SIGN UP FOR THE BREITBART EMAIL NEWSLETTER

PM Tony Abbott: Sydney gunman not on terror watch list

PM Tony Abbott: Sydney gunman not on terror watch list

SYDNEY, Dec. 16 (UPI) — Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Tuesday that Sydney siege gunman Man Haron Monis was “well known” to authorities but wasn’t on a terror watch list.

“I don’t believe he was on a terror watch list at this time,” Abbott told reporters at a Tuesday afternoon press conference in Sydney.

“If I can be candid with you, that is the question that we were asking ourselves around the national security committee of the cabinet today,” he added. “How can someone who has had such a long and chequered history, not be on the appropriate watch lists, and how can someone like that be entirely at large in the community?”

Monis, 50, arrived in Australia as an Iranian refugee in 1996. He was granted bail last December on charges that he was an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife. He also faced more than 40 counts of sexual and indecent assault.

Monis, a self-described cleric, was previously charged with sending “grossly offensive” letters to bereaving families of Australian soldiers.

“Our hearts go out to the families of Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson,” Abbott said of the two hostages who were shot and killed in Monday’s attack. “Decent, innocent people who were caught up in the sick fantasy of a deeply disturbed individual.”

Abbott spoke after he and his wife, Margie, visited a makeshift memorial to the victims of Sunday’s siege in Martin Place, where thousands of mourners have left a growing pile of flowers and condolence notes.

Both Abbott and his wife brought bouquets to contribute.

P.S. DO YOU WANT MORE ARTICLES
LIKE THIS ONE DELIVERED RIGHT TO YOUR INBOX?
SIGN UP FOR THE DAILY BREITBART NEWSLETTER.


Comment count on this article reflects comments made on Breitbart.com and Facebook. Visit Breitbart's Facebook Page.

SIGN UP FOR THE OFFICIAL
BREITBART EMAIL NEWSLETTER

GET TODAY'S TOP NEWS DELIVERED RIGHT TO YOUR INBOX

I don't want to get today's top news.

x