Today we begin our deep dive into the man behind the Lindt Café Siege in Martin place in Sydney.
We dive deep into the history of what makes a person capable of such atrocities
This one made me feel trapped and closed in just researching.
Music credit: Darren Curtis "The Brotherhood"
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Hello there my dearest strangeone’s and welcome to murderlaide the podcast. As always, I am your host Ann and I write record and produce this podcast. Firstly guys, fucking tax, I am officially a bit hating on this being an entrepreneur stuff, when did this responsible adulting and sticking to a financial year become a fucking thing? I dunno if I am sold on adulting yet, let me try it for a few years and I will give you an honest review then.
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This podcast contains graphic depictions of violence, salty language and poor grammar. This episode contains events of terrorism that may cause distress. You have been warned, proceed at your own risk.
Before we kick off today, I just want to say, if you are new to me and new to the podcast, I am not a reporter, political correspondent or employee of anyone. I am an artist with a morbid fascination with death and the darker side of history. Today I am going to talk about matters of national security, immigration and religion as an armchair detective, catch my drift. I am not an expert on any of these things so if I get things a little muddled, please allow me the leeway to do so. If you think you are an expert on any of these things, feel free to fuck off and make your own dam podcast, but I will be turning my notifications off, because I do not want to hear your fucking opinion.
bear that in mind, you are going to be pissed, your allowed to be, I am pissed after researching this, but this podcast is not about laying blame. In reflection this looks like a total shambles on behalf of our government, but remember that everyone has rights and we are a country that proudly gives you the benefit of the doubt, except with taxes, you are always wrong with taxes. Like I said if you wish for your opinion to be heard, feel free to write record and produce your own podcast at your own peril. Get it, awesome, if you are still here you are all in.
So today we are going to talk about a local Australian event that occurred in Sydney and is just widely known as the Lindt café siege. As with the Port Artur massacre, this event was one that redefined us here as Aussies in our thoughts and changed laws and the way we view ourselves. We have always been the lucky country. We think of ourselves as fair, but smart. We like to think our government and authorities are super fucking smart and looking at the big issues with intelligence and foresight. Well fuck were we naive and wrong. The events leading up to and during this act of violence showed clearly that our mistakes were made all the way down the line. From the moment he entered Australia, the perpetrator Man Harron Manis, posed some serious safety risks, and lots of people knew it, we just didn’t have the policy to deal with it.
This was the first time I personally had ever heard of the term, an act of domestic terrorism, actually the first I heard of any terrorism for that matter, on Australian soil. We kind of always thought about terrorism as happening to others, and happening out there in the world. This stuff happens in America and in the middle east right, that was our mindset. This event bought that delusion we had all been under to an end. We were all left wondering how could this have happened here, and how did no one see that this was probable and put a stop to it? Because when you sift through the wreckage, there was really not only a massive amount of warning that this was possible, but on paper this event was totally preventable. But it was super complicated and so mas Monis, he was a delusional man with a high need for recognition and revenge, but was this actually terrorism as we have been sold, or was this mismanagement of immigration and mental health?
Sources for today’s episode are the abc progam four corners two part special simply titled the siege, from the sbs news website, how the siege unfolded, from the guardian, Sydney café siege ; a timeline of events, an article from Claire Blumer at the abc news titles man Monis’s girlfriend Amerah Droudis sentenced to 44 years jail, an article from the Australian by Natasha Bita, (17 December 2014). "'Deranged' Monis granted citizenship in 2004", Arash Azizi wrote an article for Manoto 1 called. "Exclusive: The Sydney hostage-taker had fled Iran after a $200K fraud case", "Aussie leader: Siege gunman dropped off watch list". Yahoo News. 16 December 2014, Paul Bibby (4 September 2015). "Lindt Cafe siege gunman once had luxurious life in Tehran funded by scam involving Iranian government". The Sydney Morning Herald.,again from the Sydney morning herald by Tim Elliot an article called "Martin Place gunman deranged, deluded and dangerous", "Sydney siege: Man behind Martin Place stand-off was Iranian Man Haron Monis, who had violent criminal history". Which was by Lorna Knowles for the ABC News.
