Abbott & the seige mentality

Looking back: the siege mentality

Coming events

Early September, I knew the Sydney siege was on the agenda; I just didn’t know what it would look like or where or when it would happen. But Abbott appeared to be promoting a siege mentality (for his own reasons) and for me, this sort of thinking usually leads to nasty outcomes.

Increased Terror Threat Level

Abbott had increased Australia's terror threat level from ‘medium’ to ‘high’, 12 Sept 2014, meaning a terror attack on home soil is now officially considered “likely”. This increase in terror threat was fully supported by Shorten.

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/terror-risk-high-t...

The nation's outgoing spy chief ASIO Director General David Irvine said an attack could manifest itself in a “Bali-style attack”. Abbott said that the agencies had not detected any "particular plots".

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/terror-risk-high-t...

This means that there was no significant event that had caused the increased alert levels; they knew of no plans. One could only conclude that the increased threat level was political.

So, why was Abbott doing this?

Abbott's failures

It was easy to see that Abbott was bringing in the increased dangers of Islamic fundamentalism into the minds of the punters because he was failing on every other front, similar to Howard’s “Alert But Not Alarm” campaign.

Abbott’s key failures were the budget, which had been immediately seen for what it was, his international standing which was making Australia a joke around the world, and the secrecy they had employed on the boat people, which had failed to deliver the expected enthusiasm from the punters. Abbott was looking more and more unstable. And there were failures, elsewhere, such as the isolation of Australia across the world on climate change, Australia standing firm with their idiocy of ‘scepticism’ in the face of scientific certainty, and Australia becoming more and more seen as a rogue state on their mistreatment of asylum seekers. He needed a diversion.

Scare tactics

Howard's 'Intervention'

Abbott had played the ‘scare campaign’ tactic before. It was just like the diversion introduced under Howard before the 2007 election, where Howard was being seen as more and more unelectable. Howard’s tactic was to introduce a direct campaign of racism in the form of “The Intervention” to try to change minds of the punters. The Intervention painted Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples as incapable of performing even the most basic life choices and introduced blanket compulsory income control because all Indigenous peoples could be expected to waste their income on drugs and alcohol to the detriment of basic needs of little children and painted a picture of emergency crisis for Indigenous children increasingly subjected to sexual abuse in their own communities. Howard was stirring up political hatred in the South, using poor and fragile Indigenous communities in the north.

Abbott's diversions

Abbott had three diversions on the go:

1. Abbott to spend week in Arnhem Land NT September

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-24/tony-abbott-to-spend-week-in-arnhe...

2. Abbott declares war on the Islamic State 'death cult' - a re-vamp of "crusade" "evil doers" of Bush 2003      http://edition.cnn.com/2003/US/03/19/sprj.irq.int.bush.transcript/
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/oct/07/iraq.usa

3. Terrorism at home

This blog is about one of them:

Terrorism at home

Abbott's indicators of the coming war on terror

Abbott instituted a plan to bring home the risks of terrorism to Australia. He knew this meant a complete change in mindset and he couldn’t wait.

On 1 Sept 2014 Abbott made a parliamentary statement on the coming war on the "death cult".  Abbott said “Australian aircraft have participated in humanitarian airdrops to people trapped on Mount Sinjar and, just yesterday, to the besieged inhabitants of the town of Amerli”. He said in coming days Australian aircraft will take part in an airlift of supplies to the Kurdish government in Erbil. 

http://australianpolitics.com/2014/09/01/ministerial-statement-on-iraq.html

He was sending out a strong message to the US that he was waiting for their request. All they had to do was ask!

He visited Arnhem Land for a week commencing 15 Sept 2014, but his heart just wasn’t in it. He put his hands on the heads of a few little kids trying to shake his hand, like a catholic bishop in holy communion, for some photo-ops,

 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/418553359092888695/

but his mind was on declaring war on ISIS in Iraq and in sending in ASIO & the AFP into Sydney & Brisbane in separate counter terrorist raids.

