Terrorist Watch Worthy?

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ABC News

Tribute to the victims killed in Martin Place Lindt cafe shootout.

Mariam Ahumada, Staff Writer

This past Monday Australians experienced a terrifying threat to their community with the  terrorist attack that was carried out in a café in Sydney, Australia. On Dec. 15th Man Haron Monis took over Martin Place Lindt cafe and held 15 people hostage, two of which were killed during the siege along with the perpetrator. This event has led to the discussion on whether the government should have added Monis to the Terrorist Watch List months before the attack. The examination of his past actions and charges support the claim that Monis’s threatening and dangerous attitude posed a threat to Australian citizens; Moreover, the government should have added him to the Terrorist List and kept a close watch over him. 

Man Haron Monis came to Australia for political refuge 18 years ago, and over the years he became a threat to others as well as the Australian government. In 2009, he was convicted of sending offensive emails to the families of deceased Australian soldiers who had fought in Afghanistan. Not only that, last year Monis was charged for more than 40 sexual and indecent assaults, and for the murder of his ex-wife, Noleen Hayson Pal. Monis’ criminal history strongly emphasizes the question of why the government had not taken precautions beforehand, especially, when his past actions clearly revealed him a threat.

“Monis should have definitely been put on the terrorist list. Not only did he commit a number of violent crimes,but also he then proceeded to supposedly plant several bombs around the city that he threatened to set off if his demands were not met, which is clearly an act of terrorism in itself,” sophomore Jackie Cordova said.

Even though this is all true, there was never proof of his affiliation to any terrorist group. All in all, concluding that Monis is a terrorist is a discriminative assumption. A person, more specifically the government, cannot assume that a person is terrorist driven unless they have substantial amount of evidence for his conviction. Moreover, Monis was never proven guilty of his various sexual assault charges and, as a result, such crimes cannot be held against him until proven otherwise.

I am completely against judging a person off their ethnicity, even more so of any Middle Eastern person just because their culture is so misunderstood. However, I think that Monis specifically should have been monitored as a terrorist before this incident not because of his ethnicity, but based solely off of his actions. It isn’t a matter of his ethnicity, it’s a matter of his person and radical mind.”

— Maria Victoria Paredes

All in all, the government should have recognized that Monis posed a threat to all those surrounding him, and should have taken precautions toward the possibility that he might act against the community in such a homicidal fashion. Even the smallest discretion toward Monis would have benefited the community in their attempt to prevent such terrorist attacks on the Australian community.

The Australian government’s lack of precautions toward Monis took a harsh toll on Australian residents, especially those in Sydney. Their government committed a drastic mistake, and as a result it cost them the lives of two citizens. Although this was an extreme infliction on Australians, such an event can be taken as a way to better the faults in the Australian government; as well as many countries around the word. With the right guidance and precautions such events of violence on a population can be prevented from occurring again.