'This is for IS': What the Melbourne terrorist told 7 News during siege phone call

Sam Hussey

At the height of the fatal Melbourne hostage siege, a chilling phone call was made to the 7 News office.

A trembling woman could be heard on the line when 7 News Melbourne chief of staff Nicole Bland answered the call at 5.41pm.

“I heard a woman on there, clearly very distressed, she was speaking very quickly,” Ms Bland told 7 News Online.

“I was almost in the process of hanging up, I just couldn’t understand her.

“Then a man’s voice came on and he said ‘this is the Brighton hostage’.”

7 News chief of staff Nicole Bland answered the call. Source: Supplied
Somali national Yacqub Khayre phoned the 7 News Melbourne office at the height of the siege. Source: AAP

At this point, Ms Bland thought the call might have been coming from a witness before the man announced his allegiance to the terrorist group.

"This is for IS, this is for Al-Qaeda,” Ms Bland recalled.

“She (the hostage) was distressed, screaming or yelling something in the background.

“I couldn’t quite believe what I was hearing so I asked him to repeat what he said.”

“I asked for more information, where are you, who are you, what can you see?"

After repeating the line the man, now confirmed as Somali national Yacqub Khayre, ended the call.


Ms Bland said she immediately notified her boss and police who provided clear instructions not to broadcast details of the call until it was safe.

After confirming the origin of the call, police allowed 7 News to go to air with the details.

"I think he wanted to get the message across that he was doing it for Al-Qaeda," Ms Bland added.

Police were involved with a standoff with the man for several hours. Photo: 7 News
Officers at the scene of the siege in Brighton. Photo: 7 News

Officers with the Special Operations Group were called to the Buckingham serviced apartments in Brighton before Khayre was later killed during a shootout with police.

The 29-year-old fronted court in 2009 on charges he planned to attack the Holsworthy army base in Sydney's west.

Khayre was acquitted of the charges in 2010 but it is understood he was later involved in a violent home invasion in which he attacked a man and a woman.