Minister: Lebanon helped foil plot to blow up plane in Australia

BEIRUT (dpa)- Lebanese security services aided Australian authorities in foiling a terrorist bomb attack targeting an Emirates airline plane out of Sydney last month.
"The Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) thwarted an attack by a Lebanese national who intended to target a UAE plane coming from Australia to Abu Dhabi," Lebanese Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq said at a press conference Monday.

On July 30, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull revealed that an Islamic-inspired terrorist plot to bring down a plane had been foiled by counter-terrorism raids across Sydney.
Australian authorities arrested four men during the operation, raiding half a dozen houses after a plot to bomb a July 15 flight was uncovered.
"The overweight suitcase caused the airport staff in Sydney to return the bag," said al-Mashnouq, adding that the bombs in the bag were "supposed to blow up 20 minutes after the plane took off."
The plane was carrying 120 Lebanese passengers and 280 from other countries, the minister added.
Al-Mashnouq identified the main attacker as Tarek al-Khayyat and said his three brothers also cooperated in the operation.
He added that Tarek al-Khayyat had joined the ranks of Islamic State in al-Raqqa, Syria, the de-facto capital of the Jihadist group.
Al-Mashnouq said Khaled and Mahmoud Khayyat, are still being held in Australia, while Tarek, is still in al-Raqqa in northern Syria.
The fourth brother, Amer, was arrested in Lebanon after he arrived in July from Australia.

Monday, August 21st 2017

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