No, it was NOT an Australian man. It was a Muslim terrorist who was found guilty of plotting to blow up an Etihad Airways flight out of Sydney at the behest of the Islamic State militant group, by hiding a bomb in his brother’s luggage.
Teleraph (h/t MarvinW) Information from Israeli intelligence helped to prevent the downing of a passenger jet, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said. An Australian government minister confirmed Israeli help in finding the attack suspects.
The information led to raids on several Sydney properties during which two Lebanese-Australian brothers, Khaled Khayat and Mahmoud Khayat (photo below), were charged with plotting to bring down the passenger jet by trying to smuggle an improvised explosive device in their luggage onto the July 15 flight.
Police had accused Khaled Khayat, and another brother, Mahmoud Khayat, of planning two terrorist attacks that also included a chemical gas attack on the flight to Abu Dhabi in July 2017, police said.
The third brother was unaware that he was carrying a bomb, disguised as a meat mincer, in his luggage, as he tried to check in at the airport, police said. But the device was taken out of his luggage when it was deemed too heavy and the bomb never made it past airport security.
“The jury this afternoon returned a guilty verdict for Khaled and is still deliberating in respect of Mahmoud,” a spokeswoman for the New South Wales Supreme Court said.
Police had alleged that high-grade military explosives used to make the bomb were sent by air cargo from Turkey as part of a plot “inspired and directed” by Islamic state.