ISIS comes to Sydney? – gunman takes hostages, Jihadist flag on display [UPDATED]

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UPDATE:  We’ve switched to a live blogging tool.  All the old information will be below.  


NEWS.com.au reports

AN ARMED man is holding several people hostage at a cafe in Martin Place in Sydney.

There are hostages standing with their hands up at the windows in the popular Lindt chocolate shop, which has two or three entrances. There is also a black and white flag being held up in a window. It is believed to be the Black Standard, a jihadist flag.

Staff in shop aprons can be seen with their hands on the windows.

Police officers have guns drawn outside the cafe.

The chocolate shop is 30 or 40 metres from the Channel 7 offices so they have cameras trained on the building. The newsroom at Channel 7 have been evacuated.

There are State Government agencies are in the same building and police have shut down traffic in a wide perimeter surrounding the incident.

Trains around the area have been stopped and roads are blocked.

Train passengers have been ordered off trains and back onto the streets in Kings Cross.

12:53 UPDATE

A MAN from north west Sydney has been taken into custody on suspected terrorism related offences during a raid this morning by counter terrorism units from the Australian Federal Police and NSW Police.

The Daily Telegraph can confirm that an operation took place this morning in the suburbs of northwest Sydney.

The allegations relate to financing to send people to Syria.

One man is currently being questioned at Surry Hills police station and is expected to be charged to appear in Central Local Court later today.

This is a different incident to the hostage situation.

13:35 UPDATE

The Black Standard is a jihadist flag also known as the standard of Mohammed. It carries the symbol of the eagle and was one of the flags flown by the prophet Mohammed. It is used by jihadists and Islamists.

In August 2014, British Prime Minister David Cameron declared anyone carrying The Black Standard could be arrested.

It is also banned from public demonstration in the Netherlands

The use of the image the flag for non-educational purposes is forbidden in Germany.

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– via Mail Online

Sydney Opera House has been evacuated after a package was found. It was not known whether there is a connection to the cafe incident.

Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott, has issued a statement about the siege. The national security committee of cabinet has convened for briefings.

New South Wales police and the Australian federal police are currently responding to a reported hostage-taking incident in Martin Place in Sydney.

I have spoken with NSW premier Mike Baird and offered him all possible Commonwealth support and assistance.

The national security committee of cabinet has also convened for briefings on the situation.

This is obviously a deeply concerning incident but all Australians should be reassured that our law enforcement and security agencies are well trained and equipped and are responding in a thorough and professional manner.

We will provide regular updates as further information becomes available.

 

New South Wales premier, Mike Baird, has issued a statement:

All my thoughts and prayers are with those members of the public affected by the situation in Martin Place and the NSW Police who are trained to deal with these events.

I have spoken to Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and have full confidence the NSW Police are working effectively to resolve the situation.

I will provide further information as appropriate.

13:55 pm

New South Wales police have issued a statement saying they are trying to make contact with the people inside the cafe:

There is a police operation underway at Martin Place. Police and emergency services have responded and a number of streets around the area have been closed. The Martin Place train station is also shut.

Police are dealing with an armed incident and specialist officers are attempting to make contact those inside a café.

Some nearby offices have been evacuated as a precaution. Anyone else in the area encompassing Hunter, George, Elizabeth and Macquarie streets bordering Martin Place is directed to remain indoors and away from open windows. Anyone in the vicinity but outside that area is free to leave their buildings.

Police urge members of the public to remain calm and note that an appropriate police presence is in place.

Police urge the media to be responsible in their reporting. Speculation can cause unnecessary alarm.

Speculation isn’t really needed with a flag that is related to Islam is forced to be held up against the window.  The established facts are bad enough.

14:14 pm UPDATE

Prime minister Tony Abbott will address reporters in Canberra at 12.30pm. (that’s 14:30pm NZ time)

As we wait for Tony Abbott to address the public, let’s summarise the situation

Sydney cafe under siege, what we know so far

We are almost three hours into the siege and there is a lot of conflicting reports and speculation. Here is a brief rundown of what we actually do know:

  • Customers and staff at Lindt Cafe in Martin Place, Sydney, were taken hostage about 9.45am. There are varying reports on the number of hostages but four have been sighted in camera footage. They were made to stand up against the windows with their hands raised.
  • There is at least one gunman.
  • A black flag with white writing was put in the window of the cafe. It is not an Islamic State flag. The flag appears to bear the Shahada, an Islamic creed which reads: “There is no god but the God, Muhammad is the messenger of God.” It’s can be a benign symbol and appears across the Islamic world, including on the Saudi Arabian flag. But it has also been embraced by jihadi groups such as Jabhat Al-Nusra, an Al-Qaeda affiliate currently fighting in Syria.

Now here’s something you’d never hear Andre Little say

Opposition leader, Bill Shorten, has released a statement on the siege:

Our thoughts and prayers today are with the innocent people involved in this morning’s incident in Martin Place, Sydney.

Our thoughts are also with their families who are seeing this incredibly distressing situation unfold, along with the rest of Australia.

I have full confidence in the skill and professionalism of our police and security agencies.

I have spoken to Prime Minister Tony Abbott this morning and offered him the Opposition’s full support at this time.

Australians can be assured that we are one when it comes to keeping Australians safe.

 

“We don’t know the motivation” – Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Prime minister, Tony Abbott, is addressing the media. He says the motivation of the siege is not known and calls it a “disturbing incident”. He said there are “some indications” it could be politically motivated.

We have to appreciate that even in a society such as ours, there are people who would wish to do us harm, that’s why we have police and security organisations of the utmost professionalism that are ready and able to respond to a whole range of situations and contingencies including this situation that we are now seeing in Sydney. The whole point of politically motivated violence is to scare people out of being themselves. Australia is a peaceful, open, and generous society. Nothing should ever change that and that’s why I would urge all Australians today to go about their business as usual.

 

So far, we know next to nothing for sure, and speculation is just that – speculation.

15:10

New South Wales police Commissioner Andrew Scipione will hold a press conference at 1.30pm.  (15:30 NZ Time)

15:49

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Police Commissioner’s speech – facts:

One armed offender, but not ruling out another

Unknown number of hostages

The incident is only in one area – there are no associated issues anywhere else

Motivation of offender is unknown

Identity of offender unknown

Terrorism not confirmed, but police have taken on an anti-terrorist stance

No direct communication with male offender

Reports of armed devices around the city have been followed up by Police but none found

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NSW police commissioner Andrew Scipione on the flag that was put up in the window of the cafe:

Again, it’s a flag that we’ve had people looking at. We’re trying to work out what it stands for but at this stage it’s probably best that I don’t take that any further. We’re working with our partner agencies to better determine what it is we’re dealing with there.

Scipione says there is no confirmation the siege is related to terrorism.

17:04

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2GB have now been phoned twice, apparently by hostages at the offender’s request.  The radio host has not complied with the demands and directed the offender to contact the police.  Reading between the lines, it appears the offender is trying to get a voice through the media.

17:40

Three people have fled from the Lindt cafe. One staff member and what appears to be two customers.

It is not clear if the three people – who are believed to be hostages – were freed or escaped from the Lindt cafe. They ran out of a side door where heavily armed police were and hid behind the police.

 

18:05

15 is a number that is bandied about by media as being the remaining number of hostages, but that still needs confirmation.

 


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  • Andy

    Praying for a safe outcome…

  • Igotta Numbum

    Please ask the Gweens for a comment

    • Goldfish

      How soon can we rush Wussel over there to give them hugs and campaign for their right to be free from surveillance?

    • Rod

      Agree that the MSM should all have their microphones stuck in Russell Norman’s face, demanding comment. Bet they won’t though, it doesn’t suit their agenda.

  • caochladh

    I hope the police team send him on his way to meet up with his 40 virgins or whatever they are promising the mongrels these days.

    • mike

      I don’t hold hope for a good outcome.

  • LesleyNZ

    Dreadful dreadful news. And the Greens, (and Nicky Hager), who have their stupid heads buried in the sand, just want to have a little “chat” with this evil terrorist.

