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A live broadcast by Australia’s Seven Network–which produces national morning shows “Sunrise” and “The Morning Show” from its studios at Martin Place–may have been the original target in the fatal Sydney siege at the Lindt cafe. The Daily Telegraph reports (Sydney siege gunman) “Man Haron Monis arrived at Martin Place early on Monday morning with the possible intention of taking hostages within the TV network’s studio during the live morning ‘Sunrise’ broadcast:”
But it appears that, due to increased security at the studio following the Islamic State threat in September to behead someone in Martin Place, Monis instead rerouted his plot 50m to the Lindt Chocolate Cafe, where he staged his deadly 17-hour siege, which ended with the deaths of two innocent civilians.
The Telegraph report cities government sources, who say Monis had previously protested outside the network’s studios, and was angry over a 2009 report that called him a “fake Sheik:”
The shocking revelation comes as recently released Channel 7 security footage shows Monis pacing outside the Martin Place studios — known within the network as Sunrise Alley — as early as 8.30am on the morning of the siege.
“There are several things to suggest that (Monis) may have initially set his sights on Channel 7 during their live morning broadcast,” a government source told The Saturday Telegraph.
“Morning Show” hosts Kylie Gillies and Larry Emdur were on the air when police moved into Martin Place and ultimately ordered the evacuation of the Seven News newsroom as the hosts began rolling coverage of the drama happening directly across from their studio.
“Both our hearts were breaking as we looked to the faces of the hostages pressed against the windows. It was an absolutely, totally helpless feeling. As police moved in to evacuate the newsroom directly above us, we tried to stay calm and continue to tell the story,” Emdur told the Sydney Morning Herald.
The proximity of the Seven’s studios to the cafe has been considered a factor in Monis’ choice of targets.