Skip to main content

Foiled terror plots to bomb plane, release toxic gas 'most sophisticated' ever in Australia: official

Two men charged in connection with a foiled plot to bring down an airplane were also accused by Australian police of trying to build a device that could unleash poisonous gas in a public space.
The two suspects, Khaled Khayat and Mahmoud Khayat, were charged Thursday night and appeared Friday morning in Parramatta Local Court in Sydney via video link from their jail cells, where they have been remanded in custody as they await a trial date. Each faces two counts of acts done in preparation for, or in planning, a terrorist act, and the charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison. No plea was entered Friday.
Australian police have not detailed whether the men are related.
Michael Coroneos, the attorney for the two suspects, declined to answer questions outside court Friday, telling reporters, "They're entitled to the presumption of innocence."
The would-be attackers were among four men arrested in Sydney on Saturday over allegations of a potential terrorist attack. One man was released from police custody without charge Tuesday.
Another remained in custody without charge Friday under the country's "specified time" provisions, which allow for extended detention of suspects in terrorism investigations, according to the Australian Federal Police.
Both Khaled Khayat and Mahmoud Khayat were allegedly linked to the twin terror schemes and allegedly received instructions from ISIS in Syria. Australian Federal Police told reporters Friday that authorities are confident they completely disrupted both plots, which the deputy commissioner for national security, Michael Phelan, described as "the most sophisticated" ever planned on Australian soil.
Khaled Khayat and Mahmoud Khayat allegedly planned to place an improvised explosive device (IED) aboard an Etihad Airways flight in Sydney on July 15, but "at no stage did the IED breach airline security," Phelan said during a news conference Friday.
Australian police allege the components of the device were sent by ISIS operatives through international air cargo from Turkey to the accused men in Sydney for assembly.
According to authorities, a senior member of ISIS, who was in touch electronically from overseas with the two men, assisted in their assembling the components into what investigators believe was a functioning IED using military-grade explosives intended to be taken to Sydney Airport and placed on the plane.
According to the U.S. State Department, the device was likely designed to be hidden inside a "meat grinder."
At the press conference Friday, Australian police stressed that the device never made it through airport security and was denied access at the earliest stages.
One of the accused men allegedly attempted to plant the IED on his brother, who was unaware of his role in the planned attack as a "mule" to carry the device on board the flight, Phelan said.
The brother is now abroad and Australian police have no plans to arrest him.
Another brother of one of the two men is allegedly a known ISIS senior commander in Syria. Phelan said this brother connected ISIS operatives with the two accused men, who began communicating in April.

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Floyd Mayweather teases potential UFC bout by stepping inside the octagon as Conor McGregor responds with 'f*** the Mayweathers'

Floyd Mayweather has teased a the idea of himself fighting in the UFC in recent months and the boxing icon went one step further on Tuesday, posting a video of himself stepping into a mixed martial arts cage. With no caption accompanying the clip, The Money Team leader can be seen entering an octagon before pacing up and down as if he were about to engage in an actual MMA bout.  And Conor McGregor, the man who entered the boxing ring to fight Mayweather in a money-spinning Las Vegas showdown in August last year, was quick to notice. He wrote on Twitter: 'Hahahaha very good. Keep up the good work my son. Yours sincerely, Senior.'  The Irishman followed up his response with a picture of himself and his son with the caption *f*** the Mayweathers'. Mayweather set fans' pulses racing last month when he claimed he had been approached by the UFC about a potential MMA fight.  'They just called me not too long ago and asked me to come back,' he said. 'I can come righ…

Chelsea complete £17.5million deal for defender Emerson Palmieri from Roma

Roma defender Emerson Palmieri has completed his £17.5million move to Chelsea. Palmieri posed for pictures with the shirt on Tuesday evening after completing his medical and penning a four-and-a-half year contract. The Brazilian, who has been assigned the No 33 shirt at Chelsea, left his home in Rome to fly to London earlier in the day.  The 23-year-old left-back underwent several medical tests before putting pen to paper to move to Stamford Bridge. 'I came here because it’s a great team with a great history,' Emerson said. 'Today I am realising one of my dreams to pull on the shirt of such a great club. ‘English football is something I have been watching since I was 15 years old. It is a really beautiful game over here but it is going to be even more beautiful to play it.’ Chelsea have agreed to pay a further £5.2m in bonuses for Palmieri, who is likely to be eligible to face Watford next Monday. The Brazilian had been lined up as part of a double swoop with Edin Dzeko, but Che…

Anthony Joshua working hard in the gym as he steps up preparations for Joseph Parker showdown

With just over two months to go until his return to the ring, Anthony Joshua is shaping up nicely after putting in the hard yards at the gym. The world heavyweight champion faces Joseph Parker at Cardiff's Principality Stadium on March 31, where he beat Carlos Takam in October. And trainer Jamie Reynolds has shared footage of the 28-year-old stepping up his preparations with various workouts in the gym. With the clock ticking ahead of the fight, Parker has outlined how he feels he can better his opponent. 'I want to fight a fight that's going to be a fast-paced fight… movement, speed and just different angles – I think that's how we are going to attack Joshua,' Parker told Radio Live. 'He's [Joshua] dominated fighters that stand in front of him, that don't move – all they do is protect themselves,' Parker said about Joshua. When it comes to finding a sparring partner, Parker is looking for a similar fighting style to his 6ft 5in, 240-pound opponent Joshua…