At 8:30 am on the morning of Monday the 15th of December 2014, just ten days before Christmas, CCTV footage shows the business day running up to peak shopping season in the district, Sydney’s Martin place is already in pretty crowded hustle. An adult man of average height can be seen strolling thought the middle of the foot traffic. He is wearing a possibly tan coloured baseball cap, blue hoodie, tan full-length pants and he is carrying a fully loaded dark backpack slung over one shoulder as he casually but purposefully walks across the frame. This is the moment he has been planning for, been aching after but the city around him lies completely unaware of what is about to unfold.
The figure in the footage is now calling himself Man Harron Manis and he is about to change all that we knew in the world and not for the better. Man Harron is an Iranian born man who came to Australia on a working visa via Malaysia and when it expired he engineered to stay as a refugee. He is a con-artist, a wanted felon in his birth country and known accessory to murder in this one. At the time of this footage being captured he was allegedly wanted for prosecution by interpol. He is hated by many here and across the seas. He is a serious repeated sex offender and convicted harasser of the families of soldiers killed in action. He is known to all levels of law enforcement in Australia and overseas. Just 48 hours before he is seen in this footage, Man Harron Manis had been reported to The Australian Security intelligence organisation, because someone thought his views he was posting on his website against Australians and the government were dangerous and extreme. He was deemed him not to be a threat and no further action was taken.
By the moment he is seen crossing between the heritage fronted buildings on Martin Place in the morning rush, Man Harron Monis is an Australian Citizen. He is a faking that he is clergy member of the Islamic faith, and he has been diagnosed with many mental illnesses and is suspected of having schizophrenia, oh yeah and he claims to be a black magic healer, but he can only heal a woman if he sexually assaults her first. He is also a former security guard, and carries a gun licence.
Monis is at that very moment out on bail facing 40 serious charges including accessory to murder. He had received 400 hours of community service for a federal conviction. He was three days out from having his appeal of this conviction thrown out, he would have to carry the guilty verdict and do the community service.
In the months leading up to this moment Monis had played pretend as an adult and actually dressed up in traditional Muslim clerical outfits and chained himself to a pole out the front of the Channel seven building in Martin place, the spot he was headed to now, and harassed channel seven newsreaders and reporters as they made their way in and out of their workplace.
He is a delusional man who sees enemies in the faces of all who pass him in the street, even other Muslims, he completely forsook his faith in the week before this event and converted to one that suited his current thoughts of aggression more in his mind than the faith he had practised his whole life. He doesn’t give a fuck how his actions affect others, only ever sees himself as an important central character in modern life. He delusionalyl thinks he is having an impact on international politics, delusions of grandeur that know no bounds.
The Lindt café he saunters into moments later is located at 53 Martin place and is on the ground floor of the APA building, right at the heart of Sydney’s busy business district. The perfect spot for a premium chocolatier to set up a walk-in café. Lindt is positioned directly across from the Seven News television studios, and near the Reserve Bank of Australia, the headquarters of the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac bank, and the Martin Place underground train station. For those who care it is also pretty close to tiffany and co. This café was frequented by lots of folks who worked in the area.
When Monis enters he sits at a table and has all appearances of being a typical morning rush customer, he was actually a walking nightmare for everyone he came into contact with throughout his whole life, and this time would be no different. I would say just ask his ex-wife, but he had recently tasked someone else whose life he had shat all over to kill her so we can’t.
Lindt employee Harriette Denny was waved over by Monis and he asks politely to see her manager. He has smile on his face and she just figured he wanted to make a complaint. She fetched manager, 34-year-old Tori Johnston, a tall smiling blonde man, who makes his way over to the table and everything is about to change. The morning rush, the Christmas shopping, and even me who was about to plonk myself down on the couch with a coffee after dropping the kids off at school, we were all about to witness Monis and his crazy last stand.
