Senior Lindt negotiator says training was ‘Islam 101’

by L&D27 May 2016
The senior police officer tasked with co-ordinating the Lindt Café siege negotiations has said he completed a counter-terrorism course that covered “Islam 101”.

Speaking at the coronial inquest, the negotiator known as “Reg” said that he undertook four weeks of negotiations training over three years from 1998.  

He then underwent a national counter-terrorism training course in 2001, which he refreshed twice in 2004 and 2008.

“[It was] in essence a 101 in trying to understand Islam – the faith and the religion,” he said.

Reg said that at the time not everyone was aware of Islam, so external specialists were brought in to provide presentations and training to the officers on religion.

The inquest heard he had never been confronted with a terrorist before the Lindt siege or dealt with situations involving over three hostages (which was during a domestic situation).

Looking back, Reg told the inquest his unit would have benefited from more assistance.

"If I had my time again, and touch wood I don't, I would definitely have called for more resources," he said.

During the negotiations, Man Haron Monis requested an Islamic State flag in return for releasing one hostage, but the demand never eventuated.

It was also confirmed at the inquest that negotiators did not speak directly with Monis throughout the siege, but instead communicated with him through hostages.

The coronial inquest continues on Monday.

L&D Professional has also recently reported that one million people who work in crowded places in the UK are to be trained over the next 12 months in dealing with a possible terrorist attack.
The aim is to ensure that employees are aware of the risk of terrorism and how to react in the case of such a real scenario.

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