Lebanon monitored Australia bomb plot suspects

August 22, 2017 06:09
2 minute read.
Breaking news

Breaking news. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

BEIRUT - Lebanon monitored the brothers accused of plotting to blow up a flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi for more than a year and coordinated with the Australian government on it for a long time, the Lebanese interior minister said on Monday.

Australian police charged Khaled Khayat and Mahmoud Khayat this month with two counts of planning a terrorist attack after conducting raids to disrupt what authorities described as an Islamic State-inspired plot to bomb an Etihad Airways flight.

Lebanese Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk told a news conference that one of the men's brothers, Tareq Khayat, had moved to the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa in Syria and become a commander in the jihadist group more than a year ago.

Lebanon's Internal Security Force then placed Tareq, Khaled and Mahmoud Khayat, and a fourth brother, Amer Khayat, under surveillance. Khaled, Mahmoud and Amer were all living in Australia but occasionally visited Lebanon, he said in Beirut.

Machnouk said the brothers were Lebanese.

He said Amer Khayat had arrived in Lebanon on July 15, the day Australian police have said the plotters tried to smuggle a bomb onto an Etihad flight from Sydney.

Australian police also said a man had tried to check in luggage without knowing that it contained a bomb, which was hidden in a meat grinder, placed there by his brother.

However, Machnouk said Amer Khayat was to have carried out the attack and that a Lebanese internal intelligence agency had found he was "involved in the operation." He said a bomb had also been hidden in a large child's doll in the luggage.

He did not say what has happened to Amer Khayat since he landed in Lebanon.

The plot was foiled because the luggage exceeded the airline's weight limit, Machnouk said.

Australian police had previously said it appeared that one of the accused had left the airport, taking the luggage with him, while his brother boarded the plane and left Australia.

On Tuesday, Australian police said it was not appropriate to comment further on the details of a current investigation that was also before Australian courts.

"We have a close and cooperative relationship with the Lebanese authorities and are working closely on this investigation," an Australian Federal Police spokeswoman said in an email.

Asked whether the operation would have been successful if the luggage had not exceeded the weight limit, Machnouk said: "Probably, yes."

He said information from Lebanese intelligence had "assisted in foiling a large operation aiming to blow up a plane."

"The plane had 120 Lebanese on board in addition to other nationalities," Machnouk said.

Related Content

Breaking news
July 17, 2018
Trump says he, Putin discussed N.Korea, curbing global nuclear weapons