Tori Johnson seems like he was a stand-up guy and a good manager, friends and family say he loved and respected his staff and by all appearances they love and respect him too. He had was in a loving 16-year relationship. His parents adored him, his boyfriend adored him. He had a life, hopes, dreams and a future. When Tori sat at the table with Manis, he was a guy with the world at his feet and a ready smile for anyone. He was charismatic and funny. they spoke quietly for a few moments.
What exactly was said, we will probably never know but Tori then called over 19-year-old waiter Jarrod Morton Hoffman, and told him to lock all of the doors to the Café. There were now ten customers and eight staff trapped inside the Lindt café, and the siege that changed Australia had begun. In his possession Monis had a fifty year old sawn-off French-made Manufrance La Salle pump-action shotgun that think was imported into Australia in the 1950’s and wasn’t registered ever. No one knows where it came from. Monis had 23 shotgun cartridges of different brands on him, between 15 and 20 years old. In his backpack he claimed to have a bomb, but he also had a black flag with Islamic writing on it, he thought it was the ISIS flag but it wasn’t, because Monis was acting alone, he was never a member of ISIS as he would have us all believe. Monis has no one to claim him and no one to claim.
But who was the man sitting smiling across from Tori Johnson that morning? Well to answer that we have to go back, across the oceans and across time to when the name Man Harron Monis was not even yet a figment of his own imagination, because Man Harron Manis was someone he made up, a part of his fantastical life bought to reality. Now some are apt to call him a fanatical, but I don’t think that is right, he is not a fanatical Muslim.
He is a fantastical narcissist; he has no more commitment to Islam than he does to the many disposable women in his life. The oxford English dictionary defines a fanatic as a person whose strong admiration for something is extreme and unreasonable. The only thing Man Harron Manis has strong admiration for is himself. He is not promoting his faith and devotion, he wasn’t here for a cause as he and most of the press releases would have us believe, no he only wants good outcomes for himself. this kind of crazy is especially easy to predict most of the time. Although their behaviour may be unreasonable, they will always do what is best for them regardless of how it affects others. Man Harron’s sole purpose seems to have been that he is recognised, seen, that his inflated sense of injustice be validated, to feel important and not just to those in his life he wants to be famous and in that fame to be attached to an ideology, he didn’t care what that ideology was, he just wanted the attention that bought to him and the sense of self inflation.
Man Harron Manis’s main complaint with the world is that he was fucking special, so special in fact he should not have to live life by the same rules as the rest of society, not here, not in his birth country, not anywhere. He is a special god dammed snow flake and about as robust as a snowflake too.
We are going to leave the siege as it begins till next time, because this tale of woe doesn’t really begin there does it. The story of how it came to be the Lindt café siege really begins in Iran on the 19th of May 1964. This is when baby Mohammed Hassan Manteghi Borujerdi is born. It is in the city of Borujerd, yeah yeah I know real imaginative right but it is traditional there to take the last name of your birthplace, get it, so it is the crowded capital city in Lorestan province in western Iran. Again I fell I must apologise to my most patient and beautiful friend who tried to work on my pronounciation, babe I love you and I still suck at this. Perhaps I will take some persian lessons or Arabic maybe. Now this city is old, like fucking biblical old, having sat in the same location since at least the third century. Like you know thousands of years.
throughout recent history, like much of Iran, Borujerd has been war-torn, had several despotic leaders and has inbuilt systems of corruption at all levels of government and infostructure. The citizens of Iran from the nineteen 70’s had to battle against corruption at every level of government just to meet their daily needs for living. Although not as corrupt as their near neighbours, by the 80’s life in Iran had become exceedingly difficult by western standards.
For someone Like Mahammad Borujerdi, this is just what he needs to rip people off. But he didn’t start like that. In 1996 Boruderdi published his first book of poetry, titled inside and out, and did not receive the accolades he so hoped for. It barely sold and was slammed by critics. Wanna hear some, well let me read you some of his rambling and you can decide for himself
They swapped injustice and justice with one another. Words did never keep their meaning meaningfulness.