  • WCMiner

    I wonder what Wussel and Keithy Locke would do in this situation. Maybe go in with a cuppa and talk to the downtrodden and misunderstood islamists.
    Hopefully sense prevails and these guys get what they deserve.

  • Mark

    Sooner or later the “Authorities” are going to have to admit that CCW is the most effective way to fight the war we are in.

    • conwaycaptain

      CCW??

      • Mark

        Concealed Carry Weapon.

  • grumpy

    And the leftist Sydney Morning Herald, in good Fairfax fashion, describe it as a “hold up”. The only thing held up is the IS flag!

  • [MOD] want to remind commenters that we have rules about calling for people to get hurt or for their deaths. It’s all too easy to feel justified in cases like this, but if you choose to write stuff like that, you might find yourself the winner of a commenting holiday – ta.

  • R&BAvenger

    Proof, as if it was needed that ISIS can be a threat in this part of the wold and that we should be taking action against them, in support of other international efforts.

    If Labour/Greens and NZ First are not swayed by this happening in Sydney, what about this article?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/middle-east/64152223/islamic-state-issues-guidelines-for-sex-slaves

    The time for action is now!!

    • botti

      Those groups are a threat because there are significant numbers of muslims in the West. Until Western countries reduce immigration from islamic countries the problem will continue.

      • Kip_Dynamite

        That will never happen while our nations are slaves to Middle Eastern oil. Until we get off that addiction our leaders will continue to bow and scrape to the salafist Saudis and their jihad-funding neighbours.

  • Pete

    Never happen down here eh !!!

    • Aucky

      That’s what Helen reckoned – ‘a benign backyard’ were her words. Or something similar. Just warming us up before Mark Burton flogged off what few defence assets we had. ‘Flogged off’ is actually a bit of a misnomer – left to corrode is a tad more accurate.

  • Kiwikea

    Looks like ISIS is wanting to wish a Merry Christmas….
    But seriously, when will the leaders of the West get their heads out of the sand. If it was “climate change” and ISIS was responsible, then they would be up in arms (somewhat).

  • axeman

    Wow this is just unbelievable isn’t it, and just a 3 hour plane flight away to Auckland.
    I agree what does Russell Norman, and all the numb thinkers say now about the new laws. We do have to understand that this is a very different world now

  • conwaycaptain

    I bet 21 SAS in Hereford has the Sabre Squadron on the way right now!!!!
    The Islamic nutters have now guaranteed that the whole of Aus will be against them now.

    • Pete

      22

      • Quinton Hogg

        No I think the local SAS troops from Holdsworthy Barracks just south of Sydney will be doing the job, if called upon.

        • James

          Hopefully their engagement report will be similar to one of the original “specials” – Andy Lassen’s famous one:

          ‘Landed. Killed Germans. F***ed off.’

          • Quinton Hogg

            One would hope that lethal force would not be required in this event.
            However if it is I would like to see that as the report.

          • conwaycaptain

            VC Lake Commachio.

        • LabTested

          about 5 minutes ago Channel 9 mentioned that the SAS have been activated

      • Tom

        Both were (21 is the Artists Rifles), but neither are at Hereford anymore

    • Aucky

      Our lads are a lot closer than Hereford in the unlikely event that the Aussies need a hand.

    • mike

      Why? The Australians have their own special forces, just as capable as the brits or ours.

  • sarahmw

    NOW will the muppets listen! Very very scary. One journalist trying to downplay and the other journalist saying it’s a jihadist flag and explaining exactly what it means. Some so called expert sounding like paint drying saying well we cant jump to conclusions and it will become clearer over the hours. What! Say it as it is..Terrorist act in play now. NZ should now be on high alert.

  • LabTested

    Chanel 9 News. saying a suspicious package found at Sydney Opera House

  • Peter Maguire
    • Quinton Hogg

      Also ABC have live streaming.

  • Monpepe

    Hate to burst everyone’s bubble, but that aint the ISIS flag. Its black and white, and probably belongs to islamist bottom feeders – but thats where the similarity ends. I love how the MSM media just jump on the band-wagon and report what has been said as fact. A simple google-search would have cleared that up. It’s actually more similar to the Taliban Flag (but its not that either) than it is to the ISIS flag – which looks like it was drawn by a five year old.

    • Peter Maguire

      It’s Jabat al Nusra flag an offshoot of isis in syria

      • Monpepe

        Thanks Peter – I have also heard it referred to as a Shahada flag.

        • Peter Maguire

          Yes

    • botti

      Not sure it bursts anyones bubble, it’s another Islamist terrorist incident brought to us courtesy of misguided immigration policies.

    • wooted

      Well, it sure ain’t a Buddhist, Methodist or Shinto flag.

  • WCMiner

    It beggars belief that countries like Australian and New Zealand are allowing the domination of our own beliefs and way of life to be dominated by imported lunatics from countries that could be considered the armpits of the world.
    If life is so fantastic in the middle east and you enjoy living like you are still in the Old Testament, move back there and take your hatred and anger with you and leave us with our tax money and the right to walk down the street in peace.

    • axeman

      I so agree with you. We let our beliefs and our culture to be pushed around and dominated by others seeking to live here. If they don’t like what we do here then bugger off and don’t let the door hit you in the arse on the way out

    • botti

      As Auster recommended, some should be given an incentive to return given the obvious assimilation issues of Islam in Western countries.

      http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/012935.html

  • Quinton Hogg

    Looks like it is all on for young and old across the ditch.
    I hope our security services are up with the play and keeping a careful eye on our own hotheads.
    My thoughts are with those who are being held.

  • Bart67

    If anyone really thinks that staying on the sidelines in this conflict is an option, they will need to re-evaluate their thought processes.
    This is a conflict without borders, and not since 1939 has a section of humanity put themselves so far beyond the pale.
    The date of 1939 has been deliberately chosen. This self defined and violently imposed ‘caliphate’ has chosen to stand in direct opposition to what the majority of the world choose to be acceptable. Regretfully, just like 1939, there can only be one solution. These people will not listen to reason, they will not be swayed, or moderated, they cannot be appeased.
    We can sit here and indulge in all manner of handwringing, but ISIS will NOT be stopped by wishes. Men with guns started this, it will be better people, with better guns who will finish it.

    • Benoni

      I would rather see ISIS go on fighting the Shia in Syria, Iraq, and Iran than be defeated. Islam divided against itself will fall. We should stay out of this conflict. It is an intra-Islamic conflict. We should only fight when Islam attacks any and all outside of itself, be it Israel, Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia or Oceania.

      • Bart67

        Not an option Benoni, the entire middle east sits between Europe and Asia, and sits astride major choke points that will defer or deny a huge percentage of maritime trade. This is also a conflict not defined by borders!

    • Rick H

      and for the last 3 weeks or more, certain of our “handsomely paid by we taxpayers” lefty opposition – have been hounding relentlessly those we elected to govern NZ, as to whether or not we have soldiers in training for situations such as this one today.

      These are those same lefties, who in times past, spat on our returning servicemen.
      These are those same lefties who virtually closed down our armed services and airforce – because “We are so far away from all of this it will never happen here”.

      These are those same lefties, who when it comes to the crunch, will suddenly become ill, and not up to the task.

      Gutless, treasonous parasites.

  • axeman

    Just thinking about this and it makes so wild that we have such opposition to new laws to protect us, but ultimately the opposition don’t have the responsibility of looking after the countries citizens. Even though the laws are temporary till we get better ones done.
    Labour, Greens, NZ First have been found wanting when it comes to looking after NZ & New Zealanders. Of course should anything happen on this side of the ditch Russell, Andrew & Winston would be looking to weasel out because that is what Weasels do

    • mike

      I hate to say it but no laws or intelligence agency could stop a lone Wolf terrorist with his mind dead set on becoming a martyr.

      • axeman

        May be or may be not, but unless you have the ability to listen to the internet chatter you will never know if you had a chance to catch them.

        • mike

          Not denying the importance of good intelligence (both ELINT and HUMINT) in both preventing organised attacks and finding (and then ending) bad guys… but in cases like this it wouldn’t of helped.