Shorten - Opposition Leader or Alternative Prime Minister?

Shorten had his head up his own arse! He was assessing Abbott's manoeuvres not as Opposition Leader with a responsibility to reveal Abbott's real 'intent' but as Alternative Prime Minister, "what would I do if I was Abbott?" For me, Shorten’s inability to provide even a modicum of political analysis to what Abbott was up to, and just simply support anything labelled as “anti-terrorist”, actually made the situation in Australia dangerous on a world scale, because it sent a message to the world that the whole of Australia was obsessed with this "death cult" garbage spewing out of Abbott's orifices. 

Shorten received a briefing on the need for war from the AFP/ASIO/CIA agencies, (See Chris Uhlmann’s interview with Shorten 16 Sept 2014:

http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2014/s4088359.htm

and he sought out advice from Gareth Evans and Kim Beasley on the briefing and it seems he was told that he should go along with it because the “CIA knows stuff we don’t”, and he accepted it hook, line and sinker. He also provided unquestioning acceptance and support for Abbott’s trading off the personal freedoms for ordinary punters, like me, going about our lives on the Internet, in return for an increased risk of terrorism attack. (See Michelle Grattan’s interview with Shorten 26 Sept 2014:

http://theconversation.com/grattan-on-friday-in-conversation-with-bill-shorten-32157

Police raids in Sydney

The ASIO/AFP/NSWPolice raids in Sydney on 18 September 2014 which (usefully) cut short Abbott’s visit to Arnhem Land were unprecedented because they were ‘over the top’, designed to do Abbott’s bidding (and designed to do some fishing, not to ‘curb a plot’) and (more importantly) to send a clear message to the punters, about the "dangers of the death cult" here in Australia.

 http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/terrorism-raids-carried-out-across-sydney-bris...

They sent in at least 800 police in riot gear (that’s at least 600 AFP officers, a large number of ASIO officers & the NSW counter terrorism unit) using sophisticated communication, and heavy transport backup, and helicopters, into the western suburbs, under 25 warrants (that’s 32 officers per warrant), mistreated ordinary Muslims going about their lives, including humiliation of women and children, put out a rumour that they had found a cocknbull story about a possible arbitrary random beheading to be performed in Martin Place

(which whether it is true or not we have no way of knowing and it was later unable to be substantiated by the police, which makes it likely that it was just Rupert Murdoch doing his usual masturbation, but it is a pretty useful rumour because it makes the so-called ‘plan’ apply directly to the thousands, like myself, that walk Martin Place every day, regularly going about our daily routines. Abbott was fully into it, saying idiot things such as "this is not suspicion, this is intent" (this came to his mind because he had been living in an Army tent for a couple of days in Arnhem Land rather than stay with locals and happily confirmed "intended beheadings" - a statement over which Abbott has never been brought to account) ),

detained 15, arrested 1, found one offensive weapon, and at the end of the day declared the whole thing to be a success.

 http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/terrorism-raids-carried-out-across-sydney-bris...

I laughed out loud when at the end of the day the NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione, when calling for the public to remain “calm”, said, in summation: 

“We don't need to whip this up,” he said. “All of those plans that may have been afoot have been thwarted. 

“Today’s operation reflects the reality of the threat we actually face.”

For a good summation of the links between the "Visit Arnhem Land", "Police raids in Sydney" & "Going to war" see http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/public-beheading-f...

We take you at your word, I said to my screen, if this reflects the reality of the threat, then the actual ‘terrorism threat’ we face is coming from within the government and its AFP/ASIO/State forces, not the community.

Murdoch’s press was included in the plans and had special access. The Telegraph did its usual wank. The MSM generally had a field day on ramping up the terrorism risks, describing events in detail but giving little or no analysis. In the overall understanding of what had occurred, they gave us nothing.

