He has rallied against Australia's "terrorism" towards Muslims, pleaded guilty to writing "deplorable" letters to the families of dead servicemen, and charted the rise of the Isis militant group in Syria and Iraq.
Now, police have identified Man Haron Monis as the armed gunman behind the siege at a Sydney cafe that has seen around 15 people taken hostage.
First named in Australian media reports and later confirmed by a police source, Monis is a 49-year-old self-styled Islamist cleric who has faced a host of previous criminal charges.
An Iranian refugee, he is currently on bail charged with being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife and mother of his two children. He moved to Australia in 1996, and assumed the title of “Sheikh Haron”.
Well-known to the authorities since he was found to have written hate letters to the families of Australian soldiers killed in overseas conflicts, Monis operates a pro-Islam website, YouTube channel, Facebook and Twitter pages in which he describes his various police charges as part of a witch hunt against him.
“Islam is the religion of peace, that's why Muslims fight against the terrorism of America and its allies,” he wrote on Twitter less than 10 days ago. His Facebook page, shut down on Monday night as the siege continued, had 14,725 “likes” when it was removed from the site, The Age newspaper reported.
If only the "Sheikh" had held off from taking people hostage, he could have built up a nice little career for himself as a "community leader," getting government grants and the like to agitate for more concessions from actual Australians. Instead, he's gone and screwed up the Narrative, though the media will do its best to restore it with "Muslim community fears backlash" stories over the next few days.
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