December 15, 2014, Sydney, Australia. 9:45am local time, a gunman enters the Lindt cafe and takes an estimated 15 hostages. He has been displaying a black flag with an Islamic “statement of faith” in the window since he entered. The terrorist is actually requiring the hostages to hold the flag up in the window for two hours at a time.
Two women and three men have run to freedom. By 5p, one male employee and two female employees managed to escape with two male customers. Nearly 12 hours later, the gunman is still holding approximately 10 hostages. He has a list of demands. Two which have been made public: an actual ISIS flag and a meeting with the Prime Minister of Australia.
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At this time, authorities in Australia are not calling this event an act of terror. They are, however, attempting to negotiate for the safe release of the hostages. The entire area surrounding the cafe’ has been locked down. Even a performance of the Nutcracker was cancelled at the Opera House.
Earlier in the day a man suspected of terrorist activities was apprehended by authorities. The two events do not appear to be related, but more evidence could certainly come to light on that matter.
Police are not releasing detailed information about the weapons the hostage taker is using, but there are concerns that claims the gunman placed explosives throughout the city may be true. These claims have not been confirmed.
H/T: Daily Mail