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Khayre was no terrorist, he was an ice addict who had lost all grip of reality

By Kuranda Seyit - posted Thursday, 22 June 2017

Two weeks ago, Yacqup Khayre allegedly attended an escort agency located in Brighton and then shot a man in the foyer and then took a female worker hostage and demanded she call a TV station, then allegedly took the phone and said, 'This is for Al-Qaeda. This is for IS.'

When police arrived he fired several shots before he himself was killed by police, in the process he injured three police officers acting in the line of duty.

It is all very sad. We saw the pathetic figure of this young man in photos all over the press, whom, from all accounts, was a troubled man, starting from his youth and leading into his adulthood with his addiction to drugs, namely ice. He came to Australia as a refugee (although it is really irrelevant). He grew up in Australia and is a product of this society. Most young people who become ice addicts are not really to blame, they lose grip on reality and spiral out of control and commit acts of violence. Of course, he is not completely innocent for his addiction, for ultimately he made the decision to use. But as we have seen so regularly in the media, many Australians succumb to the dangers of ice and let loose their inner demons. It is a familiar scenario.


Khayre is no exception. The question is this a terrorist matter or just a violent murder from an ice addicted madman? The police themselves are not sure as the matter is still under investigation.

The Australian government defines terrorism as: an act, or a threat to commit an act, that is done with the intention to coerce or influence the public or any government by intimidation to advance a political, religious or ideological cause, and the act causes death, serious harm or endangers a person.

There was an act of violence. Yes. There was a cause of death. Yes. One could argue that it was in a public place. The question and we will never know the real answer, is what was his intention? Was his intention to advance an ideological cause? One could hardly say that he was acting on behalf of IS or Al Qaeda, because you are either working for one or the other, you cant work for both. It's like saying I am a Royalist and a Republican at the same time. It doesn't work that way, you can't support two diametrically opposing viewpoints.

Khayre was clearly confused. So how authentic are his claims? His credibility is already in question. So it still remains, was his intention "to coerce or influence the public or any government by intimidation to advance a political, religious or ideological cause"?

The man had a violent past. He was on parole. He had no fixed place of abode. He had no community and was ostracized by his family. Then what really was there left for him?

There are striking similarities with the Lindt Café siege gunman, Man Haron Monis.


He was a man with a troubled past. A refugee. A history of mental illness. He was on bail when he clearly should have been behind bars. He took several people hostage and shot one of his hostages before the café was stormed and he himself was killed. He demanded to speak to the media and made some ludicrous statements and demanded an IS flag which in fact was simply a cloth with some Islamic inscriptions which are used by millions of Muslims worldwide and often used on the flags of several Islamic nations, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran. Monis was confused about who he was acting for; he was a shi'ite claiming to be an IS supporter, IS being a Sunni group who hate shi'ites. And he also did not know what the IS flag looked like.

But most importantly this man was a violent criminal and was facing some serious jail time, if he had gone to trial. That never happened because our courts failed us once again. Just like they failed us in the case of Khayre and other violent criminals like Adrian Bayley who raped and murdered Jill Meagher. Bayley should never have been released.

But that brings me back to my point. Khayre and Monis were two peas from the same pod. They were violent criminals who had no desire to live, they lived in a hopeless situation and had given up for all intents and purposes and decided to go out with a bang. It was their chance to make themselves infamous and to go down in the history books albeit for all the wrong reasons. Neither had a true connection to an 'ideological cause'. They were in my opinion, attention seekers who used Islam and IS to lure the media. The media and police are drawn to people like Khayre, because he ticks the boxes and it has the desired effect – sensational headlines and massive interest in the story.

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About the Author

Kuranda Seyit is a council member of the Sydney Peace Foundation, Director of the Forum on Australia's Islamic Relations (FAIR) and an independent documentary film maker.

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All articles by Kuranda Seyit

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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