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/public-beheading-fears-tony-abbott-confirms-police-believed-terrorists-planned-demonstration-killings-20140918-10ilyq.html

It was left to the SMS to do a bit of analysis. For me, it was best summed up by Bernard Keane of Crikey 23 Sept 2014:

http://www.crikey.com.au/2014/09/23/abbotts-and-shortens-lies-lead-australia-to-a-sinister-place/?wpmp_tp=1

"It was the most worrying and wrong-headed speech by a national leader since, well, the last time we went to war under false pretences in Iraq. Tony Abbott’s national security statement to Parliament yesterday — strongly backed by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten — takes Australia into a very dark place, and it does so based on what can only be described as lies...

"It can only be a lie, … to seriously maintain, as Abbott did yesterday, that Islamic State (also called ISIS or ISIL) represents any sort of 'unprecedented' threat to Australia. IS is no more an unprecedented threat than it is an 'existential threat', as the Attorney-General absurdly labelled it last week. This is a group of terrorists who are, as the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security in the United States have noted, unable to mount any terrorist operations against the US…

"Then again, that’s one of the iron-clad rules of the War on Terror — each threat is always hyped as somehow worse than the last one.

"And it can only be a lie to insist, as Abbott and Shorten both do, that our participation in the attack on Iraq will not make the risk of terrorism in Australia greater. It’s a lie that voters, as today’s Essential Report shows, simply don’t buy. The government is literally using the Bush line that Islamic State simply hates us for our freedom …

"'ISIL and their followers in Australia do not hate us for what we do, they hate us for who we are and how we live,' …

"AGD, the Prime Minister and Bill Shorten were, alas, humiliated within hours when Islamic State’s ludicrously over-the-top statement calling for the killing of Westerners emerged, specifically targeting “the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State” and referring to Australia “sending its legions” against IS.

"… the Prime Minister’s office … issued a bizarrely self-contradictory statement that 'Australian agencies regard the statement issued today by ISIL calling for attacks against members of the international coalition, including Australians, as genuine. ISIL will claim that our involvement in this international effort is the reason they are targeting us, but these people do not attack us for what we do, but for who we are and how we live.'

"That is, you should believe IS when it says things that fit the government’s War on Terror narrative, but not when it says things that don’t fit it.

"The government has built its case for extensions of national security powers and war in Iraq on these two lies — lies that, as we’ll see, are self-reinforcing. … the government’s decision to attack IS has made Australia less safe, and that reduction in safety is being used to justify both the decision to attack IS and further curbs on our freedoms."

http://www.crikey.com.au/2014/09/23/abbotts-and-shortens-lies-lead-austr...

Compare http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/war-in-iraq-syria-...

Police raids in Brisbane – same day

The AFP and Qld Police conducted a series of raids in Logan and the southern suburbs of Brisbane on the same day, 18 September 2014, with 180 officers involved.

They had been planning the raids for a year. They seized two cross-bows, electronic data and one firearm during the raid but the two men associated with these were not accused or suspected of planning terrorist acts in Australia. Two men were charged with supporting a terrorist organization, but it was nothing to do with ISL.

See http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/09/10/brother-australian-suicide...

Melbourne – come in for a chat

The following week 23 September 2014 a young man was called in to a police station in Melbourne for an interview as a terrorist suspect. He greeted policemen outside the station; there was an altercation; the man stabbed two police officers and was shot dead by one of them.

The MSM including Murdoch’s Melbourne papers failed us again in their rush to link this man to terrorism.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/man-shot-dead-two-counterterrorism...

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/terror/teen-shot-dead-by-melbou...

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/man-shot-dead-two-counterterr...

