The man said to be responsible for taking hostages at the Lindt café in Sydney is an Iranian mystic who claims to practice black magic, not an ISIS terrorist as previously reported.

Man Haron Monis, aka Mohammad Hassan Manteghi, has a criminal record, including 22 counts of aggravated sexual assault and 14 counts of aggravated indecent assault relating to six women.

In 2002 he faced charges in a plot to murder his first wife in Sydney. The woman, Noleen Hayson Pal, was stabbed to death and set on fire. According to the Telegraph, she met Monis through a newspaper classified ad in which he claimed to be a spiritual leader.

Monis is also known for sending offensive letters to the families of dead Australian soldiers. He was sentenced to 300 hours of community service after pleading guilty to sending the letters.

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