Minutes ago I talked with the Adam Dolnik, a brilliant terrorism expert who I have known since I was working on WMD terrorism in the Australian intelligence community. I attended a presentation he gave at a conference and saw immediately that he was an original and penetrating thinker.
Adam has written books on terrorist hostage-negotiations and terrorist psychology, and as you can see from his Twitter feed, he has some intriguing views about what is going on in Martin Place. The motivation, he says, is unclear, but 'could be psychopathology in search of a cause. Barricade hostage siege not a good MO for a lone actor'.
As you will hear in the interview, Adam is clear that there is not yet enough evidence to call this a terrorist incident — the imagery alone (flags, headbands) does not provide sufficient evidence of the motive behind the incident.
Adam says this attack diverges from the trend of relatively simple 'lone wolf' terrorist incidents since 2005, because a one-man siege-hostage situation is anything but simple and quick. He describes the attack as 'amateurish', with the gunman displaying attention-seeking behaviour: 'I don't see any altruistically motivated demands'. Adam praises the negotiators for not allowing the perpetrator any air time, because once demands or commitments to action have been made publicly, it is much harder to back down.