In December 2024, it will be a decade since Man Haron Monis, born Mohammed Hassan Manteghi Borujerdi, committed the ultimate act of terrorism on Australian soil. The Lindt Café Siege will forever be embedded in the memories of its survivors and the communities that were affected in the horrifying aftermath.
Two innocent civilians didn’t make it out alive. Man Haron Monis executed café manager Tori Johnson in front of those reminding inside the establishment. Barrister Katrina Dawson was hit with stray bullet fragments as the police stormed into the café. She died of her injuries. Multiple bullets fired by police killed Man Haron Monis. He also had no intentions of getting out of that situation alive.
To know a perpetrator is to understand what drives them to do horrific things. That’s what we’re going to uncover here. This story sits too close to home for so many people. We’re going to go back and look at some of the aspects that might’ve caused Monis to snap and commit one of Australia’s worst acts of terrorism.
We will not include Man Haron Monis’ plan to murder his ex-wife.
The Ramblings Of A Mad Man
Man Haron Monis was known to the police well before the Lindt Café Siege and to the public. In 2009, he chained himself to the steps of the Downing Centre Local Court, as per Yahoo! He had been charged with seven counts of using postal services to send offensive letters to the families of deceased Australian soldiers.
Moreover, in these letters, he referred to the soldiers as ‘pigs’ and likened them to ‘dirty animals.’ He even referred to the service personnel as murderers of Afghan civilians. Monis thought highly of himself, a sentiment shared by multiple people, including his lawyers. One of his attorneys even referred to him as a ”pest” and “a dickhead.”
Monis alleged that he sent the letters to “send his condolences” to the soldiers’ families and to get them to tell the Australian government to “stop killing civilians.”
Man Haron Monis Had Mental Health Issues
In 2010, Man Haron Monis was hospitalised by force. He was found exhibiting erratic behaviour in an Ashfield car park. A psychiatrist who tended to him said she initially diagnosed him with chronic schizophrenia. He was prescribed antipsychotics.
He sent letters to dead British soldiers and the mother of a victim of the Jakarta bombings, who happened to be a government official. Man Haron Monis vehemently hated Channel 7 due to their coverage of Muhamed Haneef, an Indian doctor who was accused of aiding terrorists and would hold “aggressive protests” outside the studio. He even attempted to attack Sunrise hosts Melissa Doyle and David Koch.
Monis was so unhinged that he even screamed at Doyle and Koch, proclaiming, “You are a killer and a terrorist.” He also sprouted numerous conspiracy theories. These included lies about ASIO, and declared that Sunrise had informed “Muslim doctors” to use tools of their trade. The program never said such a thing and was cleared of wrongdoing after the madman complained to the Australian Communications and Media Authority and Channel 7.
Before Man Haron Monis’ Time In Australia
Let’s jump back even further to before Monis arrived in Australia. He was born in Iran and published a poetry book that did not perform well, much to his disappointment. He even ran a scam involving discounted tyres from the Iranian government, which were then sold on the black market so he didn’t pay taxes to the government, as per The Sydney Morning Herald in September 2015, nine months after Monis’ December 16 2014 death.
Under the alias Ayatollah Manteghi Boroujerdi, in 2001, he claimed in an ABC Radio National interview that he was mixed up with the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security. Furthermore, this was a blatant lie. Man Haron Monis also claimed that he was criticising the Iranian government as his family had been persecuted. Again, was a lie. Journalist David Ruteledge, who carried out the interview with Monis, referred to it as “a little bit dramatic.” This would be a factor that would carry on throughout the next few years leading up to his death on the morning of December 16 2014.
The Fake Sharman And Coming On ASIO’s Radar
Man Haron Monis’ narcissism was so great that he thought he could get away with sexual assault. Upon coming to Australia, he owned a business in 2002, where he “practised spiritual healing.” It is here that he informed his victims that “they had to submit to sexual molestation” if they wanted to be healed. This formation came out in the 2015 inquest into the siege. He was charged with forty counts of sexual assault.
He would constantly change his name to avoid getting caught. In 2004, he was granted Australian citizenship before, in 2006, legally changed his name to Man Haron Monis.
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) investigated Monis a total of four times and over 40 phone calls were made about him to the National Security Hotline. In 2010, aomeone in his partner’s family informed the hotline that Man Haron Monis “wasn’t a threat.” In 2008 and 2009, he’d been placed on ASIO’s watch list, but was removed for an unknown reason.
What Made Man Haron Monis Commit An Act Of Terrorism?
The conclusive motive for Monis’ act of terror in December 2014 was “Islamic Extremism.” However, if we look a little deeper, it’s apparent that Man Haron Monis was a man who saw violence as peace and peace as violence. According to The Guardian, 48 hours before the siege started, an anonymous tip to the Anti-Terrorism hotline was placed, concerned about the contents of Man Haron Monis’ website. ASIO followed up on the call, but couldn’t find a trace of evidence that indicated of what he would do two days later.
Man Haron Monis was a vain man. During the inquest into the siege, medical experts labelled him “antisocial” and “narcissistic.” He was not a successful man, given all his failed businesses and constant brushes with the law in both Iran and Australia. As the Inquest unveiled, Monis was obsessed with getting the attention of Isis. Tori Johnson, the Lindt Café manager who was later executed by Monis, stated in a 000 call that what was happening was “an attack on Australia by Islamic State”, implying the siege was terrorism related.
To add more weight to this, just months before the siege, in October 2014, Monis wrote to George Brandis’ office asking how to contact Isis.The flag that was placed in the Lindt Café window was incorrectly labelled as an Isis flag.
Also, Monis was increasingly paranoid, not just during the siege but earlier in his life. During the siege, he used hostages as human shields, implicating that he felt his life was more important. He mentioned to a psychiatrist that he believed individuals in both Iran and Australia were watching him.
In conclusion, his goal was to be noticed by Isis.