SYDNEY, December 17 – Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday questioned why the gunman responsible for the tragic Sydney siege was not on a security watchlist, Xinhua news agency reported.
Man Haron Monis who died in the Martin Place siege had a history of violence and was well known to state and federal police and domestic spy agency Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).
Abbott said Monis was not on a security watchlist despite his long criminal history and “known infatuation with extremism”, and the public had a right to
know why he was not being closely monitored.
“How can someone like that be entirely at large in the community?” Abbott told ABC radio.
“These are questions that we need to look at carefully and calmly and methodically to learn the right lessons and to act upon them.
“We need to ask ourselves ‘is this the best we can do?’ That’s what we’ll be doing in the days and weeks ahead,” he said.
Abbott said Monis still might not have been stopped even if he had been closely watched.
But he also said the attack was an isolated one from a deeply unstable person with a long history of violence and mental illness.