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ISIS mastermind of Etihad bomb plot 'sentenced to death in Iraq'

A policeman stands on a street that has been blocked to the public after Australian counter-terrorism raids. Reuters / David Gray
A policeman stands on a street that has been blocked to the public after Australian counter-terrorism raids. Reuters / David Gray

Tarek Khayat, an ISIS militant believed to be behind an unsuccessful attempt to bomb an Etihad flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi last year, has been sentenced to death in Iraq.

Last July, Australian foiled a terrorist plot to bring down an airplane with an improvised explosive.

Australia's ABC news service said Khayat is believed to have directed two of his brothers to bring down an Etihad Airways flight on July 15, 2017, which carried around 400 passengers, using an explosive device hidden in a meat grinder.

“Their plan was foiled when a fourth brother, Amer, was prevented from carrying the device on board as cabin baggage because his bag was too heavy,” the report said. “He boarded the flight without the bag and is now in custody in Lebanon. He denies any knowledge of the plot.”

Khaled and Mahmoud were arrested by the Australian police in a series of raids across Sydney in July 2017 and are expected to go on trial at the New South Wales supreme court next year, according to ABC.

Khayat, who was wanted by Lebanese authorities for attempting to establish an ISIS affiliate in the country’s north in 2014 before he moved to Syria to join the extremist group, has 10 days to appeal his sentence and could be executed within 30 days after that if the appeal is rejected.

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