The death of two innocent and evidently heroic individuals in the Sydney Siege is a terrible tragedy and one cannot feel anything but deep sympathy for their families and friends, and indeed those of everyone affected by this appalling crime, including the police and/or soldiers who brought it to an end.

A couple of points spring to mind.

Firstly, it strikes me as a bit of a stretch to regard it as an act of ‘terrorism’.  From what has emerged about the killer, Man Haron Monis, he seems to have been a disturbed and disorganised individual who did not fit in anywhere.  No doubt in his own mind he was an heroic representative of the Islamic State but the reality is that he was an unstable and grandiose attention seeker whose actions were not carried out for any particular purpose beyond that.  I don’t know, of course, but it’s my suspicion that that is why the Australian security authorities didn’t regard him as a genuine threat and took their eye off the ball in his case.

Secondly, and related to my first point.  Describing him as a ‘Lone Wolf’ attaches a romantic ‘Hermann Hesse-ian’ drama to his activities that might encourage others to do the same.  ‘Marginalised Nutcase’ would be a better and more fitting description.

The sad fact is that there are people like Man Haron Monis on the fringes of every society, slowly working themselves up into a murderous state, and some of them will use the existence of groups like ISIS to lend purpose to their insanity.  We should think very carefully before we accept their deranged narrative.

4 Replies to “The Sydney Siege”

  1. But ISIS have told its followers and supporters to act on their own. They encourage people to act in their name. They are an idea as much as an organisation. So that means this is terrorism and trying to frame it as anything else is flawed.

    1. But this appears to be the culmination of a long string of evidently non-political violence. Cloaking himself in a black flag for this particular act doesn’t make it terrorism: ISIS have just provided him with an excuse for disorganised attention-seeking violence.

      1. If you look at Western Jihadis many of them are just that …. attention seekers with a walter mitty element That doesnt stop them being the willing tools of a politically motivated ideaology, especially one that is deliberatly offering affiliation to any sympathiser who wants it ….

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