Sydney is gripped by fear as a gunman has taken about 15 people hostage at the Lindt Chocolat Cafe on Monday morning. About 12 hours into the siege, police officers are negotiating with the gunman, who wanted to talk to the Australian prime minister Tony Abbott. The lives of 15 people are still at risk. But some “morons,” “idiots,” “insensitive,” and “sick” people, especially tourists, have been taking selfies in front of the cafe.
Shoppers and tourists taking photos of themselves
Some passers-by thought it was a great idea to snap selfies in from the terror scene. Worse, they were uploading those photos to social media. It has sparked outrage on social media. The Twitter and Facebook community has reacted sharply to their shameful behavior. Some others were knocking back booze even as over a dozen people inside the cafe are scared to death. Their behavior has infuriated thousands on social media.
Shoppers and tourists could be seen taking photos of themselves while police stood guard outside the cafe. The New South Wales police locked down the area. The gunman forces a few hostages to display an Islamic flag, sparking fears of a jihadist attack. Police have identified one assailant, but they expressed possibility that there could be more. It is one of the biggest security scares in Australia for decades.
Abbott had warned of militant strikes
At least five hostages somehow escaped or were released since the siege began. Lights inside the cafe were switched off. Prime minister Tony Abbott said earlier Monday that the hostage-taking was politically motivated. Many Australian Muslims have fled in recent months to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Abbott had previously warned that militants returning from the Middle-East could strike Australian targets.
News footage showed hostages being forced to hold up a black and white flag with the text of Shahada (a testament to the faith of Islam). ISIS and Al-Qaeda are known to have been using this kind of flag. Police officials have evacuated nearby buildings.