Less than an hour ago, a popular Sydney, Australia, cafe became the scene of a siege which is suspected of connections to terrorism. A Lindt Chocolate Cafe in the central business district (CBD) of the Australian city was taken over by at least one armed assailant, causing mass evacuations of the usually busy area. Hostages have been seen pressed up against windows with their hands up and some were seen holding up a black and white flag with Arabic writing on it. This has fueled suspicion that it is connected to terrorism and the Islamic State, though these cannot be substantiated.
The flag has actually been identified by the ABC, the Australian public news channel, as a flag with the Shahada, or the Arabic phrase “There is no God but Allah.” Initial reports speculated that it was actually the black IS flag, but it turns out not to be. Despite this, many people watching the situation in Sydney are afraid that there is still a connection to terrorism. Currently, the focus is on the hostages and making sure they come through the situation safely.
Australian Channel 7’s newsroom is situated directly across from the Sydney cafe and they have kept up a running coverage of the scene from their unique position. Many floors in the Channel 7 building have been evacuated and reporters in the newsroom were pushed back away from the windows. There have been reports of evacuations in a wide area around the cafe, including the famous Sydney Opera House. Tensions and precautions have been heightened as the scene at the Sydney cafe continues to look like a suspected terrorism siege and the police force are being very cautious at this time.
Breaking News By Lydia Bradbury