The siege is over and now the questions are being asked about how this man was allowed to live in Australia. The first question is: how did he manage to get refugee status?
The answer to this question is complex because this person apparently was wanted in Iran for committing fraud. The latest from Iran is that he had owned a travel agency and that he defrauded people of their money before fleeing to Malaysia and then Australia. The name he used in Iran was Manteghi which formed part of the name he used when he first came to Australia.
This man used the name of Ayatollah Bourejeurdi (who is currently in Evin prison awaiting the carrying out of a death sentence – it might have already happened). He told Australian authorities that he was under persecution because of his liberal ideas as an Ayatollah. The real man believes in separation of “church” and state, and that the religious should not be running the government.
What this suggests to me is that the people responsible for checking into the background of this man and his claim to be a refugee from Iran failed in their duty of care by not making a more thorough check. I guess it is hard if you do not go directly to the Iranian authorities to check out the identity of an individual. It is a failure of the system that has been in operation for some time.
My other observation is that many people have not understood the meaning of terrorist in regard to the woman who became his partner and third wife. There is a Youtube video where a woman in a veil states “I was a terrorist… but not any more”. People have immediately jumped to the conclusion that his means that she indulged in terrorist activity, but that is not the case at all. In fact the statement is all part of the bizarre thinking of Man Horan Manis. To get some background here, one has to think in political terms and to understand some of the things that this man did to protest Australia going into Iraq back in 2003. He believed that it was the Americans and Australians etc. who were the terrorists because they were “attacking Muslims”. The woman in the video is of Greek heritage and I would suggest that she had accepted the presence of Australian troops in both Afghanistan and Iraq. As such the woman would have been considered a terrorist by this man… thus he made her make that statement in the video. She was not a terrorist but she is on murder charges for the death of the ex-wife of Man Horan Monis was stabbed and set on fire.
The perpetrator was a lone wolf but I do think that he was influenced by others. I do not know if he attended meetings of Hizb-ut-Tahrir but he was certainly influenced by their rhetoric. Also, he would have seen the scenes of the barbarism carried out by I.S. on the T.V. and on the Internet. He would have been reading material from Al Qaeda as well as diatribes from I.S. He was clearly influenced by the leadership of I.S. There was a foiled plot here in Sydney back in September. The details of the plot were broadcast very widely. The plot that forced the terrorism raids involved chatter between Baryalei and another person that there should be a kidnapping of a hostage in Martin place, and a beheading that was to be videotaped with the purpose of bringing fear to Australians. Since the plot had failed, in the head of this deranged man, he might have decided that he would attempt to go ahead with a plan of his own to take hostages in such a way that the world stage had to take notice. How, for example, did this man get hold of a gun? Was it a legally registered gun – he could have obtained the gun in another State so that the NSW police were unaware that he owned a weapon.
Looking at what happened, the choice of the Lindt cafe seemed to be a bit of a mystery, except that it was directly opposite the studio of Channel 7. The breakfast show called Sunrise often showcased Martin Place during the morning, including at times having singers on hand giving a concert for the passers-by. This meant that the presenters had a bird’s eye view when the siege began. It was instant media attention. (Chris Kenny a journalist was directly in the vicinity when the drama began, thus media attention was almost guaranteed anyway). More important though, with the cameras trained on the window of the cafe, this man used the Shahada flag to draw attention to his purpose. He demanded that someone bring him an I.S. flag but this request was denied. He demanded to speak with our Prime Minister but this request was denied. The intent of this man was to make a statement for Islamic State. His intention seemed to be that he was determined to carry out what had been foiled. However, he chose a shotgun rather than a knife, and no I am not sure if he had a knife in his backpack.
There is every reason to believe that the perpetrator was unhinged, and for some this more or less means that there could not be a connection to Islam or to any other terrorist activity. I disagree. The perpetrator had connections to Hizb-ut-tahrir, a terror organization in Australia that needs to be banned because of its activities. Also, it is clear from the day of the siege that the perpetrator believed that he was a part of the IS and that what he was doing was in response to IS calls for acts of terrorism in Australia. This does not mean that the man was not mentally ill, but to the contrary it should be seen as a part of his mental state.
For whatever reason, there are people who are attracted to cults and who willingly submit to cult activity. It is no different in this case except that the “cult” is Islam. The perpetrator was raised as a Muslim in Iran. He embraced Satan when he stole the money from the travel agency in Iran, and then took on the identity of another man when he arrived in Australia (He took the real Bourejerdi’s story and used it as his own). After that he wrote those nasty hate filled letters to the widows of our soldiers who died in Afghanistan and Iraq. On top of that he plotted the death of his ex-wife, ensuring that he had an alibi for the time before and after the event. The woman who is considered to be his widow is now back in prison awaiting trial for the murder of the perpetrator’s ex-wife.