'Backpack Bomber' Has Daughter in Aussie Standoff

He's holed up in law offices near family court
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2011 12:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – A ranting Australian claiming to be armed with a backpack bomb is holding his daughter hostage in law offices near a courthouse in a Sydney suburb. Workers in nearby offices have been evacuated, and police and rescue workers are standing by as officials negotiate with him. The unidentified man earlier entered the offices with a girl of about 10 who called him dad. He demanded the receptionist call an employee—along with the state attorney general's office. "Tell them I've got a bomb in my backpack," he said, then walked to a lawyer's office with the girl.

"He was meant to go to court today but he couldn't find this person, and I think he just snapped," the receptionist told the Sydney Morning Herald. After she called police, he was spotted through a window shirtless, shouting, and wearing the kind of wig worn in the nation by judges and lawyers. At one point he took off the wig and spat on it, reports AP. Police have not revealed his demands, but said they are related to a family court matter. "Until we have possession of the backpack we will remain very concerned," said a police spokesman. (Read more Parramatta stories.)

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