Every article included a claim that this man was seen holding a flag adopted by Islamic State ISL. The implication being that if he was promoting this flag, there’s no question he is a terrorist. The photos included in these articles show what appears to be this man holding a black & white Islamic flag, but even a cursory attempt by me to answer the question “is that really the ISL flag or could it be something else?” shows that the MSM had not done any research into what such a flag might look like.  I just clicked on

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Standard

& here it suggests that the flag shown is not ISL flag at all but is more likely to be the widely acclaimed religious banner shahada, used by Muslims all over the world, which simply says “There is no God but Allah, & Mohammed is His messenger!” From the reports in the MSM it appears that the Melbourne police might have made the same mistake.

Even Leigh Sales’ 730Report seems to make this mistake. While she does show the terrorist website with their own symbol behind the text, the reference to the standard shahada shown throughout the report, suggests it has been “adopted by ISL”. Where they got this statement from is unknown; my guess is they just lifted it from Murdoch’s dailies, where you can see it everywhere. It is becoming increasingly obvious to simply lift anything from a Murdoch scumrag without proper enquiry will just show your incompetence as a reporter.

See Leigh Sales’ 730Report  http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2014/s4094166.htm

The Victorian police reiterated on that 730Report that their suspicions were based on him holding a flag "assumed to be an ISL flag, yes". This indicates that the anti terrorism squad still had not asked the simple question, even following this tragic stabbing and killing. I am not making any claims here but to properly understand this absurd event, it would seem professional to at least ask this question.

Murdoch's filth included unsubstantiated claims "known terror suspect" (whatever that means) Australian, headline "Islamic extremist" Telegraph. "known Islamic fanatic" (suggesting these words came out of Abbott's mouth) Telegraph.

"Reports also emerged that the man, whose name has not been released, was brandishing an IS flag — and was known to have previously proudly waved the death cult flag at a nearby shopping centre."

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/islamic-extremist-shot-dead-tw...

The Murdoch scumrags reported that this teen had been advised by his friends to not go & not take the flag with him. He replied that he had nothing to apologise for and he took the flag with him to talk to the police. A number of references were made to him presenting the flag to police before they shot him dead. As we expect from Murdoch scumrags, no attempt has been made to explain what was going through his mind, what he was trying to achieve, or to surmise why he might do that.

Looking back - the Sydney siege

The siege

On 15 December 2014 at around 9:45AM a man walked into a coffee shop run by choclate supplier Lindt in Martin Place carrying a shotgun & took control of the cafe taking the staff and customers as hostages.

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/lindt-chocolat-cafe-hostage-drama-in-martin-pl...

Uncanny - are we looking back?

When the Sydney siege happened, nobody was particularly surprised. Appalled, maybe, concerned, yes, but not surprised. It was like we had seen all the elements back in September; we just needed to put them together in a different order. The key elements that link the two events for me were:

  • the role of the PM
  • the location - Martin Place
  • the absurd role of Rupert Murdoch
  • the lack of professionalism of the Murdoch scumrags
  • the non-flag

Abbott - Australia is a free open & generous place

The government was getting ready for the MYEFO (Mid-Year Economic Fiscal Outlook) (what we in laypersons' terms refer to as a 'mini-Budget')

Abbott came out at 1PM to address the key issues:

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/sydney-siege-tony-...

Mr Abbott said:

"We don't yet know the motivation of the perpetrator, we don't know whether this is politically motivated although obviously there are some indications that it could be. 

"We have to appreciate that even in a society such as ours, there are people who would wish to do us harm.

"The whole point of politically motivated violence is to scare people out of being themselves. Australia is a peaceful, open, and generous society.

"Nothing should ever change that and that's why I would urge all Australians today to go about their business as usual."

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/sydney-siege-tony-...

