Sydney Siege: The September warning

Published:December 16, 2014 1:21 am

Australia’s government raised the country’s terror warning level in September in response to the domestic threat posed by supporters of the Islamic State group. This was after IS spokesman Abu Mohammed al Adnani issued an audio message urging so-called “lone wolf” attacks abroad, specifically mentioning Australia.

emCounter-terror law enforcement teams later conducted dozens of raids and made several arrests in Australia’s three largest cities — Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. One man arrested during a series of raids in Sydney was charged with conspiring with an Islamic State leader in Syria to behead a random person in downtown Sydney.

36 years, 3 attacks

This may be the biggest such incident on Australian soil but this is not the first time that the country has come under attack from extremist elements. It started in 1978.

Feb 13, 1978, Sydney: A blast outside the Hilton Hotel, which was hosting the first Commonwealth Heads Of Government Regional Meeting (CHOGRM), killed two garbage collectors and a police officer. The people or motive behind the bombing were not identified, though there were many theories, including a claim by the then Indian PM Morarji Desai that it was an attempt by Ananda Marg to kill him.

Dec 17, 1980, Sydney: A Turkish diplomat and an aide were gunned down by two people on motorcycles in Sydney. The Justice Commandos for the Armenian Genocide claimed responsibility.

Nov 23, 1986, Yarra, Victoria: A car bomb exploded in a car park beneath the Turkish Consulate, killing the bomber. A Sydney resident with alleged links to the Armenian Revolutionary Federation was charged and jailed for 10 years.

The Bali bombings

At least 92 Australians were killed in two bomb attacks in Bali in 2002 and 2005. Of a total death toll of 222, 88 Australians were killed in the first attack and four in the second.

And the Glasgow bungle

Dec 22, 2010: The Australian government agreed to pay a substantial sum in compensation to Dr Mohamed Haneef from Bangalore who was arrested over suspicion of involvement in the 2007 Glasgow airport bombing. Dr Haneef, 31, a cousin of the two men convicted in the attack, was working in Queensland then. On July 2, 2007, he was boarding a plane to India when he was detained. He was charged with supporting a terror group after sleuths claimed his SIM card linked him to the plot. The charges were dropped after police admitted mishandling the case.

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