  • botti

    Ahhh, reminds me of the late Lawrence Auster’s speech on Islam & the West.

    “The key to this liberal ideology is the belief in tolerance or non-discrimination as the ruling principle of society, the principle to which all other principles must yield. We see this belief at work in every area of modern life. The principle of non-discrimination must, if followed consistently, destroy every human society and institution. A society that cannot discriminate between itself and other societies will go out of existence, just as an elm tree that cannot discriminate between itself and a linden tree must go out of existence. To be, we must be able to say that we are us, which means that we are different from others. If we are not allowed to distinguish between ourselves and Muslims, if we must open ourselves to everyone and everything in the world that is different from us, and if the more different and threatening the Other is, the more we must open ourselves to it, then we go out of existence…

    What would have been inconceivable 70 or 80 years ago is unquestionable today. A society that 70 years ago wouldn’t have dreamed of admitting large numbers of Muslims, today doesn’t dream of reducing, let alone stopping, the immigration of Muslims. Even the most impassioned anti-Islamic Cassandras never question—indeed they never even mention—the immigration of Muslims, or say it should be reduced or stopped.

    You don’t need to know any more than what I’ve just said. The rule of non-discrimination, in all its destructive potentialities, is shown in this amazing fact, that the writers and activists who constantly cry that Islam is a mortal danger to our society will not say that we ought to stop or even reduce Muslim immigration.”

    http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/012935.html

  • JustanObserver

    Winston, Wussel, Meteria, Andy …
    This is getting REAL.
    Only a short plane flight away … Wake-Up !
    Stop opposing for the sake of headlines, if it was your daughter or son in that café, would you be so quick to say no?
    .
    Thoughts are with the hostages & families.

    • Wheninrome

      Not a short plane flight away, are they not already here?

  • Lêvon Bulwyer
  • Wheninrome

    If we stop these individuals going to “fight” their jihad then we will have similar trouble here. They are misguided individuals who believe what they read and have absolutely no idea of the realities of living a true Islamist/jihadist life, a harsh dose of which might bring home the reality that life over here isn’t so bad.
    I say let them go, let them be dealt with using the rules relating to terrorist acts in the countries in which they perform them by the residents of those countries.
    They are so stupid if we don’t let them go they will try to become “a hero” and make a name for themselves at the expense of innocent NZ’ers.

    • Phoenician

      Yeah, Wheninrome, but once they leave, that’s it. Not welcome back under any circumstances. They can rot overseas.

      • Wheninrome

        I was being nice, I doubt as foot soldiers they would get the opportunity, first in line to strap on a suicide vest, certainly they won’t be running the show and giving orders, they would be expected to take orders and get on with it pretty damn smart or else!!

  • Gaynor
  • Mythrandir

    That’s not an ISIS flag.

    • R&BAvenger

      Utterly and completely irrelevant.

      • Mythrandir

        The title of this article contains “ISIS flag on display”. There is no ISIS flag on display from all the photos I’ve seen.

        • rangitoto

          I’m sure that makes the hostages feel better

          • mike

            No but facts are important, and myth was helping everybody by pointing out a fact. He should not be condemned for doing so.

            When the dust clears that fact may be very important.

        • LabTested

          Read the updates. It was originally reported as an ISIS flag. Now as a Shahada flag. Same difference when there is an Islamist nutter holding hostages & claiming he has planted devices all over Sydney

        • Things get refined down as a news story develops. It helps to refresh instead of look silly. Did you refresh? I doubt it.

          • Mythrandir

            Aha, refreshed it now ta.

    • [MOD] This is trolling, stop replying people

  • Watch the lefties, the MSM and ‘moderate’ Muslims spin this as just some disenfranchised youths who are not true Muslims.

  • 40something

    I feel sick – those poor people whose lives are forever changed for the worse whether they emerge from this or not. This is an example of evil pure and simple. I don’t pray and I’m praying now.

  • grumpy

    Stupid MSM everywhere. Calling the terrorist a “robber”….what did he take???? Talk about “diversion” and “denial”.

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/martin-place-siege-hostages-taken-in-lindt-chocolate-shop-by-armed-robber/story-fni0cx4q-1227156245751

    • LabTested

      The original call to the police was for an armed robbery according to Channel 9

      • grumpy

        True but that headline is dated 11.57. Hours after the first report and plenty of time to get it right. This smells of deliberate diversion.

  • Yeahright

    Just saw Weasel Norman rushing to a plane for Sydney with his mega – phone and his peace T-shirt, no, no, sorry just Ceila wanting another cycleway.

  • LabTested

    ‘Sydney Opera House has been evacuated after a package was found. It was not known whether there is a connection to the cafe incident’

    Channel 9 reporting that the gunman is claiming he has “devices” planted throughout the city.

    • So much for “responsible reporting” then :

      • LabTested

        The reporter just now very excited, saying something is happening, but we can’t tell you in case they gunman is watching on TV inside the cafe

  • Crookednose

    Just heard on Sky news (live), shotgun, explosives and a machete is what the hostage taker is rumoured to have.
    One guess what the machete is for.

    • Pharmachick

      Oh God, I hope not.

    • Monito

      They were threatening a beheading last week.

  • sarahmw

    Might be a good idea to learn a few passages of the Quoran.

    • Allahu Akbar is the go-to one I think.

      • darren breen

        always gets me a smile at the dairy

    • EvoDriver

      The day that this is necessary is the day that life as we know it is well and truly over.

  • Gaynor

    Listening to Willy and Ali ..I don’t know who is more stupid Willi or some of the callers.h

    Surely there must be a connection to this :http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-15/man-arrested-in-suspected-sydney-terror-raid-reports/5967148

  • steve and monique

    Look I just want to say to the Whaleoil Staff, thank you for reporting this in an informative and professional manner. Too easy things can be reported in a misleading way as the line in the story says about careful reporting by journalists. You are keeping us abreast with facts and updating regularly which is helpful. You have undoubtedly brought the most professional media report of this story bar none. I think the MSM should stand up and take notice or be worried. This is showing them up. Keep up the great work and high standards.

    • I just turned Channel 9 off after they got a journo on that was a hostage of ISIS and was asked “What do you think it going through the mind of the hostages right now”.

      It’ a carbon copy question of when I stopped watching CNN, when an Anchor asked a talking head “What do you think is going through the mind of Saddam right now?”

      Sad to see in over a decade, the media haven’t upped their game.

      The answer should be – “How the hell should I know? What a daft question!”

      Somehow nobody ever answers like that.

      • To add (pic – you may need to refresh)

      • Mark

        Note to TV3,you were doing really well just showing the live feed from
        CH9,then you had to go bring John on,I have switched back to Al Jazerra.

      • steve and monique

        No one could possibly know what is going though their minds but terror I imagine would be pretty close. My heart is breaking for them right now and I pray that they come out of this okay and that they will get all the support that is needed for the long run and not just till the story gets forgotten.

  • El Diablo

    My prediction of what the headlines will be tomorrow in the MSM: “Concerns from the Muslim community that the hostage incident will result in a backlash against them”

    • Well, it’s valid. The lady that issued my 11 year old son’s medicines at the chemist this morning was clearly muslim. And she didn’t really look like she was putting broken glass in the boxes.

      It’s a big mess, one way or another.

      • LesleyNZ

        We have a lovely friend who is Muslim who is a doctor. Her passion is pediatric care and she is so kind and compassionate. Her Muslim way of life is more cultural than spiritual. She would be appalled at this terrible situation – as would her family.

      • Simon Brown

        I see the big risk as people like your pharmacist being put under pressure by radical muslims. They may have family still in the Middle East etc. Basically, the bad guys have potential leverage over their own people. I guess it’s another reason why it’s unlikely that muslim community leaders in the west will outright condemn the actions of radicals. They’re scared of their own people. Of course, there will be some leaders that support terrorism.

    • WCMiner

      It is a difficult situation. Do the authorities come down hard on anyone that may be remotely sympathetic to ISIS, ISIL or any of their copycat groups and risk offending or wrongly accusing some innocents at the same time? For mine, I’m happy to take this risk and provide the proper authorities the necessary lee way to undertake this work as appropriate. Mistakes can and will happen but if their actions stop an incident like this happening on our shores, then let it be done.