To hear these words coming from the Prime Minister's mouth at this moment was the biggest moment for me since he was elected. It means that Abbott is fully aware of the price being paid by his policies. It means he has made a conscious decision to trade the image of Australia as "a peaceful open and generous society" for more important outcomes. He could have softened harsh policies adopted by the ALP and LNP with regard to the fulfilment of Australia's commitments under the UN conventions in relation to refugees, but he instead chose to harden them to the extent that Australia is now seen as a rogue state, around the world. He could have softened harsh cuts to government projects and welfare benefits flowing to Indigenous populations, giving them a special place because of their important place in Australia's history and importance of current trends around the world, and because of the need for others to see them in a special/generous way; he instead chose to smash up the projects and cut welfare payments, giving the lidea that Indigenous populations are of little worth. He could have ended the Intervention when the policy initative adopted by Labor came to an end, because of the need for human rights of Indigenous populations to be recognised and protected; instead he chose to extend this for another 10 years.

Of course there are those amongst us who do see Australia as this "peaceful, open and generous society", or at least to have huge potential to mature and become this place, but it is not because of, but rather despite, the words and action of leadership on both sides of politics.

The emotional outpouring over the loss of two innocent Sydneysiders having a morning cuppa coffee with the flowers being left on Martin Place and the huge demonstration of support on Twitter for I'LL RIDE WITH YOU a #hashtag that went virile across the world, demonstrate that potential clearly. https://twitter.com/search?q=%23illridewithyou&src=tyah

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/network-seven-original-target-of-terror...

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/martin-place-siege-illridewithyou-hashtag-goes...

The location - Martin Place

Why the gunman chose the Lindt Café was unclear at the time, but it has since been suggested that he was originally trying to take over Channel 7 which is across Martin Place from the Lindt Café but was put off by the higher levels of security and so he chose the Café instead.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/network-seven-original-target-of-terror...

When talking about the significance of Channel 7 in the choice of carrying out his siege, Herald Sun also brought back the "Islamic State threat in September to behead someone in Martin Place" even though this was never given any credence in September, just an act of masturbation by Rupert Murdoch through the Telegraph.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/network-seven-original-target-of-terror...

The non-flag

At 10:27AM the SMH started a continual coverage of the with a claim that the event began with the "waving (of) an Islamic State flag".

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/lindt-chocolat-cafe-hostage-drama-in-martin-pl...

At 10:55 AM SMH published a comment on this flag which constituted a retraction of the initial comment:

"An explanation of the flag seen in the cafe windows

"From national security correspondent David Wroe: The flag being shown in the window is not an Islamic State flag, nor one for the other best-known jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra. Rather, it appears to be a Shahada flag, which represents a general expression of faith in Islam, though has been co-opted by various jihadist groups.

"Greg Barton, a terrorism expert from Monash University, says that 'getting hold of an [Islamic State] flag would be quite difficult, and people will make do with what they have got'.

"That means it doesn't help confirm or rule out that the hostage-takers' affiliation is with Islamic State or any other group."

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/lindt-chocolat-cafe-hostage-drama-in-martin-pl...

At 2:00 PM the Murdoch scumrag Telegraph put out a special edition which ignored those two expert comments and we all know that to claim they didn't know that those comments had been made would just be a pure lie. The front & back page carried unprofessional lies & implications. It was implying that seeing the ISL flag in the window of the Lindt Café proved this to be an act of what Abbott referred to as the "Death Cult".

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/lindt-chocolat-cafe-hostage-drama-in-martin-pl...

As it turned out it became clear that this was a man known to the NSW police, who was not associated with any organisation, not seen as a terrorist, and was out on bail for a series of offences including taking part in the killing of his wife. 

Comments

January 29, 2015 - 5:46PM Rose Powell http://www.canberratimes.com.au/nsw/lindt-cafe-siege-inquest-looks-at-un...

"The inquest into the Martin Place siege will have an unprecedented focus on social media as investigators trawl through thousands of sources documenting one of Sydney's most public crimes.

A team of more than 30 police detectives and experts have been reviewing evidence since the siege's violent end on December 16 that left two hostages and the gunman dead. ...

"'What interactions occurred between hostages, police, non-police parties and hostage families? How did social media contact impact the prospects of the resolution?' Mr Gormly asked.

"The hostages used social media to contact family members and friends but also to communicate the demands of Mr Monis.

