Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has ordered an investigation into the deadly hostage crisis in central Sydney earlier this week, which ended with three fatalities, including the gunman.
In a televised statement, Abbott said:
“We do need to know why the perpetrator of this horrible outrage got permanent residency. We do need to know how he could’ve been on welfare for so many years. We do need to know what this individual was doing with a gun licence. We particularly need to know how someone with such a long record of violence, such a long record of mental instability was out on bail.”
Before the siege, the gunman, radical Islamic cleric Man Haron Monis, had been charged with accessory to murder and numerous counts of sexual assault, for which he was free on bail.
Despite his criminal record, New South Wales Police said that Monis wass not under surveillance or on a terror watchlist as his crimes were not linked to political violence and so he was not considered a threat to national security.
Questions will also be raised about Australia’s gun laws and how Monis was able to obtain a gun with his history of violence and instability. Gun control advocates have called for the police to more vigorously enforce current firearm prohibitions, while former Sydney local councillor Nick Adams has called on the Australian government to lift gun laws entirely.