    • Huia

      Already happened, I heard that just now. This is only a short distance from our shores and anyone thinking this couldn’t happen here have their heads in the clouds.

    • botti

      Already one of the major headlines in the MSM Sydney Morning Herald is about a “a [email protected] outburst” where a man shouted anti-islamic messages. The MSM of course see criticism of islam as r8cism.

      http://media.smh.com.au/news/national-news/sydney-siege-sparks-racist-outburst-6092782.html

  • kayaker

    I really hope the PC and opposition nutters in this country now realise why the govt had to push through the legislation. And also why the govt cannot be open to all and sundry about NZ’s intentions about our defence force plans. A.little, Wussel, Winnie, et al, you can all hang your heads in shame about now.

  • Ilovelife

    I’ve already seen NZ apologists on line. It’s all Australia’s fault, blah, blah, blah. Bet they wish they could blame John Key…actually it’s a wonder they haven’t.

    • Gaynor

      If it was WW2 those sort of people would be locked up.

  • LabTested

    Channel 7 reporting a man arrested & handcuffed.

    • 200m away from the cafe

      • Crookednose

        Reports of policeman with his foot on a hand gun at that site

        • Quinton Hogg

          Media (ABC) say it is not related to the siege.
          All talk talk at the moment.
          Police/security services securing the area perimeter so the media cannot see what is happening.

          • Confirmed by police – unrelated incident.

        • LabTested

          Originally they reported it as outside the cafe, now 200m from the cafe, & just now saying it is not connected with the cafe situation.

        • Toasty

          Maybe it was someone who thought he might be able to solve the hostage situation more quickly than the negotiators?

  • roofless

    It’s no coincidence this is happening opposite a major MSM office.

  • Tiberius

    I’m glad we passed the anti terror bill here before Christmas!

    • Liberty

      The bill Labour,Greens and NZF opposed.
      Thank goodness we have a government with the fortitude
      to be prepared.

      • murrayirwin

        Labour supported it – with reluctance.

        • They voted against the 2nd reading, then voted for passing it.

  • Alright

    You really have to suspect that New Zealand radio networks are all run by complete muppets. Instead of going wall to wall with this, Danny Watson (NEWSTALK ZB) is talking about Christmas shopping!!!! Meanwhile workers in the Sydney CBD are locked down, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is closed, etc, etc. Meanwhile I’m watching it live on my computer! Radio has lost the plot.

    • fairymai

      RadioLive is reporting them as, “gunmen” in Sydney, I phoned their Newsroom saying its OK to call them “Terrorists” as granny BBC is….hope all ends well

    • I wonder wjhat itb would take to stop them running their ‘snake oil’ ads ….

      • Alright

        They wouldn’t do that even in the event of the Prime Minister dropping dead.

    • Cadwallader

      Don’t worry Rachaelly Smallbrain is on to it. She just told Larry Williams that it being a Lindt Shop rather than a big American Brand surprised her. That was her entire pointless input.

      • Alright

        Please. You are kidding me!

        She is a Space Cadet graduate. If she had one sensible idea (about anything) it would shock me.

        • Cadwallader

          A big American Brand apparently deserves this lot..…she mentioned McDonalds and Starbucks. She is a leftie idiot who daily plunges deeper into the wells of stupidity. This remark is more than a stupid one though, it exemplifies the anti-Americanism of the left. She is despicable.

  • Reports of a Tweet being sent that claims to be from inside. Probably ferals thinking they’re funny.

    • Pharmachick

      If so, I sincerely hope they get prosecuted for interfering with a police operation (and/or whatever else they can throw at them).

  • timemagazine

    The flag is not the problem. It is just an object. The real problem are those using the flag and its symbolism.

    • Pharmachick

      I beg to differ. Your argument that “The flag is not the problem…” amounts to Magritte’s “Ceci n’est pas une pipe”.

      Flags have always been symbolic. They can be heraldic, a rallying cry, they can both divide and unite people. Look at how we all feel on Anzac day when the NZ flag is raised. To say nothing of what for example, the US flag does for the American outlook.

      I submit that this flag (and the ISIS one) is very much a problem. And I submit that we should follow the UK, Dutch and German examples regarding such.

      • mike

        But symbols can be misappropriated.

        • Pharmachick

          Yes, which is why symbols have power all of their own. Misappropriating a symbol doesn’t make it any less powerful. And the original owners can’t always “take it back” either physically, or the original meaning. These things change over time. This flag (and the ISIS one) have been misappropriated, but I don’t see them ever being returned to their original meaning. For concrete examples of same: swastika, caduceus … the list goes on.

          • mike

            Symbols only have power if we let them have power.

          • NoEyeDeer

            Which is a nice sentiment and logically true. Try telling that to the terrorised people in a coffee shop in Sydney. Pretty sure they are feeling the tangible effects of the symbol they are hostage too.

          • mike

            They aren’t held hostage by a symbol. They are held hostage by a person, a person with a gun and a deluded world view.

  • LesleyNZ

    Listening to Sky News. They say the writing on the flag says “There is only one God – Allah”. The photo which shows Merry Christmas at the bottom and the Islamic flag at the top and the scared faces at the window is very profound – to me.

    • kayaker

      The combination of the flag and Merry Christmas got me too.

  • Dave

    My sons office is approx 200 metres from the cafe / Seige. He texted me an hour ago saying, all okay, but now Evacuated, police everywhere, we have all been told to go home, leave the city.

    NB: Confirmed the arrest of a bystander is totally unrelated.

    • Sally

      Me too.

      • Dave

        I have posted this previously, so here is the BEST way to keep in touch in an emergency.

        Have relatives POST to their FB account they are okay, or whenever they can. Our son was stranded after the Tsunami in Japan, and lost contact. Despite my frantic tesxts nothing came back, until a text “Stop txting, just follow on FB” from there, regular updates as he went in and out of coverage, it was a brilliant strategy! Every friend or relative can follow and see the updates, the person needs only make one small post.

        • EvoDriver

          I wish more people thought like this – when I was involved in the earthquakes in Wellington last year I got text messages from all and sundry asking if I was okay, and it’s nice to know they’re thinking of me, but they all have facebook and I was already posting progress updates on there. Facebook is really good for some things!

        • kayaker

          Our son was caught in the 2011 Japan earthquake/tsunami too. We lost contact with him for 24 hours after he had skyped us from his hotel in Tokyo. We knew he was making his way to Narita which took him 12 hours by cab and train. Several more hours at the airport trying to sort out his flights. He said the Japanese were unfailingly polite, even under stress.

          • Dave

            Ours was pretty much th same, but he said a lot of the japenese retailers just ignored them as the earthquake hit. The facebook messages after 4 hours were a hge relief, then every few hours came another. “uninjured, tired but safe, trying to hget to airport” waiting for cab” On way to transit station, at airport. flight delayed. have food, etc etc.

  • papagaya

    Whaleoil’s warnings over the last few weeks on this issue proved to be prescient .. we are at war. Watch the Left and Muslim “leaders” try to spin this attack as the work of one “rogue” operator who doesn’t represent Islam, the religion of peace.

    • Simon Brown

      They may well say that it is the work of a rogue operator, but they will stop well short of condemning their actions.

    • spanishbride

      The usual claptrap of, oh he is mentally disturbed and a lone wolf, you know the drill…

      • botti

        The idea that Islam produces the majority of terrorism isn’t something the Left can accept. It goes against their sacred beliefs that non-white, non-western groups are oppressed and victims of evil white Western people.

  • Fk’n Muslims time to take them to task once and FOR ALL!!! Soft as NZ will be an easy target in the next 5-10 years, in 20 years we’ll be under Sharia Law as that s what Norman and Tuiria want…

  • Sally

    I have been feeling sick about since it started. I have family who live and work in Central Sydney. Thank goodness they are ok.

    • kaykaybee

      My sister in law in a law office around the corner – all in lockdown, but hopefully OK

      • Cadwallader

        My son is working in Central SYD but nothing untoward other than they are instructed to stay-put perhaps all night.

