Facebook Post Gives Inside Glimpse to Sydney Siege
In the midst of the drama of the Sydney siege inside the Lindt chocolate café on Monday, an alleged list of the kidnapper’s demands surfaced in a Facebook status allegedly posted by one the hostages. Vocativ is withholding the identity of the individual in light of the family members’ request. Despite the lack of verification of whether the post was indeed uploaded by one of the hostages, the list of demands went viral.
Australian police locked down the center of Sydney after an armed man walked into the café in the city’s financial district, taking the visitors hostage and forcing them to display a black flag with Arabic text (partially translated as: “There is no God but Allah”) on the window of the café. Five people, two men and three women managed to escape the café. As we publish this post, it is estimated that around 15 people are still being held hostage, though the exact number remains uncertain.
According to the hostage’s account, the kidnapper is in possession of both a firearm and an explosive device. The demands, released approximately six hours after the takeover at Martin Place began, include:
1. Sending an Islamic State-branded flag into the café in return for a released hostage.
2. Allowing the terrorist to speak with Australian Prime Minister Tonny Abbot in return for five hostages.
3. Having the media plead with the two other (alleged) assailants not to detonate the other two bombs located within the city.
Immediately after the post went viral, the Facebook wall of the account was barraged with reactions from people all over the world. Not long after, the account owner’s family members posted a request to stop linking to her page, saying, “Please stop linking, commenting or sharing my aunty’s status. These are nothing but the gunmans [sic] means of communicating and scaring people.”
The Australian police have asked those who have made contact with hostages through social media to contact the police.