Sydney Siege Police Should Have Stormed Cafe Sooner, Report Says

Sydney Siege Police Should Have Stormed Cafe Sooner, Report Says
Wed May 24, 2017 13:56:42

Australian police made key mistakes in handling a siege at a Sydney cafe that ended with the death of two hostages along with the gunman who’d claimed allegiance to ISIS, a coroner’s report has found.

Police wrongly assumed Man Haron Monis, who had a history of violence and extremist sympathies, didn’t pose an immediate threat to hostages during the December 2014 siege, New South Wales state Coroner Michael Barnes said on Wednesday after investigating the deaths. They shouldn’t have waited 10 minutes to raid the Lindt cafe in downtown Sydney after Monis fired his first shot, Barnes said.

“That event made it clear that negotiations had little or no chance of resolving the siege and that the hostages remaining in the cafe were at extreme risk of harm,” Barnes said. “The 10 minutes that elapsed without decisive action by police was too long.”

The coroner recommended that authorities rethink police “contain and negotiate” tactics used to deal with terrorist events. The findings came as U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May warned further terrorism attacks in the U.K. could be “imminent” after a suicide bombing killed 22 people at a Manchester pop concert.

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