Two Aussie brothers sentenced to jail over plane bomb plot

Sydney: An Australian court on Tuesday sentenced two brothers involved in planning a terror attack on an Etihad flight, to 40 years and 36 years in prison.

Justice Christine Adamson of the New South Wales (NSW) Supreme Court sentenced Khaled Khayat to 40 years in prison, and his brother Mahmoud Khayat to 36 years in prison over a plot to bring down the flight from Sydney to Beirut via Abu Dhabi in 2017, reports Efe news.

The two were also given non-parole periods of 30 and 27 years, respectively.

“While no one was physically injured or killed as a consequence of the offence, the offenders nonetheless achieved their aim of creating terror in the minds of members of the public,” Adamson said on Tuesday.

“The crime committed by the offenders warrants severe punishment,” she added.

Khaled, 51, and Mahmoud, 34, had hidden a bomb inside a meat grinder that was to be carried in the luggage of their unsuspecting third brother Amer, who was about to travel to visit family in Lebanon in July 2017.

National broadcaster ABC reported that the brothers had asked Amer to take gifts for family members with him, which included the disguised explosives.

But at the Sydney Airport, Amer was asked to repack due to weight allowances and Khaled panicked and removed the bomb. The plot was uncovered two weeks later.

Amer was detained in a Beirut prison for almost two-and-a-half years but was released in September after a Lebanese military court cleared him of any involvement.

The plan was masterminded by Tarek Khayat, a brother of the two jailed and member of the Islamic State (IS) terror group.

According to the Australian authorities, components of the explosives were sent from Turkey and assembled in Australia with help from experts from the extremist group.

The investigations also concluded that both the brothers had intended to use poisonous gas in another potential terror attack.

Australia raised its terror alert in September 2014.

It has also passed a series of anti-terror laws to prevent attacks on its territory and has also annulled the citizenship of those terrorists with dual nationality who travelled to the Middle East to join the IS.

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