PRIME Minister Tony Abbot has ordered an urgent review into the deadly Sydney siege as it is revealed the gunman at the centre of the terrifying incident held a legal firearm licence.
Speaking to reporters today, the prime minister admitted he didn’t know how the crazed gunman, who was well known to security agencies, had just “dropped off the security watch list”.
Man Horan Monis, 50, held 17 people hostage inside the Martin Place Lindt Chocolat Cafe on Monday. Two people – a 38-year-old mother of two and 34-year-old cafe manager – were tragically killed in the siege.
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After 17-hours of terror and fear in the heart of Australia’s largest city, heavily armed tactical police were forced to storm the cafe after Monis – armed with a shotgun – opened fire on his hostages.
Mr Abbott questioned how Monis had been granted a gun licence despite an extensive violent history; why he was on bail receiving welfare; and why he had been granted permanent Australian residency in the first place.
“In the aftermath of the horrific Martin Place siege and following the tragic loss of innocent lives, we must learn what we can from this incident and implement any changes necessary at the State and Federal level,” Mr Abbott said.
“As we work to learn what we can from these terrible events, we acknowledge once again the courage and professionalism shown by our law enforcement and security agencies and emergency services.
“We are determined to ensure that nothing stands in the way of ensuring the people who put their lives on the line to keep Australia safe can get their job done.”
Mr Abbott said results from the review – to be conducted by Mr Abbott’s department chief and NSW Premier Mike Baird’s most senior adviser – should be known by late January.