Who's the gunman in the hostage crisis in Sydney? Radical cleric Man Haron Monis

Who is Man Haron Monis, the man who has taken people hostage at Lindt cafe in Sydney's central business district?

He is an Iranian refugee who has been living in Australia since 1996, a self-styled Sheik, a radical Muslim cleric and a lawbreaker.


He is not unknown in the country, having previously made headlines for sending hate mail to families of dead Australian soldiers.

For that, he was sentenced in September last year to 300 hours of community service and placed on a two-year good behaviour bond, reported 9 News.

He was charged two months later with being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife, reported The Sydney Morning Herald.

And that's not all. He is currently out on bail after being charged earlier this year with sexually assaulting seven women.

ABC quoted his former lawyer, Mr Manny Conditsis, who said the man was an isolated figure.

"His ideology is just so strong and so powerful that it clouds his vision for common sense and objectiveness," he said.

Sources: ABC, The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 News

Related reports:

One of the waitresses who escaped Sydney cafe is a sportswoman

People seen taking selfies at site of hostage situation in Sydney

Hostages held inside Sydney cafe, Arabic flag held up

Update: NSW police confirms hostages held by gunman in Sydney cafe

Latest: Five hostages run out of Sydney cafe that was taken over by gunman