According to a Lebanese official Monday, a plot to blow up an Australian airliner has been foiled. Explosives are the weapon of choice for this particular terror cell, and they had packed a Barbie doll and a meat grinder with explosives hoping to bring the plane down.
According to Sky News, four Lebanese-Australian brothers, including one being held in Lebanon, were behind the planned terror attack.
Lebanon’s interior minister, Nouhad Machnouk, reports two of the brothers, Khaled and Mahmoud Khayyat, are being held in Australia. Tarek Khayyat is a senior member of the Islamic State.
The fourth brother, Amer Khayyat, is said to have planned to be on board the airliner. He was arrested in Lebanon in mid-July as he arrived from Australia.
The bombs were discovered before making it onto the plane due to the luggage packed with the explosives being 15 pounds over the airline’s limit. According to Machnouk, “The operation was foiled because of the extra weight. Intelligence branch followed the case and found that Amer was involved in this act and it appears that he was supposed to carry it out.” It is still unclear whether or not Amer Khayyat knew the bomb was in his suitcase.
An ISIS commander based overseas ordered the Australian men to build the bomb and smuggle it onto a July 15 Etihad Airways flight from Sydney.
There is an ongoing investigation between the United Arab Emirates’ national airline and the Australian police. Etihad Airways refuses to confirm it had been a target.
A second plot that has been alleged by authorities involved a “chemical dispersion device.” This was in the early stages of planning and would have released a highly toxic gas in flight. Sky News has described the terror plot as “one of the most sophisticated plots” to have been planned on Australian soil.
Khaled and Mahmoud Khayyat have been charged with two counts of planning a terrorist act by Australian officials. The men had been in communication with ISIS since April.
The arrests were made on July 29 and the alleged terrorists are due to appear in court later this year.
According to Machnouk, there were around 400 passengers on the plane. Of those 400 people, 120 were Lebanese.
Machnouk further concludes, “When four Lebanese brothers in Australia decide to blow up an Emirati jet, this means that the whole world should work together to fight terrorism. Coordination should be 24 hours a day between all security agencies to stop such attacks.”
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