A terror plot to place an improvised explosive device on an Etihad flight out of Sydney last month has been “completed disrupted” police have said. The Australian Federal Police say that the plot to smuggle the IED onto a plane was one of the most sophisticated attempts to occur on Australian soil.
AFP Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan told the media this morning that the terror plot has now been completely thwarted. “Not only have we stopped the IED that was believed to go on to the plane but we have also completely disrupted the intended chemical dispersion device,” he said.
The statement comes as two men have been charged with terrorism offences. Khaled Khayat from Lakemba and Mahmoud Khayat from Punchbowl have been both charged with two counts of preparing for, or planning, a terrorist attack. Both man risk facing life imprisonment if found guilty of the offences. Both men are due to face Parramatta Court this morning.
After one man was released without charge earlier this week, another man remains in custody under “specified time” provisions allowed for in the Crimes Act.
The raids continue to have an impact on air travel, despite the threat level for Australian aviation being returned to “possible” after being raised to “probable” last week.
Prime Minister Turnbull announced that the heightened security measures that saw significant delays at Sydney Airport would be modified so as to have less of an impact on the public. “You should expect to receive advice from airlines within 24 hours that arrival times before a flight will be restored to those that previously applied – but some airlines differ,” he warned.
Police are urging members of the community to report any suspicious activity to the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400.