Two men charged after terror plot

Marsha Scott
August 5, 2017

"It was a plot to bring down an aircraft with the idea of smuggling a device on to it to enable them to do that", he said.

The plot to have the device detonated "without (the bomber) knowing they were part of a suicide mission" was aborted.

Security measures at Australia's major airports were heightened last week after police received information about the alleged bomb threat. It is understood it was among the items seized from the Surry Hills terrace.

Officials have refused to comment on media reports that the plot was to hide explosives or chemicals that would emit toxic gas inside a piece of kitchen equipment.

Authorities uncovered this after Khaled Merhi, Khaled Khayat and Mahmoud Khayat were arrested in counter-terrorism raids across Sydney on Saturday evening.

Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways said on Tuesday it was assisting the Australian Federal Police in the investigation.

None of them have been charged.

Police allege the group were plotting to use an unwitting person to bring down a plane.

On Wednesday morning his lawyer Moustafa Kheir tweeted: "My client Abdul Merhi has been released without charge".

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"What you are seeing at the moment is making sure that there is extra vigilance, to make sure that we aren't cutting any corners in our security, to make sure that we are absolutely focused on our security", Mr Colvin said.

"It's just unfathomable that he would be associated with anything like this", Kheir added.

He said Mr Merhi's family was also in shock and that his life had been "turned upside down".

Mr Kheir said he would review the actions of police.

The terraced house remains a crime scene and a blue tarpaulin was placed over the flat tin garage roof.

Three other men remain behind bars after Australian Federal Police were granted the power to hold them for up to seven days.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters he would not draw any conclusions beyond one man's release. A kitchen meat mincer is among items seized during the raids. "It was hectic", one said.

'(Security measures) will be required for as long as the threat is assessed as requiring them, ' he said.

The Australian Pilot's Association are calling for private security contractors to be replaced and baggage checks by government security.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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