This April 18, 2011 file image shows Sheikh Man Haron Monis, believed to have been the gunman inside the Lindt Cafe in Martin Place in Sydney, Australia. (AFP/AAP Image/Dean Lewins)
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Man Haron Monis, an Iranian refugee described by those who knew him as a loner, was killed early Tuesday after heavily armed police stormed the Lindt Chocolate Cafe to end a 16-hour hostage drama that made global headlines.He was charged this year with more than 40 counts of sexual or indecent assault against women in Sydney, according to court documents.He was also found guilty in 2012 of sending threatening letters to the families of eight Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan and sentenced to two years in prison, although he served only a portion of that penalty. Monis's website, now taken down by authorities, painted a picture of a man unravelling, enraged by Australian courts and by perceived injustices against Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.In December Monis seemed to suggest on his website that he had switched from Shiite to Sunni Islam, which would help explain media reports that he had demanded police bring a flag from militant Sunni Islamist group ISIS to the cafe.Monis left predominantly Shiite Iran in the late 1990s after coming into conflict with authorities there, said lawyer Manny Conditsis, who represented him in the murder case.After receiving asylum in Australia in 2001, Monis obsessed about exposing violence against Muslim civilians abroad, Conditsis told Reuters.
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