According to Donald Trump, the Lindt Cafe siege, which ended in the deaths of two people, cafe manager Tori Johnson, 33, and barrister Katrina Dawson, 38, as well as the gunman, in December 2014, is one of five “under-reported” terrorist attacks the US president claimed as part of his ongoing fight to halt immigration from seven African and Middle Eastern countries.
The allegation will come as a surprise to most Australians, and as this story by news.com.au on the first anniversary in 2015 about how the world covered that horrific day noted, it was on the front page of major papers globally at the time.
Business Insider Australia produced more than 70 stories on the siege, many of which also featured on our sister site in the US.
On Monday, Trump told military leaders at the Pentagon’s US Central Command that “the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report” on terrorism attacks.
“They have their reasons and you understand that,” he said.
When the claim was challenged, White House press secretary Sean Spicer subsequently produced a list of 78 “unreported” attacks between September 2014 to December 2016.
“Most have not received the media attention they deserved,” Spicer said.
The list included the Paris nightclub attack of November 2015.
Along with the Lindt Cafe siege, the 2015 murder of accountant Curtis Cheng, outside the NSW Police HQ in western Sydney was on the list.
Two others are:
- The non-fatal stabbing of two officers at a Victorian police station in September 2014, where the teenage assailant was shot dead.
- The non-fatal stabbing of a man in a park in western Sydney last September, which led to a 22-year-old being charged with committing a terrorist attack and attempted murder.
The final one, in which Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 21, was stabbed to death in a Queensland backpacker hostel,was not classified by Australian police as a terrorism-related incident.
Fellow British backpacker Tom Jackson, 30, who tried to intervene and save Ayliffe-Chung, also died of stab wounds. The French assailant, Smail Ayad, has been charged with two counts of murder and appears before Queensland’s Mental Health Court next week.
While he allegedly yelled “Allahu Akbar” during the attack, police have been investigating an apparent obsession with his victim.
And Trump’s claim that it was a terror attack has angered Ayliffe-Chung’s British mother, Rosie Ayliffe, who posted an open letter to Trump on Facebook, saying any suggestion Islamic fundamentalism had anything to do with her daughter’s death was a “myth”.
“Any fool can shout Allahu Akbar as they commit a crime,” Ayliffe wrote to Trump.
“This vilification of whole nation states and their people based on religion is a terrifying reminder of the horror that can ensue when we allow ourselves to be led by ignorant people into darkness and hatred.”
Her full letter is below:
Last week one of Trump’s top White House advisers, Kellyanne Conway, cited a terror attack that never happened, the so-called “Bowling Green Massacre” in Kentucky, as a catalyst for Trump’s temporary ban on nationals from seven Muslim-majority states.
Conway said later that she “misspoke”.
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