Man Who Planned To Blow Up Sydney Plane Captured In Iraq
An Islamic State leader who planned to blow up a flight from Sydney has been captured in Iraq.
Speaking with the ABC, senior Australian officials confirmed that IS commander Tarek Khayat has been detained after being suspected of plotting to blow up the plane as an act of revenge on the west.
It is believed that he had been arrested earlier this year but it remained quiet for diplomatic reasons.
Mr Khayat’s relative, Ahmed Merhi, was also arrested in the same mission and is believed to be an IS terrorist but with no connection to the bomb plot.
Australian Federal Police have said that Mr Khayat instructed his brothers Khaled and Mahmoud Khayat, who lived in Sydney, on how to make and detonate the bombs that had been hidden inside a meat grinder and a barbie doll.
The two brothers planned to blow up a plane headed from Sydney to Abu Dhabi in July last year with over 400 passengers on board by placing the bombs inside their older brother, Amer Khayat’s bag.
The plot was uncovered by chance during check-in by an Etihad official because the carry-on bag was too heavy. Authorities have assured the public that the bombs would have been discovered during the security check if they had made it through check-in.
After the bomb plot failed, the brothers allegedly planned to build an improvised chemical dispersion device to fill a plane with the colourless toxic gas, hydrogen sulphide.
However, three days after the bomb plot was foiled, Khaled and Mahmoud were arrested in raids across Sydney. Amer was arrested ten days later in Lebanon.
Khaled and Mohmoud are now facing two counts of planning a terrorist attack.
Security in airports across Australia was increased after the alleged plot was discovered.