Sydney Siege Survivor Says Terrorist Suspected She Was Jewish
A survivor of the December 2014 siege at a cafe in Australia, who spoke publicly about her ordeal for the first time on Wednesday, said the perpetrator suspected she was Jewish.
Julie Taylor recounted her captivity at the hands of gunman Haron Monis, who held hostages for 17 hours at the Lindt cafe, located in Sydney’s upscale Martin Place, before police officers stormed the building and shot him to death.
Though several hostages managed to escape during the siege, Monis killed the establishment’s manager, Tori Johnson.
Taylor said that during the siege, Monis asked her a series of personal questions, including about her religion, according to the UK’s Daily Mail.
She described how she and her friend, Katrina Dawson, were preparing to leave the cafe when Monis entered. She said he initially agreed to let them go free, because they were “nice” (according to the New South Wales Department of Justice), but once they reached the door, he demanded they stop and put their hands up.
Dawson was killed in the crossfire during the police raid. Taylor, who was pregnant at the time, had fled the premises mere minutes before the gun battle. She said she had not tried to flee earlier, because she “couldn’t live with someone being shot because of our escape.”
When she gave birth, she named her daughter Emily Katrina, as a tribute to Dawson, a mother-of-three.