  • Mikev

    So what do Russell Norman, Keith Locke etc have to say about this given they wanted the GCSB disbanded. Muppetts!

    • etc included Laila Harre, Hone Harawira, Kim Dotcom and Martyn Martin Wrongly Wrongson Bradbury

  • Disinfectant

    Willy Jackson on Radio Live this afternoon saying we are more at risk because we support the United States and that John Key has a close relationship with President Obama.

    • He is right. This is the argument put forward by the left: leave ISIS alone so they leave us alone.

      • Pharmachick

        And see how that worked out for the French (and others) during WW2?

        • botti

          It’s quite a different scenario to WWII though? You don’t have a nation that is seeking to expand into the West by invasion. The best approach is quarantine – restrict entry to the West to non-Muslims countries. Which is pretty much what the position was pre-WWII.

      • FredFrog

        I don’t agree. We are setting ourselves up to be a target purely because our country is secular. The stated aim of these fundamentalist islamists is conversion or death, and universal implementation of sharia law.

        Whether we support the US or not, they consider us to be an enemy that must be eliminated purely because we do not subscribe to their warped way of thinking.

      • JKV

        Except he is wrong Pete. The doctrine of appeasement didn’t work against Hitler and it certainly won’t work against the Jihad guys. They see it as their moral duty to convert or destroy the kuffar by the sword.

        • botti

          Except the problem is that you have large numbers of Muslims in the West due to negligent immigration policies. The best approach is quarantine – restrict entry to simlar countries (Churchill for instance never would have dreamt of allowing large numbers of muslims to migrate to the West).

          • JKV

            Absolutely true Botti. The problem is, where is the Churchill for this modern dilemna? Here’s the thing. When the West doesn’t even admit there’s a problem, nothing is going to be done. And that is what really angers me – how many poor innocent people have to die before our hopeless leaders face up to the simple fact that we actually have a problem. If they don’t, the people will take it upon themselves to do something. I find that a pretty scary prospect. As my other half just said to me, we have a whole bunch of Chamberlains running the world. Pathetic.

      • Jas

        So using the lefts tactics leaving them alone means we condone non muslim girls being turned into sex slaves.

        • Ok, let’s leave that one for another day eh?

      • kayaker

        Willie is stupid. Not only about this, but on many counts.

        • Ok, let’s leave that one for another day eh?.

      • Kevin

        Like patting a crocodile in the hopes he’ll eat you last.

  • SlightlyStrange

    I cant be the only one who just desperately wants to go and collect my kid and have him at home with me, right?

    • Pharmachick

      Breathe … just breathe for a bit, because if you do that you’ll probably scare the little one more. But yeah, I get it.

      EDIT: for clarity

      • SlightlyStrange

        Yeah, I’m leaving him where he is. He’s safe.
        Its a bit like the earthquakes – you just want your family around you, so you know where they are.

    • MaryLou

      Not even slightly alone.

  • SlightlyStrange

    For anyone who wants updates – the ABC have unlocked their live news feed for international viewers.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/abcnews24/

    ETA – although at the moment, its all conjecture and peoples personal experiences.

    • Mark

      So I can listen to their muslim apologist blaming Australia since they have supported the USA,think I’ll stay on Aljazeera,more balanced.

  • Jonathan P

    The flag is being said to be Islamic but not Islamic state if that has any relevance. Can something be Islamic while not be related to Isis( which I’m guessing is the Islamic state).

    • SlightlyStrange

      For once, something on stuff is relevant

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/64165691/Flag-held-by-hostages-not-Islamic-State

      Its potentially co-opted, since an IS flag is apparently difficult to come by in Australia.

      • Jonathan P

        Ahh, thanks for that, I’d hate to lay blame where its not warranted but in this case it certainly looks so.
        Perhaps we need good old Winnie’s immigration policy after all?

    • SlightlyStrange

      The other factor to consider, is that it LOOKS like the IS flag – and so most people will assume that’s what it is if they are not Islamic.

  • Alright

    Another good job WO. One can not undervalue at times like this of giving this intelligent community the opportunity to vent and discuss. First class.

  • “Uber is reportedly charging users a minimum $100 to get out of Sydney CBD,Mashable is reporting. The price has been pushed up because of a surge in the demand”

    • Mark

      Great,that means that only people who really feel the need to get out rapidly will do so,the rest will be able to walk on relatively cab free roads.

    • ozbob68

      Supply and Demand, I suppose. But would a traditional taxi driver have done the same?

      • Coffee Connoisseur

        A traditional taxi driver isn’t allowed to do the same.

    • Nic C

      So the hostage-takers are actually members of Sydney’s ‘Middle-Eastern Taxi-Driver’ community and this is just a cynical way to hike up their fares during the busy Xmas ‘Silly Season’… ??

      Sounds Legit.

      :)

    • Aucky

      Now reputedly doing freebies.

  • Aucky

    Tune into 2GB – the host, Ray Hadley, has just spoken to the gunman.

    • ozbob68

      Apparently he decided not to broadcast the conversation and passed it along to police to verify the caller. Good man.

      • Just to add: it was a hostage that called, not the gunman.

  • 40something

    I can’t believe the excuses for all this on the radio I’m hearing – have had to turn it off. When will they wake up – we all lived through 9/11 – I remember it like yesterday and it was traumatic enough on television. Then in no particular order the London tube attacks, the Bali bombing, Beslan, Madrid, Boston and recently Canada – I’m sure there are more I haven’t mentioned. All terrorist, all the same MO and all evil despicable acts. Where are you Russell et al on this – very quiet, nay silent!

    • Alright

      I know what you mean.

      I have serious doubts about survival of the species when listening to some nutbars on radio. Instant terrorism experts, etc.

      Freedom of speech is great. In theory. (smiley face).

  • Curly1952

    This is getting real now only a short distance from our shores. National certainly got this 100% correct. The left wanting the GCSB & other agencies powers reduced. They got the legislation watered down by I for one would suggest that any one with IS tendencies would be starting to feel the pressure as they know they will be under strong surveillance. The silence from the left is deafening!!!

    • papagaya

      Yes, the war is well and truly on our doorstep.

    • zotaccore

      agreed and in the meantime the looney left sit procrastinating. Are the Green’s anything close to being patriotic Kiwi’s? Not a chance, indeed they are a disgrace to be called Kiwi’s when they oppose anything to do with national security. I guess one could almost excuse Russell Norman for not being a Kiwi, but then again, there he is, sitting in parliament as a List MP with no real mandate to be there – wake up Kiwi’s and don’t vote those bunch of muppets in again next election. I’d suggest that most Kiwi’s are fed up with the Green’s – well let’s do something about it and be much more vocal about it.

  • dumbshit

    14.15 got a text from our daughter, they have made it out of Sydney CBD and are waiting at airport for 19.00 flight home, won’t sleep till they are home!

    • SlightlyStrange

      I *think* I saw something on stuff half an hour ago about the airspace being closed. Not sure how that will impact the airport.

      ETA: I’ve gone and looked, and looks like delays as they re-route away from the CBD and inner suburb airspace.

      • EvoDriver

        I think it just meant flights had to deviate from their regular flight paths, and that no services are currently affected, but I just *think* I saw that :)

        • MaryLou

          Airspace is open according to Sydney airport

          • dumbshit

            16.30, text from daughter, planes arriving and departing, no delays at present, all is well!

    • pisces8284 .

      Thank heavens I got home yesterday

  • sin-ic

    Send Wussell there PDQ to sweetly talk the situation out.

    • ozbob68

      Can you imagine? The opening salvo would be “Are you aware this is not free-trade coffee”?

      • Cadwallader

        Then:”Hand me that flag! I love flags!”

  • Wheninrome

    Interesting how the USA is blamed for all and sundry issues in relation to the world. Most of the issues date or predate the colonisation of the USA, and let’s face it round about 1500 and 1600 the new American people were still too busy trying to survive to be worried about what was happening on the other side of the world i.e. around the Arab / Muslim areas.
    USA did not become a super power until after the 2nd World War alongside Russia USSR as it then was.
    A simple history lesson and very basic, but the youth of today blame the USA for all things evil in the world dating back to the year dot.

