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Australia to tighten immigration after Sydney siege

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Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says his country needs to reconsider its immigration laws in reaction to the deadly siege in Sydney last December.

He made the remarks on Sunday in the city as he released the first report conducted by officials from the federal government and the government of New South Wales into the incident.

“Plainly, the system has let us down,” he said, adding, “This monster should not have been in our community,” referring to the hostage taker identified as Man Haron Monis who held 18 people at gunpoint during a 17-hour siege in Australia’s largest city’s Lindt café on December 15.

The siege ended after Monis was shot and killed. Two of the hostages were also killed.

Authorities say Monis, also known as Mohammad Hassan Manteqi, was an Iranian-born who had escaped to Australia in 1996.

Iran’s police chief Brigadier General Ismail Ahmadi Moqaddam said Tehran had in 2000 asked Australia to extradite Monis on fraud charges, but Canberra failed to do so as there was no extradition treaty between the two countries.

At the time of the siege, the hostage taker was on bail on a charge over the murder of his ex-wife. He had also been charged with dozens of sexual assaults.

“He shouldn’t have been allowed into the country. He shouldn’t have been out on bail. He shouldn’t have been with a gun and he shouldn’t have become radicalized,” Abbott said.

The 90-page report, meanwhile, said that the Australian national security hotline received 18 calls about the hostage taker’s offensive Facebook posts between 9 and 12 December.

Security service and police considered that Monis’ Facebook posts “contained no indications of an imminent threat,” the document added.

The Australian premier is set to announce immigration and welfare curbs in a national security report on Monday.


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