The gunman who held hostages for more than 16 hours in a Sydney cafe was no stranger to police -- and was on bail for violent criminal offenses at the time of the siege.Man Haron Monis, an Iranian-born refugee who was granted political asylum in Australia in 2001, had "a long history of violent crime, infatuation with extremism and mental instability," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters."It's pretty obvious that the perpetrator was a deeply disturbed individual," he said at a press conference Tuesday, adding that the 50-year-old was "well known" to federal and state police, as well as the Australian Security Intelligence Organization."But I don't believe he was on a terror watch list at this time."New South Wales Premier Mike Baird said authorities were investigating why Monis -- who was killed in the siege -- was at large, given his criminal background."We're all outraged that this guy was on the street," he told reporters. "We need to understand why he was. We also need to understand why he wasn't picked up."
From Peshawar, Pakistan:
Uniformed militants attacked a school, killing at least 126 people and taking hostages on Tuesday, an official said - an atrocity condemned by the White House as "heinous.""The gunmen entered class by class and shot some kids one by one," a student who was in the school at the time told local media.Provincial official Bahramand Khan said at least 126 people were killed and 122 injured. More than 100 of the dead were school children, he added. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault, which appeared to be targeting the the children of senior military officials.Bombs planted by the attackers slowed rescue efforts, a military official said, adding that operations at the scene were "closing up".
And not to be outdone, from the good old US of A:
The manhunt for a Marine veteran suspected of killing his ex-wife and five of her relatives amid a child custody dispute has spread to two suburban Philadelphia counties.Some schools were closed Tuesday, hospitals and other public places increased security and residents remained on heightened alert, even as officials lifted a shelter-in-place order for parts of Bucks County, where a knife-wielding, fatigue-clad man resembling suspect Bradley William Stone attempted a carjacking Monday night.The killings and the manhunt through neighborhoods and woods echoed two other Pennsylvania tragedies: George Banks shooting and killing 13 people, including five of his children, at two locations in Wilkes-Barre in 1982; and Eric Frein's 48 days on the run through the Poconos after a shooting in September killed a state trooper and injured another.Monday's shooting rampage started before dawn at the home of Stone's former sister-in-law in Souderton and ended about 90 minutes later at ex-wife Nicole Stone's apartment in nearby Harleysville, prosecutors said.Stone's former wife, 33-year-old Nicole Stone, was found dead after a neighbor saw Brad Stone fleeing just before 5 a.m. Monday with their two young daughters.Police then made the grim discovery of five people killed in two other houses: Nicole Stone's sister, brother-in-law and 14-year-old niece were dead. A 17-year-old nephew was left clinging to life. And her mother and grandmother had been fatally shot.Brad Stone and his ex-wife had been locked in a court fight over their children's custody since she filed for divorce in 2009. He filed an emergency motion early this month, although the resulting Dec. 9 ruling remains sealed in court files.