Yes in place of No and No in place of yes. Here the truth is void of truth.
You said that here the talk is about inferiors. Inferiority here is for free, as much as you need.
Here you should only be looking for treachery, Even if you are a nightingale, remain in the cloth of vultures.
You said that the pigeons go with pigeons and the falcons with falcons*
I have never seen such a pair flying together.
I dunno about you but I think maybe the critics got it right. I am Not really a literary here, or maybe it sounds better in its original Persian but just what the fuck does that even mean? That is the most trite and meaningless piece of meaningless crap to have ever wasted paper in my opinion. That poem has all the hallmarks of someone who wants to sound worldly, but it is really just wordy right? Am I wrong here, is there something I am blind to? Whatever my opinion doesn’t count anyway becasue that great steaming pile of shit is apparently the reason that Amnesty international supported Mohammed Bourjerdi in his bid to be granted Asylum in Australia, but I get ahead of myself cos that is a different name and a different time.
In the early 90’s as he was known then Mohammad Bourjerdi was involved in a government sanctioned scam where he bought and most of the time stole second hand tyres from the government and sold them an Iran’s bustling black market. Sometimes he ripped off those tyers from that same fucking government and sold them back to them. There were scams within this scam but I don’t want to digress too much here. Lets just summarise that this guy is good at making money from the chaos his country finds itself in. He isn’t afraid to double cross and he has no respect for authority. Bouyrgerdi also thinks himself a pretty smart man.
The main source of income for Bourjerdi was his big business, a travel agency. So this was completely a money laundering front for his other rip off scams, one of which was a charity scam so he never had to pay taxes, you know to that government he was ripping off blind with his tyre scams. we are all meant to believe that in the 90’s in the midst of the gulf war, Iranian tourism was big fucking business. It was using the pretext of this business that Bourjerdi gained a working Visa into Australia, but he did it by coming via Malaysia, the way many other successful rip off merchants have gained access here. So, in he comes, to the lucky country, full of all of his regret and complete disregard for the system and big plans to make more money, to be an important man. In fact, he had used the system so well to this point he was a reasonably wealthy guy, by Iran’s standards anyway. He was also married with two daughters.
You see the government had been though some changes and when the dust settled his scams were exposed, at the time he fled from Iran he was wanted for ripping of the local Lorestan government $200 thousand dollars, and they were out for blood. When he left Iran, this asshole left his wife and kids behind, knowing he was never going back for them, and he left them with nothing but a corrupt government debt of hundreds of thousands of dollars and a warrant for his arrest and he was also allegedly under investigation from Interpol. So stand-up guy and let’s let him into our country right. This piece of shit is probably responsible for the harsh judgement of thousands of legitimate refugees who are fleeing persecution, not fleeing the legal system as he was, and not being allowed into Australia. Anyway, I digress.
Then he decides to deliberately outstay his visa. just a by the by for those of you who are interested, the majority of people illegally residing in Australia do not get here on leaky boats and rafts as the government would have you believe, the vast majority, up to 90% some years, are people who come here legally and then just don’t leave when they are supposed to. This is exactly what Bourjerdi did, he overstayed his working visa which was only for one month, and he applied for a protection visa. He was granted a bridging visa while he waited to see the outcome of his application.
Like this fucker is good at using our own paper work against us. He has necrocracy in his blood right. And I don’t want you to think he is sitting behind a chain-link fence out in the desert, begging to be allowed in, oh no this fucker is sitting in an apartment in Sydney rented by the fucking government on his behalf while all this paper shuffling is going down, because he is claiming to be a persecuted political refugee.
But how the fuck is one meant to nail that down? Is he persecuted or trying to be prosecuted, there is a distinct difference. If you check with the country he is claiming to be running from, are they going to tell you the truth or are they going to try and get him back to try and persecute him some more. Catch twenty-two for the aussie government officials, right?
