UPDATE: Videos allegedly made by hostages inside the Lindt cafe contained further details about the hostage taker and his demands, including his insistence that the incident was an ISIS attack against Australia.
A Facebook post attributed to a victim of the Sydney cafe siege which purports to contain a list of demands from the hostage taker states that the terrorist is a self-proclaimed member of ISIS, that two other accomplices have placed bombs elsewhere in the city, and that he will start killing hostages unless his demands are met.
The post, which is deliberately not being reported by the mainstream media, was made by Marcia Mikhael. It states that the terrorist is a member of Islamic State and has requested an ISIS flag to be sent to the location, amongst other “small and simple requests” which have not been met.
The terrorist also requested that he speak via live broadcast with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and that five hostages will be released, according to the post. Five hostages did subsequently leave the cafe but it is unclear whether they escaped or were released.
A generic Islamic flag was later displayed by hostages in the window of the Lindt cafe, but it was different from the one commonly used by ISIS.
“There are 2 more bombs in the city,” the terrorist allegedly told the hostages, while also ordering that the media tell the other two “brothers not to explode the bomb.” The hostage taker also reportedly has a bomb and a shotgun.
Mikhael subsequently deleted the post (or more likely Facebook deleted the post), although her profile is still active. She is listed as a Senior Project Manager at Westpac and Owner at Fitness 4 Life Australia.
The location where the siege is unfolding, Martin Place, was identified as a terrorist target earlier this year. In a potentially related incident, the Belgian town of Ghent has been placed under lockdown after four gunmen took a hostage in an apartment building.
As we reported last week, a deluge of media reports in addition to the past history of terror plots occurring around Christmas suggested that an attempted attack by ISIS on a developed country was imminent.