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Urgent review ordered into background of Sydney siege gunman

An urgent review has been ordered by the Australian government to answer a number of "obvious questions" about what could have been done to prevent the deadly siege at a Sydney café.

It comes as police in Sydney revealed they fought to keep gunman Man Haron Monis, who went on to kill two hostages in a 16-hour siege, in custody - but were overruled by the courts, police chiefs have revealed.

The 50-year-old gunman, who died as police stormed the building, was implicated in a string of serious crimes but had still been granted bail.

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Sydney gunman had dropped off watchlist

The gunman behind the cafe siege in Sydney had dropped off the Australian national security agency's watchlist, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said.

Mr Abbott said Iranian-born Man Haron Monis was on the organisation's watchlist in 2008 and 2009 but was later dropped from it.

Speaking to the media, Mr Abbott said: "I don't know why he dropped off the watch list in those days, I really don't."

He said answers were needed as to why Monis, who faced a string of charges including being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife, had been out on bail and also possessed a gun licence.

Mr Abbott said: "We particularly need to know how someone with such a long record of violence and such a long record of mental instability was out on bail after his involvement in a particularly horrific crime,"

He added: "And we do need to know how he seemed to have fallen off our security agency's watchlist back in about 2009."

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