IRAN says it requested the extradition of the Muslim terrorist gunman behind the Sydney hostage siege 14 years ago, but Australia refused.

In new developments the head of Iran’s police, Gen Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam,told BBC reporters that Man Haron Monis, a welfare parasite in Australia, was wanted in Iran for fraud in 1996 but that he fled to Australia. “Since we did not have an agreement on the extradition of criminals with Australia, the Australian police refused to extradite him,” he said.

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NEWS AU (h/t Eric M)  Monis arrived in Australia as a refugee from Iran in 1996, and apparently alarm bells were ringing about his dangerous past even before he reached out shores. According to Fars News International, Iran’s government news agency, he had stolen $US200,000 from people applying for travel visas when he was working in a local travel agency, and used that money to flee to Australia. News Corp Australia today reports the Iranian State Department warned Australia about Monis before he arrived in the country almost 20 years ago.

“The psychological condition of the person who took refuse in Australia two decades ago has been discussed several times with the Australian officials,” a spokeswoman for the Iranian foreign ministry said. Australia had denied an attempt extradite Monis to Iran when he had been indicted for fraud in 1996.

When asked to confirm the claim in a press conference this afternoon, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he would not confirm it but not deny it either. Mr Abbott did confirm that Man Haron Monis held a gun license and that he had been on welfare.

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These latest revelations the latest in a stream of questions being asked by the community and its leaders in the wake of the horrifying Sydney siege that killed two innocent people and injured dozens of others. As the public learns more and more about the violent history of Man Haron Monis, the demand for answers strengthens.

The self-styled ‘sheik’ a dole recipient, became known to ASIO and other intelligence agencies in the late 2000s. His “extremist behaviour” and long criminal history, made him suspicious to intelligence agencies.

One example of Monis’ behaviour, when he sent offensive letters to the families of dead Australian soldiers in 2010, brought him into the national spotlight. But it was activities separate to this that gained the attention of ASIO, the AFP and the Department of Immigration.

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Monis was known to counterterrorism agencies. He was on a national watch list but had “dropped off”, the Prime Minister admitted this morning. Since the terror alert was heightened in September in response to threats from Islamic State, the government has been more closely monitoring the activity of those on national watch lists, but NSW Attorney-General Brad Hazzard admitted yesterday one fatal mistake had been made by overlooking this man.

Speaking on ABC radio this morning, Mr Abbott said the threshold for an individual to make the watchlist was, “in a nutshell”, someone who “is regarded as at risk of doing violence against innocent people”. Even though Mr Monis had a known “infatuation with extremism” and had publicly declared his support of IS on his website just last month, he somehow didn’t make the cut.

Monis entered the Lindt cafe in the centre of Sydney’s CBD armed with a shotgun just months after a Sydney magistrate decided the case to detain him after he had been accused of assisting in the murder of his former partner was “weak”. The 50-year-old was facing charges of being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife, stabbed and set alight allegedly by Monis’ new girlfriend.

Sydney jihadi’s neighbors: he prayed loudly to Allah and threw garbage into their yard

Sydney jihadi’s neighbors: he prayed loudly to Allah and threw garbage into their yard

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