact of an anti-terror drill held in the exact location a year prior as "evidence" for such.[9]
  • Right-wing conspiracy theorist SyrianGirlPartisan said she did not believe that the situation was a false flag, though was open to the possibility that the Sydney Siege would be used as a justification in the future to curtail civil liberties.[10]
  • In the U.S., Fox News used the event to justify their support for CIA torture, claiming that torture tactics such as those used at Guantanamo Bay during the Bush Administration could very well have prevented an event like the Sydney Siege from occurring on US soil.[11]

See also[edit]