And it’s not like we are talking about high end politicians dealing with this shit, we are talking about regular Joe Blows working in immigration, trying to understand and liaise with all these people, all these countries and shit tones of different personal and political circumstances and they are dealing with a super adapt liar here. A man whose views himself as so important that it would be super hard just to get past the bravado.
In this process the man now calling himself Ayatollah Manteghi Boroujerdi, claiming to have been working in Iranian intelligence for the military during the 1990 start of the Gulf war. Inflating himself in these political ways is going to be a hallmark of Bourgerdi’s future behaviour. He claimed to the Australian government that his wife and children were being held in detention in Iran because of his liberal views on Islam and because of the information he held about Iran’s gulf war efforts. He was now seeking political asylum. Now for those of us, me included this name change seems insignificant but in fact it says everything Ayatollah is not really a name one can just fucking give ones self, Ayatollah is a noun, it is the title given to high ranking religious leader among Shiite Muslims. This is a title of respect given to you, not one you bestow upon yourself as this snowflake did. To be Ayatollah is an honour, one he spits on by changing his name to is only achieved by scholars who have demonstrated highly advanced knowledge of Islamic law. We have no eviedince that Bourgerdi ever did this.
So, now you would think that this is when governments would begin to communicate and try and untangle this man’s web of bullshit but it seems that he knew how to play both sides of the fence pretty effectively. The official word from Iran is that they allegedly informed Australia Bourjerdi was a wanted man for stealing money from the government and for ripping off citizens in his travel agency. It seems he was offering a kind of scam where he suggested he could smuggle people out of Iran and into countries like the US and Australia, and he took these people’s money and prompty booked it to Australia, one last big scam right, and in the process leaving his wife who was on the registration of the business documents, holding the baby so to speak. He didn’t apply to get them out here yet by the way, he just didn’t want to go back. This information package contained the warrant for Bourjerdis arrest and the start of an investigation by interpol.
Australia had no extradition treaty with Iran and the request by his native country for his handover was apparently ignored by ours here.
The Australian government had this information even if they lost it, or it wasn’t reviewed at the time and in 1997, one year after his arrival in Australia his protection Visa was granted. He applied for and was given a gun licence and a security guard licence which he held until 2000. He was legally carrying a gun on the streets. Lucky for us Bourjerdi is an asshole and couldn’t hold a job for long and was only working for short stints of time.
In the meantime, Iran was working on providing Australian authorities evidence that Bourgerdi was actually the man that we were thinking of giving asylum to was the same criminal they were after, there was a trail of identification documents and of course as with all psycos, multiple name changes. Australia’s response was that he was protected from extradition by his refugee status, he would not have to pay for any of his fraud or crimes in Iran, as long as he stayed here. So Bourgerdi was beginning to paint himself into a bit of a corner, he was protected while he was here, but if he went back home, he would face criminal charges and probably end up in all kinds of shit, so he chose not to, and he chose to blame Australia and the Australian government for those choices he made, text book blame deferring right.
He had started applications to try and get his wife and daughter’s over from Iran, now it had been four years since he had seen his family. He didn’t try anywhere near as hard as he had for himself in all honesty. With bravado as big as his ego in 2000 He dressed in traditional clothing of a Muslim cleric, and literally camped out at parliament house, claiming that the government were to blame for him not seeing his kids for four years. This guy is offensive on all levels. He is running this media circus under his new assumed name, that is Ayatollah Manteghi Boroujerdi, and he is now claiming to be a leader in Islam and basically the equivalent of a priest, by the way he has no qualification to claim that nor does he have any training other than being raised in the Shia muslim tradition. I am not going to pretend to be an expert here, but this seems to be pretty important.
