Police say text warning of 'something bad' on NYE is a hoax

UPDATE 10.33am: NEW South Wales police have dismissed a text message which warns about 'something bad' happening in Sydney on New Year's Eve as a hoax.

The message describes a wallet being found and a person who comes to collect the wallet warning about 'something bad' happening in #Sydney on New Year's Eve or Christmas.

Police have confirmed they've received no such reports

"We believe the message has been designed to create fear in the community," a police spokesman said.

"Please share this hoax alert - don't share the hoax. Anyone who has information about possible signs of terrorism in Australia is urged to call the National Security Hotline on 1800 1234 00
 


EARLIER: THE outspoken leader of a radical anti-Islamic group claims he had been warned the dramatic siege which transpired in Sydney yesterday was "going to happen".

Restore Australia CEO Mike Holt, who lives on the Sunshine Coast, said he had received a text from his 15-year-old daughter a month ago warning of dangers in Sydney.

The text, which Mr Holt sent to the Daily, allegedly concerned a Muslim man telling a person who had helped him find his wallet to stay away from Sydney.

"Because you have done a good deed, I will do you a good deed and tell you don't be anywhere near Sydney for New Year," it read.

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Mr Holt claimed this was evidence Sydney was going to be the centre of a terrorist siege over the Christmas season.

However, Mr Holt said he did not send the text to the National Security Council, but "wished I had". "I did put it up on the internet a month ago," Mr Holt said.

As the world watched cautiously and people everywhere prayed for a safe outcome for those held in the Lindt cafe in Martin Place, Mr Holt said it was a "good thing".

"Despite the horror of what's going on, it is a good thing as it will wake people up," Mr Holt said.

There has been widespread speculation on Facebook sites that Lindt was the target of the siege because of its anti-Halal stance. Only seven days earlier, on December 9, the Facebook page Boycott Halal in Australia was posting Lindt as an honorary example of how to do business as the company announced expansion in Sydney

Lindt does not have Halal certification. "Such good news for Australia from Lindt," the post said.

It received nearly 2000 likes.

Sunshine Coast Muslims contacted by the Daily yesterday were united in their condemnation of the events in Sydney, with dozens of people feared to be held hostage by what police believed was a lone gunman.

Author of the "Holy Quran Simply" and former Australian Federation of Islamic Council president Haset Sali said it was the work of a "lone terrorist who is an obvious nut case".

Mr Sali, who also lives on the Sunshine Coast, called for calm as tensions ran high on social media yesterday among anti-Muslim groups, including Stop the Mosque at Maroochydore.

"These people are not Muslims, they do claim they are Muslims, but they are just fascists," Mr Sali said.

"They are trying to embroil religious turmoil and hatred. We should not allow hatred to undermine the freedom and peace the overwhelming majority of the nation believes in," he said.

Syed Sadique was visiting the Maroochydore site of an Islamic Centre while the siege was unfolding yesterday morning. Mr Sadique was unaware what was happening in Sydney but said his religion was "peaceful".

"There are a group of people who don't have a clear view and do things one should not do, according to the majority," he said.

"No religion kills people. What these people are doing is giving us a bad name with the community. It is very upsetting.

"IS (Islamic State) are terrorists. In our religion, you cannot kill an innocent person. You can't even kill an ant without a reason."

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the council's "thoughts and prayers are with the hostages and their families and friends". "We hope it is resolved quickly and without violence."


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