Sydney siege inquest: Gunman secretive, defiant narcissist

SYDNEY (AP) — The man who took 18 people hostage at a Sydney cafe last year was educated and erratic, secretive about his own life and public about his many grievances, and a self-obsessed fabulist whose life was spiraling downward in the lead-up to his deadly attack, lawyers told an inquest Monday.

The details of Man Monis’ life and death are being examined at a coroner’s inquest into December’s siege at the Lindt Cafe, in which a shotgun-wielding Monis took customers and workers captive and made a series of demands, including that he be delivered a flag of the Islamic State group. The standoff ended when police stormed the cafe. Monis was killed, along with two hostages.

“This is not a normal investigation — it is grappling with questions of national significance,” New South Wales state Coroner Michael Barnes told the court. “Was Monis a so-called lone wolf prosecuting an ISIS-inspired terrorist act, or was he a deranged individual pursuing some personal, private grievance in a public manner?”…

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