Police outside Sydney cafe (file)
Police outside Sydney cafe (file)Reuters

Australian media has unearthed new details about "hate sheikh" Man Haron Monis (49), who took just over a dozen people hostage in a Sydney cafe Monday before being killed along with two of his victims as police stormed into the cafe.

Most notable among the details revealed about Monis is that roughly a month ago he swore loyalty to the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization; during his hostage taking he had his victims hold a jihadist flag similar to that of ISIS, and aside from demanding to speak to the prime minister also reportedly asked for an ISIS flag.

In November, the notoriously erratic Haron changed from being a Shi'ite Muslim to a Sunni Muslim - he also pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the "Caliph" of ISIS and head of the brutal terrorist organization.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday asked why Monis wasn't on terror watch lists, saying: "how can someone who has had such a long and checkered history not be on the appropriate watch lists and how can someone like that be entirely at large. These are questions that we need to look at carefully."

Monis, who had a history of "mental instability," was born in Iran and worked as director of a tourism office. He fled Iran after embezzling $200,000 from his customers, and arrived in Australia in 1996 where he received asylum and began working as a "spiritual guide."

In the past decade he attracted attention for aggressive anti-governmental activities, in which he protested Australia's participation in the war on terror. He justified the Islamic "struggle" and claimed it should not be considered terror.

The "hate sheikh" as he was termed claimed to practice black magic and had a long criminal record. The Telegraph reports he allegedly murdered his ex-wife, being implicated in the murder of Noleen Pal in April after she was found dead in a stairwell with burns and 18 stab wounds.

Monis's current wife, Amirah Droudis, 34, was also implicated in Pal's murder. Nevertheless, Monis was let off on bail in the case.

Monis also faces over 40 charges of sexual assault levied against him in October, including at least seven women from Wentworthville who claimed he approached them during his work as a "spiritual healer" and practitioner of black arts there. 

He is currently on bail and had been due to appear in court over indecent and sexual assault charges in February 2015, according to Australia's Nine News

Several years ago Monis earned a conviction after writing letters to the families of Australian soldiers who fell fighting terrorist organizations in the Middle East, and calling the soldiers "pigs," "dirty" and "murderers."

In that case in late 2009 Monis escaped jail time - but was still forced to serve 300 hours of community service for the offenses, and gained some infamy for having chained himself to the courthouse in protest.