"One such post was uploaded to Facebook during the siege by Westpac employee Marcia Mikhael, who wrote on her page she was being held hostage by a member of IS.

"'The man who is keeping us hostage has asked for small and simple requests and none have been met. He is now threatening to start killing us. We need help right now.'

"During the siege NSW Deputy Police Commissioner Catherine Burn confirmed they were following conversations on Twitter to inform their tactical response as well as monitoring Facebook posts by the 18 men and women trapped inside the cafe."

READ more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/nsw/lindt-cafe-siege-inquest-looks-at-un...

January 29, 2015 - 10:47PM Paul Bibby, Louise Hall http://www.1001portails.com/feeds_canberratimes_com_au_rssheadlines_top_...

"In a remarkably detailed opening to the coronial inquest into the Martin Place siege, NSW Coroner Michael Barnes pulled back the veil in order to "answer speculation" about an incident which 'terrified many'.

"Counsel assisting the coronial inquiry into the siege, Jeremy Gormly, SC, described how Monis began the 17-hour siege, which resulted in the death of two innocent hostages, with the seemingly simple act of asking to see the Lindt Café's manager, Tori Johnson." ...

"Shortly after 2am, as a further six hostages kicked down an internal door and fled the café, Monis ordered Mr Johnson to kneel down on the floor.

"After a short lapse of time Mr Monis simply shot him without further notice or warning, in the back of the head," Mr Gormly said, as members of the 34-year-old man's immediate family sat in the court room." ...

"A police marksman saw the execution and informed his superiors, resulting in an immediate decision by police to go in.

"Police immediately forced entry into the cafe using specially designed bullets to smash open the glass doors and windows.

"The heavily armed officers threw 11 SF9s or 'flash bangs', which set off 99 loud bangs and flashes of light mimicking a hail of bullets.

"Two snipers, identified only as entry officers A and B, fired 22 rounds at Monis, who discharged two shots in return.

"Monis was killed instantly after two bullet fragments entered his head and 11 others lodged in his body.

"Hostage Katrina Dawson was struck by six fragments of police bullets, which ricocheted from the café's walls into her body.

"One fragment struck a major blood vessel, and Ms Dawson lost consciousness and died shortly afterwards.

"Three other hostages and one tactical operative were also struck by ricocheting fragments but suffered relatively minor injuries." ...

"The source for much of the details revealed on Thursday, Mr Gormly said, were the surviving hostages.

"'The hostages have had an experience that most of us would struggle to even imagine,' he said.

"'They are our eyes and ears and memory of what happened during those hours inside the Lindt Café.'

"He warned that the investigation was far from complete, with expert examination and reports not yet being finalised and contextual material not yet collated."

READ more: http://www.1001portails.com/feeds_canberratimes_com_au_rssheadlines_top_...

ABC http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-17/iran-extradition-request-sydney-si...
Sydney siege: Iran says Australia refused request extradition of gunman Man Haron Monis
Updated 17 Dec 2014, 10:53amWed 17 Dec 2014, 10:53am

Monis was granted political asylum in Australia in 2001.

Iran says it requested the extradition of Sydney siege gunman Man Haron Monis 14 years ago, but Australia refused to hand him over because there was no extradition agreement between the two countries.

See http://themiddleeastonline.com.au/index.php/sydney-siege-iran-says-austr...

"In a bizarre case of mistaken identity, the stickers were in fact spruiking a local nightclub – a fact lost on Mr Simpkins when he boasted on his Facebook page of having them painted over.

"On November 5, Mr Simpkins wrote: 'Last week I noticed black disks (sic) that appeared to be Shahada symbols. Thanks to the Transport Minister and his adviser for getting them painted over quickly after my call'.

"The post included pictures taken from some distance of two “discs” displaying white cursive writing against a black background.
...
"It was not until this week that fans of Speakeasy, the bi-monthly Australian music showcase at Villa nightclub, noticed Mr Simpkins’ post and recognised the “discs” as Speakeasy stickers.