  • Gaynor

    What is the difference between a Isis flag and a jihadist flag? I mean in terms of what they stand for…

    • Intrigued

      Probably not a great deal of difference in the scheme of things but it’s giving the media a lot to talk about in the meantime. Just heard Paul Buchanan on Radio Live while driving home. The flag is one used by Jabhat al-Nusra a Syrian Sunni based group of jihadists. They are a splinter group off Al Qaeda who have mainly focused on bringing down the Assad regime in Syria and this is the first known incident by them outside of Syria he reckons. It’s not known yet if the hijacker(s) is/are operating on behalf of this group or have simply got hold of this flag.

  • Yeahright

    A lot better coverage here that other NZ MSM, thanks guys.

  • Notrotsky

    Whilst I’m probably breaking the blog rules I would like the following recorded for posterity.

    “lprent12.2

    15 December 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Yes I agree. We should ban the totalitarian religion of christianity immediately.

    Not content with being the main exponents of mass slavery less than 300 years ago, the primary books of this intolerant religion carries numerous injunctions that it is the only religion. After the slavery phrase, they continued with colonial asset stripping of resources disguised as mass missionary works from extremist sects trying to develop shock troops throughout the world, and effort that continues to this day.

    Their very symbol, the cross, is a reminder of what happens to people who don’t follow its precepts. They are crucified by being nailed to one to suffer a long and agonising death.”

    • ex-JAFA

      Either he’s having a larf, or is practicing to be on the opposition benches from 2017, using the new definition of Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition: oppose anything and everything.

    • He is being his usual supercilious self.

      • Isherman

        Quite. I’ve just been over for a look to see whats being said about it, no surprises at all, not worth repeating or commenting further on.

    • Aucky

      That should be a great PI vote winner!

    • JKV

      It’s called deflection. You know the usual apologists’ spiel ‘all religions are the same’. Nothing to see here, look over there. It really disgusts me.

    • botti

      Yes, but that is hardly uncommon amongst far left types. Look at the Bolsheviks, or the Communists. They weren’t exactly fans of Christianity.

      It’s impressive that not only does he loathe Christianity, but he also mixes in a solid dose of White Guilt and hatred towards European settlers.

      In other words, your typical white male Labour Party member today.

    • MaryLou

      No, turns out iPrent does irony. He was making a mockery of another poster:

      lprent12.2.1.1

      15 December 2014 at 4:50 pm

      It is called irony (pretty obvious at that).

      I was taking what PM was saying and throwing back a few of the statements from the other side of the fence. You do realise that practitioners of other religions have similar myths about christianity, do you?

  • busman

    30 Cal .308 168 gr BTHP- bring down the heartbeat and squeeze !! no mucking around .

    • El Jorge

      Probably not the best idea, there is no guarantee that it wouldn’t deflect slightly whilst going through glass and taking out an innocent hostage thus enraging the gunman and he takes out the rest of the hostages.
      A blade of grass or a leaf is sufficient to affect the course of a .308 round.

  • Tom McKechnie

    If this horror situation is indeed a terrorist action, then thank God we have a government which takes these matters seriously.
    Let us hope the staff & customers in the Sydney cafe return safely to their families.

    • Lindian

      I agree with sin-ic. Send Wussell over there and put him in the front line.

  • Aucky

    What a shame there is no Question Time this week.

    • peterwn

      It would only be useful if questions could be aimed at leaders of opposition parties, which is a Standing Order change that National should consider.

      • Aucky

        I agree Peter but it wouldn’t be too much of a challenge for the Government wordsmiths to bring the Opposition (such as it is) to account with some clever answers and a couple of patsy questions from the Nat backbenchers.

        Q. from Nat backbencher to JK: ‘Is the Prime Minister satisfied with the new interim security measures and if not, why not?’.

  • LabTested

    We have often made comments about where is the voice of the Muslim Community when this happens. Channel 7 just interviewed a Dr Jamal Rifi. He is a very angry man. Calling this type of activity a “disgrace” & that he stands shoulder to shoulder with the Police & supports whatever action they decide to take.

    I Googled him. He is an immigrant. His recent comments on Islamic Radicals –

    ” I’ll buy them a one-way ­ticket out of Australia never to come back,” …. “Let them give away their citizenship….

    Why don’t we have people in the NZ Muslim community speaking out like this

    • MaryLou

      The loudest voices are ALWAYS the radicals. But you’re right – now’s time, we need to hear from them

    • Isherman

      My own experience with the several Muslims I work with is that by the time they are second gen. kiwi’s they are more likely to be vocal in their opposition to radicalism, but only at a close knit level with friends and work colleagues etc. But you’re quite right, the normal peaceful and respectful Muslims need to be a part of the answer in dealing with emerging radicalisation. Its an old cliche, but this is as much a battle for hearts and minds, particularly with young people, and if their own religious leaders are not going to put the effort into stemming the radicals, then the battle is almost already lost in that sense and it then becomes simply about dealing with consequences.

    • CheesyEarWax

      Because Muslims don’t have a centralised governance, or anything close to it. Like all over the world, any representations are more likely to be from “clerics” who would always represent the words of the Qoran rather than the will of his people.

  • Nebman

    Hey no worries if these numpties really want to declare war on our way of life as we know it. More than happy to treat them as enemy combatants.

    Sadly though our Police force is not authorised or equipped to deal with armed soldiers of a foreign power.

    However we’d like to you to meet our good mates from the SAS. The big hairy one is Willie Apiata VC. When you get to paradise (or at least your version or it), you’ll see some of his previous handy-work scattered around the place that Allah himself could not put back together.

    Seriously though – change the rules so the SAS were the first people called in to deal with these situations. The police approach of contain, cordon and negotiate is all well and good for bank robbers etc but in war – use soldiers!

    • Isherman

      Yes, but even SAS, like CT teams may well opt to allow things to stand until nightfall anyway, and use the cover of darkness if the decision was taken to take action, they can operate in total darkness whereas the wannabe’s hopefully don’t have the IR or night vision gear, that the SAS and CT do.

      • MaryLou

        Makes sense. I was wondering why nothing seemed to be happening where there were shots of him quite clearly from channel 7 windows

        • Isherman

          A fair part of the planning for these sorts of operations is about maximising the advantages for the good guys, and denying the bad guys as much info and ability to react as possible.

    • Tanmedia

      Oh right. Because if you send in the SAS, they’ll be able to deal with any possible explosive devices inside the cafe. I’m sure Apitata is trained to be more strategic than this. But your opinion looks strong behind a keyboard.

      • Nebman

        Don’t mistake my enthusiasm to use the SAS over the police as some misguided desire to have them charge in guns blazing etc – I’m neither stupid or brave behind my keyboard to borrow your phrase.

        I’m referring to total control and execution of a resolution to the situation as they see fit.

        The SAS keeps going until the threat is neutralised. Ours has the very best reputation for a very good reason. And in regards to your comment about explosives – what is it that you think the SAS actually do?

        Because this is exactly what they’re trained for. They’d just loathe doing it in front of the world’s media!

        • Tanmedia

          Where’s Alberto Fujimiro when you need him?

      • mike

        That would be the SST (Specialist Search Team) Job, the SST is part of the SAS and are trained to operate as part of the team and locate, disarm and defuse any traps or explosives.

        Pays to know these things before making assumptions.

        • Tanmedia

          Sure it does. Then, you can speculate on their strategy. They don’t telegraph it (only if they want to cause confusion or smoke screens).

          • mike

            It will go one of three ways:
            1) The bad guy poses an immediate risk to a hostage (or goes crazy and kills one). The response would be an immediate loud entry. Doors would be blown, flashbangs and other distraction devices used, and lethal force to take down the bad guy.
            2) The bad guy is able to be talked down, everybody comes out alive.
            3) The bad guy has planned to go out with a bang.

