Foiled Australia plane plot directed by Islamic State

Patrice Gainsbourg
Agosto 5, 2017

The AFP also averted an alleged plot involving plans to build an improvised chemical dispersion device to release highly toxic hydrogen sulphide.

A 49-year-old man and a 32-year-old man have been charged with two counts of acts in preparation for, or planning, a terrorist act, the Australian Federal Police said.

Police allege Khaled Khayat was going to use another of his brothers as an unwitting mule to carry the bomb in his luggage and accompanied him to Sydney Airport.

The 50-year-old man was released from police custody overnight while the other THREE remain behind bars.

'There is a little bit of conjecture as to why it didn't go ahead, ' Mr Phelan told reporters on Friday.

The two suspects if found guilty of terrorism charges face life in prison.

Mr Khayat is alleged to have kept in contact with the commander leading to bomb components being sent from Turkey to Sydney by air cargo.

Two of the men charged with terrorist-related offences appeared in court on Friday and were refused bail.

Authorities alleged they were involved in a plot to bring down a passenger plane using an improvised device.

Four men were arrested in Sydney on Saturday evening, with security tightened across all major Australian domestic and global airports as investigators search several homes across the city.

Meanwhile, attorney Michael Coroneos represented Khaled and Mahmoud Khayat at a brief court hearing Friday, and the case was adjourned until November 14.

The plotters had some precursor chemicals and had conducted experiments but Mr Phelan said the cell had not identified a specific target and were a long way off completing the device. Police will allege the men began talking with ISIS back in April.

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Of the four men initially arrested, only one was released without charge.

Police said the planned chemical bomb was far from being prepared, but it was due to be used at a crowded public place.

"The Etihad Airways aviation security team is assisting the Australian Federal Police with its investigation and the matter is ongoing", Etihad said in a statement.

The plot to have the device detonated "without (the bomber) knowing they were part of a suicide mission" was aborted.

But the bag never made it to the airport's security check points.

"This advice was coming from a senior member of Islamic State", he said.

"We really could well have had a catastrophic event in this country".

Police said it was concerning that Daesh had been able to ship explosive parts Down Under, even though Australia is not a "particularly juicy target" for the worldwide terror group, according to terrorism theorist Max Abrahms, a researcher at Northeastern University.

Officials revealed new details Friday for the first time since four men were arrested in a series of raids in Sydney last weekend.

Police reportedly learnt of the plot after being tipped off by British and United States intelligence agencies, 11 days after the attempt to smuggle the bomb onto the Etihad flight.

"It was created to release the highly toxic hydrogen sulfide", Mr Phelan said, adding the alleged conspirators "were a long way from having a functional device".

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