Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 3.33.24 PMTerror took over a popular joint in Sydney, Australia when a gunman, identified as Man Haron Monis, targeted the Lindt Café had held it under siege for more than 16 hours before policeman were able to force their way in and rescue the terrified hostages.

Two people were killed, and the gunman is reportedly one of the casualties while the other was a hostage. Three or more are in serious condition. Before the rescue mission was carried out, a few of the hostages managed to escape the chaotic scene.

The man responsible for all the mayhem was apparently granted asylum in Australia from Iran for political reasons. He described himself as a ”spiritual leader” but he clearly suffered from a mental handicap. His roster of indecent activities includes being charged with frequent occurrences of indecent exposure and sexual assault. He was also a suspect in the murder of his ex-wife who was stabbed and burned to death in Sydney last year. He also terrorized the family members of Australian soldiers that died while in service, by sending them disturbing letters.

Authorities in Australia believe this is an isolated event and that Monis acted alone.

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