"The MP’s Facebook page was yesterday bombarded with ridicule.

“'Thanks for fighting the good fight in WA on all of Australia’s behalf. We really do need to crack down on ISIS promoting nightclubs in Australia,' wrote one user.

“'Speakeasy is a Shahada symbol? Wow, You sir are a complete idiot,' posted another.

"Pierce Ericson, event manager at Metric Promotions which runs Speakeasy, confirmed the images in Mr Simpkins’ post were Speakeasy stickers which had been in circulation two to three years ago.

“'We’ve been discussing this in the office this morning. The fact that (Mr Simpkins) felt the need to cover it up purely because it was ‘Islamic’ is bothering us a little bit,' he said."

https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/25914523/mp-ridiculed-over-islami...

This issue was covered back in August 2014 when Cameron got involved with the Telegraph on banning the ISIS flag

http://www.islam21c.com/politics/banning-the-isis-flag-will-outlaw-the-m...

Jenna McLaughlin is an editorial fellow with Mother Jones in the Washington Bureau.
16 Dec 2014

"When an armed assailant seized control of a café in downtown Sydney on Monday morning and forced two hostages to hold a black flag with Arabic script up to the window, many observers were quick to claim that ISIS, the self-proclaimed Islamic State that now dominates about a third of Iraq and Syria, was involved. The flag proved it!
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/12/islamic-isis-flags-black-ban...

"It's not that simple. Islamic groups, terrorist and otherwise, have adopted many different flags with Arabic script on them over the years. In August, members of the Kurdish community mistook a Palestinian flag with Islamic declarations on it for the ISIS flag, resulting in a violent fight. Over the summer, a New Jersey resident was pressured to take down a black flag bearing the shahada, or Islamic declaration of faith ("There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God") after someone reported it to the Department of Homeland Security. The Jersey man had flown the flag for 10 years, and insisted (correctly) that it had nothing to do with ISIS. The ISIS flag features the shahada, but most flags with the shahada on them are not ISIS flags. In Sydney, the "ISIS" flag in the window was actually a simple black flag bearing the shahada."

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/12/islamic-isis-flags-black-ban...

This was actually covered by SBS back in September 2014

Excellent piece - worth a read

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/09/10/why-black-shahada-flag-doe...

Deatils of expert advice given by SMH 16 Dec 2014
"The flag shown being held by hostages against the window of Lindt Chocolat Cafe is not an Islamic State flag, but is an Islamic flag that has been co-opted by jihadist groups.

"However, Greg Barton, a terrorism expert from Melbourne's Monash University, said that 'getting hold of an [Islamic State] flag would be quite difficult, and people will make do with what they have got'.

"The translation of the flag is: 'There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.'

"The Shahada is the testament of Islamic faith, which is one of the five pillars of Islam.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/flag-being-held-by-lindt-chocolat-cafe-ho...

"A translation by Fairfax Media has established that the script on the flag is very precise, classical Arabic. Mass-produced flags typically skip over the more complex grammatical notation - such as short vowel signs - because they are hard to reproduce.

"This one is very precise in detail, suggesting it is not mass-produced.

"Monash University senior politics lecturer Ben MacQueen, whose work focuses on the Middle East, said the Shahadah - which is what the white writing on the flag appeared to be - was the testimony or core statement of belief in Islam.

"... the flag looked 'like the black banner which was used in the 1990s - it is not the Islamic State flag per se - it has been used in recent times, for example, by Chechen groups.'

"T'he black symbolises the second caliphate - it is to say we [IS] are re-creating the caliphate,' he said.

"'A lot of Islamic states have used the black. In Afghanistan at the turn of the 20th century for example, they had just a black flag. ...If this was centrally organised from Syria or Iraq they would not be using that flag.'"

http://www.smh.com.au/national/flag-being-held-by-lindt-chocolat-cafe-ho...