    • murrayirwin

      While I share your instinctive reaction, there are many problems with what you propose. Firstly, until proven otherwise the SAS (Oz or Kiwi) cannot conduct any action against what might be a private citizen. Secondly – if it is (and yep, likely as all hell it is) a terrorist act by an Islamist extremist, then whipping up a frenzy against all Muslims is exactly their intent. We’ll brand them all as terrorists (I’d be first to declare it so) then we have all out war. That might be inevitable, but let’s let that be proven too, even as we take very strong steps to deal with individual situations.

  • Just Mick

    This isnt going to end well for the poor hostages.

    • Billythekid

      I don’t think this sand person has got any balls. Unfortunately the real Virgin seeker would have just walked into the cafe and pulled the ripcord on the backpack (surmising he’d be winging his way to paradise) and kaboom, job done. it is not the norm for these scum to negotiate, thus I’m picking this sandman is setting himself up for Christmas dinner at the expense of the strine taxpayer.
      Asides, I’d hate to be a mussey in Aussie now, even the innocents will pay dearly for this. The news said the moderate musseys are packing themselves about the connotations of this, and the backlash they expect from the fair dinkum Aussie.

  • steve and monique

    I can’t believe it, just been listening to a Channel 9 numpty say that even though the police have not confirmed it, it IS an act of terrorism! Did he not get the memo where the media were asked to be careful with their reporting, I am sure that extends to conjecture. I think we can all draw the same conclusion but most aren’t stupid enough to blurt it out when this crisis is still in it’s infancy with the nutjobs undoubtedly listening to every word.

    • botti

      I think that it would be pretty retarded to try and pretend its not an act of terrorism.

      • OneTrack

        Unfortunately they (including the cops) have to follow the politically correct guidebook.

  • johnbronkhorst

    what was russel normans position on the need for GCSB and SIS…again??

    • Beetle

      Watch the Greens now spin this horrific situation to mean that NZ should not take on these radicals, as it will be NZ next. I’m afraid this awful act means that those who were loudly accused by the Greens and Labour of being right-winged alarmists were correct in their analysis. It’s not a good way to find this out. Here’s hoping it ends peacefully for the families involved.

      • Bartman

        Let’s just call Russel the NZ Oswald Mosley!

  • CannibalFromHell

    A peaceful Muslim is a myth.

    • botti

      And right on cue a major story is a [email protected] outburst” where a man shouted anti-islamic messages. The MSM of course see criticism of islam as r8cism.

      http://media.smh.com.au/news/national-news/sydney-siege-sparks-racist-outburst-6092782.html

    • Goldie

      OK – so my best friend’s wife who is a Persian Muslim (and one of the finest woman I have met) isn’t peaceful?
      Or my workmate who is a Turkish Muslim isn’t peaceful?
      Or our accountant who is a Muslim from Fiji isn’t peaceful?
      Or my usual taxi-driver who is Iraqi and absolutely loathes the Muslim extremists who have ruined his country isn’t peaceful?

      Some Muslims are my friends. They are decent, hard-working Kiwis who hate IS as much as I do.

      • mike

        Fear breeds hate :-(

    • PC WA

      I know a few, lovely people, kind, generous, hospitable, polite….need I go on? I also know a few dirtbags from other religions.

  • andrewo

    Id John Key allowed to send a message to Abbott without Russell Norman’s approval?

    • MaryLou

      A text, even!

    • Richard

      Only via an open medium like Twitter, covert texts between two innocent civilians are strictly forbidden, anywhere, anytime for any reason.

  • Eiselmann

    If Russel isn’t on a plane to sort this out with a chat then he truly is callous

  • Steve (North Shore)

    In Australia and NZ I hope the Governments are taking notice. It does not matter which Political Party is in power, this is a lesson that the time has come to toughen up to the increasing threat to our freedom. Time to forget how many votes you may lose, time to stop pandering to the sympathisers – it’s time to represent the people who voted you in.
    Any success by these militants will only allow them to do it again on a bigger scale

  • LabTested

    ‘…not clear if the three people – who are believed to be hostages – were freed or escaped from the Lindt cafe. They ran out of a side door…’

    ABC is showing footage that the employee ran out a fire escape door, followed immediately by a cop. Separate footage shows 2 customers coming out the front door. The footage was recorded, so it is not clear of the delay between these 2 events. Channel 7 is calling it an escape.

    Channel 7 had a Police spokeswoman confirming their negotiators are in contact with the Terrorist.

  • Raibert

    Hope the Aussies get a clear shot – and take it!

  • Ilovelife

    Because you don’t know who is a militant and who isn’t shouldn’t we stop allowing ANY muslims into NZ. Don’t we have enough already. We are such soft wimps.

    • mike

      Why just Muslims? Did we stop Catholics or Protestants coming into NZ during the Troubles in Ireland?

      • Ilovelife

        That was an entirely different scenario. In Northern Ireland it was really a civil war. It was the patriotic Irish(Catholic) fighting the British (Protestant) but It was not a religious war. It was a struggle for specific territory. Although some acts of terrorism were carried out in Britain by the IRA they were never carried out anywhere else and the aim was not to take over, or spread terror throughout the world, the stated aim of ISIS. It is high time moderate Muslims stood up and were counted. By their silence they are complicit.

        • [MOD] This is going off-topic. Stops here (or else)

      • [MOD] This is going off-topic. Stops here (or else).

    • Goldie

      ANY Muslims?
      The nutcases are ARAB Muslims.
      Most Muslims in NZ are Shafi’i Muslims from Fiji or SE Asia, and are from a different branch of Islam from the Wahabi IS fanatics.
      A good mate’s wife is a Muslim from Persia, and a finer woman you could not meet – she is deeply civilised, proud of her rich Persian culture, and hates extremists. One of my workmates (and a good mate) is a Turkish Muslim, and she loathes the IS fanatics – a reason why she left Turkey is because she has embraced Western culture, and hates Muslim extremism with a real passion.

      So you need to be careful when you say “ANY Muslims”, as many in NZ are very fine people who hate the extremists as much as we do.

  • Cowgirl

    The Daily Telegraph – keeping it classy with responsible reporting since…never. Kudos to all the other media outlets though for not reporting the details of their contact – pandering to them is giving them exactly what they want, and they don’t deserve our attention.

  • LabTested

    2 more staff just escaped. ABC showing footage of one female staff running towards cops

    • Cowgirl

      The wheels are falling off this hostage effort a bit. He is losing control of them and this will hopefully embolden the others. I see (hope) that all hostages are going to emerge from this unscathed.

    • 1951

      They looked pretty freaked, maybe not good happenings inside…..? (welcome home)

  • JKV

    Why is it taking so long for the West to wake up? The cultural relativism of the left (just been over to the stranded – how utterly depressing). This video might not pass the mods but I think it is food for thought. Anyway here goes:

  • andrew carrot

    “ARE YOU IN THE AREA? CONTACT THE HERALD HERE
    • Five hostages have now fled the building

    • Queensland police say an improvised explosive device may be involved.”

    Good to know the neighbouring state’s police force is also involved in briefing the media. OR, and more likely, are the Horrid’s repeaters not aware that Sydney is the capital of NSW not QLD?

    • LabTested

      Somebody from Victoria police was on TV this afternoon saying that there will be a heavy police presence throughout the State & not to be concerned about this. Certainly when I popped out to the supermarket (in Melbourne) I noticed the cops who were kitted up more than normal.

      A few ‘experts’ on TV have been saying that if this is a genuine Terrorist action then a 2nd event should be expected

  • JKV

    Just as an aside, global warming crusader and Professor of Journalism (I kid you not) Wendy Bacon (on Twitter via Andrew Bolt) is saying how wonderful to see Sydney free of cars. Not a damn thing to say about the poor souls trapped inside the coffee shop.

    • Gaynor

      Unbelievable that people like her exist …… and she is a professor?

      • JKV

        Yep. You’ve got to remember that the universities over there are mostly converted from technical colleges. Their professors are an absolute joke. I worked there as a systems analyst in IT ( for 4 years). The standard of IT was a real shocker. I ended up converting systems back from DB2 to IMS – really retro stuff. I think OZ has a big wake up call coming. Never mind the Islamic threat. And don’t get me started on the useless ABC.