Different branches of Islam are prevalent all over the middle east and the world but the two main branches being Shia and Sunni. Both follow the teaching of Allah and both have many same or similar basic doctrines, but there are fundamental differences in what they each interpret in the Quran. Throughout much of history these branches have lived both peacefully alongside and even in worship with the other, and juxtaposing at never ending war with each other. I am not going to take sides because I am just not educated enough to, but it seems that it depends on who is at the higher end of both parties as to the level of animosity one takes against the other. Comparing it to different paths of Christianity seems to be understating the fundamental differences.
So our dickhead we are discussing here seems to have been raised Shia and in most of his life in Australia he participated in the Shia fundamentals of his faith, only fellow Shia in Sydney also thought of him as quote, strange, creepy and off-putting. Claiming to be a cleric is the height of disrespect to the faith. That’s like me just saying oh fuck I went to private school, donning a habit and now I am a nun and you all have to respect me and take my word as being a part of the Catholic church, it just doesn’t work that way.
but at this stage the man now calling himself Ayatollah Manteghi Boroujerdi setting up a tent at parlement house and eventually chaining himself to a pole for publicity, is offending fucking everyone. He camped for a week and stayed chained up for exactly one day, long enough to get his ugly head on every station’s news coverage for the day and highlight what he drummed up to be the injustice of his family separation. Deep down you have to think he just wanted his fat head on TV, this guy wasn’t garnering support for family reunion he was after the respect of being a cleric that was part of the political landscape of the time. He wanted to feel important, not like the looser he was totally becoming. Well he must have been fucking gutted because he just eventually unchained himself and walked away, quietly marrying another woman, oh and twelve months later our nation gave him citizenship. Yay for us right.
Now I don’t want any of you to get the impression that I am in any way anti-immigration. I am a woman of white privilege, so I am the descendant of immigrants. My ancestry is not running from war but from the great potato famine, we came here on a leaky boat escaping starvation. Same: same only different right. I also don’t support locking families away behind razor wire fences because they come from a place we don’t yet understand. I do, in fact have several beautiful friends who were born in the middle east who live here, one of whom really tried hard to coach me on my pronunciation, sorry babe I was such a fucking Aussie at it during this recording. I believe immigration founded this nation, and if I had my way would be a huge part of our future.
I also believe that we should be screening those trying to come here, that includes really radicalised Austrian people or American or Finnish folks and Muslims. We collectively have bought into a politic of someone else’s anti Muslim agenda and it is playing out in awful ways in our community. Not so long-ago Catholics and protestants were at each other and there were bombings and assasinations happening in the UK but that somehow didn’t make us anti-Christian did it. I also don’t believe that just because you could afford to fly here that you should have any more right to stay than those who came on a boat. Y’all broke the law just as equally and we should treat you the same right? Every person has the right to prove that they are going to be a participant in the Australia that we have now and its future and that burden lies unfortunately with those who seek asylum, not with us here. This fucktard was a proven liar but we let him in anyway. He was being investigated for ripping people off somewhere else and we gave him amnesty. We invited this mentally deranged and ill man to be a citizen.
What I do believe in this case is a great deal of fucking giant-sized red flags is the unstable creepy and often illegal behaviour of a man who is claiming to be escaping political prejudice, yet slamming the politics of this country too. We rewarded him with our attention and national coverage of his self-indulgent schemes to bolster himself up and make him feel important. He is claiming that Iran is a defective and corrupt country who is out to get him, but then he has been recorded trying to bribe ASIO officials with information for money. This is a clear fucking hustler. This man lied to get here and obviously lied to stay. If our system was working in any way, the giant red flags would have been flying and he would have been removed and investigated right.
After this incident at parliament house where he threatened politicians and verbally accosted and attacked reporters in a thinly vailed attention seeking act, we gave him citizenship. The country he was claiming to hate, while living here on our tax paid benefits by the way, officially welcomed him. That seems all little fucked up.
And that is where I am going to leave it for today folks. Remember to sleep with one eye open and call the cops on all of your dodgy neighbours, but not just because they are different, y’all, they have to actually be scary ok. See ya next time.