Australian hostage taker named as Iranian refugee with criminal past

Australian hostage taker named as Iranian refugee with criminal past
This screengrab taken from Australian Channel Seven shows the suspected gunman inside a cafe in the central business district of Sydney on December 15, 2014

SYDNEY - An Iranian refugee convicted of sexual assault and known for sending hate letters to the families of Australian soldiers killed overseas is the armed man holding an unknown number of hostages in a Sydney cafe, a police source said on Tuesday.

Man Haron Monis, an Iranian refugee and self-styled sheikh, remained holed up in the cafe some 15 hours after the siege began.

"There's no operational reason for that name to be held back by us now," said the police source, who declined to be identified.

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