A suspected jihadist’s standoff inside a Sydney cafe entered its twelfth hour with as many as 15 people still held inside, as police and news crews surround the shop watching the frightened hostages through the front window.
Television footage shot through the Lindt Chocolat Cafe’s windows showed several people with their arms in the air and hands pressed against the glass, and two people holding up a black flag associated with Islamic fanaticism. Australian broadcaster Network Ten reported that the unidentified gunman, seen wielding a shotgun and a machete, has forced hostages to call him “The Brother” and demanded to speak directly with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
The drama began during the Monday morning rush hour and was heading into night time in Australia’s largest city. Five hostages escaped some six hours into the ordeal, running out a side door and into the arms of police, who have had the shop surrounded as the entire nation watches live live on television. A journalist on the scene tweeted that the unidentified terror suspect n appeared to fly into a rage after the hostages escaped.