22 Feb 2015

Australia's Prime Minister admits "the system let us down" as the government releases the first report into the Sydney siege: A national security hotline received 18 calls about the self-styled cleric Man Haron Monis just days before he took 18 people hostage at a cafe in Sydney.

A national security hotline received 18 calls about the self-styled cleric Man Haron Monis just days before he took 18 people hostage at a cafe in Sydney, a report into the siege has revealed.
The calls between December 9 and December 12 last year all concerned offensive material on his Facebook page.
Three days later he was shot dead by police, ending the 17-hour siege which left two hostages dead.
It was later revealed the Iranian-born attacker, who had long been known to security services, was out on bail at the time of the attack for a string of charges.
Releasing the government's report - the first since the siege - Prime Minister Tony Abbott admitted "the system" had let the public down.
"Plainly, this monster should not have been in our community," Mr Abbott told reporters in Sydney.
"He shouldn't have been allowed into the country. He shouldn't have been out on bail. He shouldn't have been with a gun. And he shouldn't have become radicalised."
The report said all 18 calls were investigated by intelligence and police authorities, but none indicated a specific intention to carry out an attack, meaning the risk assessment for Monis was not changed.
"On the basis of the information available at the time, he fell well outside the threshold to be included in the 400 highest priority counter-terrorism investigations," the review said.
"He was only one of several thousand people of potential security concern."
Monis, who had been living in Australis since the 1990s, was the subject of several counter terrorism discussions between 2008 and 2014, the report said.
Overall, however, it found that all the decisions made by authorities, including the immigration department and police and intelligence agencies, were justifiable under the circumstances.
"We don't believe that at any particular decision-making point, grievous errors were made, but the totality of decision-making let this monster loose in our community," Mr Abbott said.

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