Reports revealed that two Sydney men, allegedly part of a terror plot, were planning on smuggling a bomb on board a plane by hiding it inside a Barbie doll. Lebanon’s interior minister, Nouhad Machnouk, has told a Saudi-owned TV channel that the duo accused of being behind the plot were Lebanese-Australian brothers.
But Khaled and Mahmoud Khayyat were also allegedly being helped by their other brother Amer, who has been detained in Lebanon; while a fourth sibling is understood to be a senior Islamic State member living in Syria, according to Sky News.
Mr Machnouk has divulged that Amer was supposed to get on an Etihad passenger plane, carrying roughly 400 people, and detonate a small explosive device hidden inside a doll. However, the handbag that was carrying the bomb was 7kg overweight and failed to make it past check-in.
Credit: Sky News
The interior minister adds: “The operation was foiled because of the extra weight. Intelligence branch followed on the case and found that Amer was involved in this act and it appears that he was supposed to carry it out.”
It’s believed that one of the ingredients thought to be in the bomb, acetone peroxide, was also used in the Manchester Arena and the Paris terror attacks.
But that wasn’t the only plot these brothers had reportedly organised.
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After Amer’s alleged plot was foiled, it’s understood an Islamic State commander, known as ‘The Controller’, told Khaled and Mahmoud to detonate an ‘improvised chemical dispersion device’, according to the Daily Mail.
That would have seen a highly toxic substance released at Sydney Airport and on public transport somewhere in the city. While the plot was fairly sophisticated, Australian police believe the brothers were “a mile-and-a-half from having a functioning chemical dispersion device.”
Credit: Sky News
Mr Machnouk further explained that the brothers’ involvement in the alleged terror attack was motivated by the United Arab Emirates and Australia being a part of the coalition targeting ISIS in the Middle East.
“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.”
Khaled and Mahmoud have been charged with two counts of acting in preparation for, or planning, a terrorist act.
Featured Image Credit: PA