    • Cowgirl

      That’s wea

    • Alright

      She is well named. What a pig.

  • Excitedly awaiting Whodunnit

    I am waiting for the anti gun lobbiests to chime in and divert attention away from the Islamist angle.

  • GazzaNZ

    This gun toting filthy towel-head who his holding dozens of innocent people hostage can’t even bring his own ISIS flag to the siege and wants one brought to him. These animals have been burning our flags on the street for decades, perhaps it’s time to turn the tables around and do a bit of flag burning of our own

    • Tanmedia

      Oh yeah. Great idea. Rub it in his face and risk him blowing away his hostages. Did you think about that one?

      • Kip_Dynamite

        Your right, don’t rub his face in it – just give him a 556 round to the head. Then is face will be all over the back wall.

  • Edward Bufe

    I wonder if our esteemed Russel Norman will take it upon himself if any innocent blood is spilt by this insane Jihadist friends of his.

  • steve and monique

    The question will need to be asked. If the actions of this terrorist are connected to Islam/Allah/ISIS, then do we need to shut down entry for immigrants with this religious belief. . Some have proven they are willing to resort to acts of terror in the name of Allah, and will inflict whatever outrage they see fit on innocents. Others are willing to recruit, brainwash, and promote acts of violence in the name of a deity. This is not fit and proper behaviour for those who wish to live in another country, other then their own. As for the ones who have already been let in. Show any signs of trouble, and you are on a plane back to where you came from.

    • MAWG

      If ISIS and other jihadists claim to be at war with the west, then why would we let potential enemy combatants into our country via our own immigration system?

      • botti

        Because we are adherents to universalist liberal ideology. We can’t discriminate against anyone because that would be more evil than ISIS itself.

  • Bombastic

    I’m sure the jihadis in the Middle East will be annoyed, the clown couldn’t even organise the right flag. His virgins will be old, ugly and Walmart sourced. Ahalla willing, derka derka derka.

  • jude

    This is such a terrifying situation for all of those people held hostage.

    The terrorist wants maximum exposure through the media.He wants to speak to the PM and he is using the hostages to feed into the media.
    I am uncomfortable seeing live feed when lives are at stake.
    Police are at risk also.
    I hope there are no copycat idiots wanting to be “on the news”.

    • Alright

      There will be.

      • jude

        This is surreal.I am updating by reading Whale.
        The police have given permission for the broadcasts to be live.
        Not sure of the reasoning behind that. I fear that it encourages those that want their time in the media spot light.

        • Alright

          Well, you will (as you know) learn more from the comments here than you will be watching TV. The debate (above) about the SAS is an example.

  • Gaynor

    Was just looking at channel 7 news and it mentions that the terrorist is wearing a black back pack and claiming to have a bomb …a bit more ominous.

  • WCMiner

    Congratulations WO for a comprehensive and practical approach to updates. Who needs the other websites or main news.

  • SlightlyStrange

    One news was reporting that the hostage taker wanted to speak to Abbot and get an ISIS flag.

  • Bombastic

    Here we go, Australia’s Imams only denounce this “in part”, yes, that’s right, Islamist immigrants are only slightly miffed by this.

    • MaryLou

      It says in part and in whole. It doesn’t say what you imply.

  • Gaynor

    21:31

    Australian media are fully cooperating with the police by not engaging with the gunman, not giving in to his demands to have air time, and not to divulge details that the police have asked them not to reveal (such as the exact nature of the demands).

    I have to wonder how the media and opposition would handle a similar situation in NZ…. Frightening thought that we couldn’t trust them to have our best interests at heart.

    • Lux

      During the Jan Molenaar’s siege in Napier 2009, John Campbell broke the cordon and jumped fences to try and get close, what an idiot, he put so many lives at risk, He should not be allowed out in public.

      • Skydog

        John Campbell also broke cordons after the CHCH earthquake.

        • Dog Breath

          And Campbell broke into Waihopai Spy Station, compromising one of the few weapons we have against this scourge.

  • Lee

    If this goes really bad and he starts killing people in the most horrendous way, the gutless politicians will come out and say the words “Islam is the religion of peace” and ” this has nothing to do with Islam” like the Obamatrons they all are. It’s pathetic how our western quisling and cowardly politicians, celebrities, luminaries and MSM are so gutless when it comes to Islam.
    Islam is the west’s enemy in every sense. There are no moderate Muslims and all hate us and will one day take over our countries via mass immigration; and will use the race card all the way to achieve their ends.
    The problem with the west and especially our media and so called intelligentsia refuse to see or accept the real truth of what’s happening.
    We are indeed living in the age of stupid. PC has made us stupid and shut down all debate for fear of being called racist. PC has been the greatest gift to our enemies and minorities and the use of the race card is like their gun to our collective heads that any allegation of racism or bigotry can ruin our lives.
    This is a left wing driven agenda to instill fear into right thinking people to keep their opinions to themselves unless one leans to the left wing ideology and the NEW Obamarism (Neo Marxism).
    I hope this all ends well, but it rarely does when it comes to Islamic, theological, totalitarian, death culters who have the secret backing of the majority of the world’s Muslims and progressive left wingers who secretly hate democracy, capitalism and freedom until it’s gone.

    • Nige.

      well he couldnt even sort the correct flag out. Had to ask the PM for one. Hes clearly not very clever. As stated bellow by someone, if he was REALLY serious he wouldnt have mucked around. He would have blown himself and everyone else sky high.

      I have just come to the conclusion that hes a 2nd rate terrorist and no one will want to claim him.

      • Cowgirl

        That’s the thing with Isis – everyone attracted to them is a second-rate numpty. He seems like he hasn’t thought this through now – I think he thought everyone would just capitulate to his demands, but NSW police and media aren’t following the script.

        • JKV

          I know what you mean. But please don’t underestimate these swines. They know exactly what they are doing. They know the West is incredibly weak. Multiculti westerners – we are the numpties not them – and boy do they know it.

      • Lee

        Second rater or not we must not distinguish between good or bad terrorists or professional or amateur ones. To be blunt all must be executed on the spot and no prisoners should ever be taken.
        The reason for this is that one day they will get out of prison to do more of the same, and they will recruit many more potential lunatics in prison.

    • JKV

      What an amazing post. Totally agree Lee. The world has gone mad. The left are utter traitors.

  • Marby

    This is looking more and more like someone who just wants attention. I am sure that Isis would have just killed someone. This person is dragging this out. Probably thinking that its all over the media, which it is, except that we are not being told the details.

  • sheppy

    Thanks for the coverage team & good night!

  • john Doe

    Well done Pete and team. This was as good as coverage as anywhere else on the net. Thanks. Hope the issue is resolved positively before too long.

  • Isherman

    Im starting to wonder about Paul Buchanan, and what he’s saying here. From what I have seen, the flag is the Shahada, also known as the black standard in some circles. Whilst it is seen in use with Al Nusra, it is not their flag or exclusive to them. In fact it’s not even exclusive to Jihadists in general in its pure sense. You will find it being waved by various groups from Indonesia to Sudan, the Philippines to the Gaza strip. There is no evidence whatsoever at this stage to link this with Al Nusra…

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/64180749/Flag-belongs-to-Syrian-extremists

    • JKV

      Oh for goodness sake! The thing that really gets me is people going on about a flag. The thing is, I think you will find that what unites them is, here’s a clue: it starts with I and ends with slam. End of.

      • Isherman

        Yup, that’s my point, he’s trying to tie this all to a specific group which is as unhelpful as it is is ultimately pointless, given the common thread that so many individual groups possess in their agenda’s and ideology.

    • Lux

      Forget the dumb flag, it is an idiot person trying to control a country.

      • Moonroof

        Time to find a crossbow, fire a nicely seasoned lamb kebab through window, he’ll pounce on it (the place only does coffee and chocolate), whilst he’s preoccupied, sniper adminsters instant justice. Job done, and the poor folks held hostage get to go home.

  • kloyd0306

    If PC doesn’t get us, “Peaceful Islam” will………

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