Sydney Brothers Jailed for 30 and 27 Years Over Terrorist Plot to Blow Up Plane

December 16, 2019Australia
Sydney Brothers Jailed for 30 and 27 Years Over Terrorist Plot to Blow Up Plane
Police guard the passenger security check area at Sydney Airport on July 30, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. Counter terrorism police raided four houses across Sydney on Saturday night and arrested four men over an alleged terror plot that involved blowing up an aircraft. (Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

Two Sydney brothers have been jailed for at least 30 and 27 years respectively over their plot to blow up an Etihad plane with a bomb hidden in a meat grinder.

Khaled Khayat, 52, and Mahmoud Khayat, 34, were found guilty earlier this year of conspiring between January and July 2017 to prepare or plan a terrorist act.

The plot—which included their older brother Tarek Khayat who fought for Islamic State in Syria—involved blowing up the plane and carrying out a lethal poisonous gas attack.

A bomb hidden in a meat grinder was to be put into the luggage of their unsuspecting brother, Amer Khayat, who was flying to Abu Dhabi.

But the plan was abandoned when the luggage was found to be overweight at Sydney Airport.

In the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday, Justice Christine Adamson jailed Khaled Khayat for 40 years and Mahmoud Khayat for 36 years, with non-parole periods of 30 and 27 years respectively.

“That no one suffered physical injury or was killed does not make it other than extremely serious,” the judge said.

“The objective seriousness was very high for each offender.”

Such crimes jeopardised the sense of safety the community was entitled to experience, the judge said.

The brothers—who both maintain their innocence—had migrated to Australia, settled here, had loving families and appeared to have integrated into the community.

Neither had attended the mosque regularly, but both prayed five times a day and had apparently sympathised with Islamic State through their religion and the deaths of relatives fighting in Syria.

The judge found that they themselves were not prepared to be martyrs for the cause.

She acknowledged the “very onerous” conditions of their incarceration in the High Risk Management Correctional Centre at Goulburn.

By Margaret Scheikowski

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