Australia police release man in foiled plot to bomb Etihad plane

Police emerge from a block of flats in the Sydney suburb of Lakemba on Tuesday after counterterrorism raids across the city over the weekend. Four men accused of plotting to bring down a plane planned to use poisonous gas or a crude bomb disguised as a meat mincer, reports said on Sunday, with Australian officials calling preparations 'advanced. (AFP)
Updated 07 August 2017

Australia police release man in foiled plot to bomb Etihad plane

SYDNEY: Australian police Sunday released a second man arrested during counter-terrorism raids, days after two others were charged with terrorism offenses over an alleged plot to bring down a plane.
The 39-year-old man, named by his lawyer as Khaled Merhi, was among the four arrested during raids across Sydney last Saturday, which also led to tightened security at all major Australian airports.
“This investigation remains ongoing,” Australian Federal Police and New South Wales state police said in a statement.
“A 39-year-old man, detained in relation to allegations regarding a potential terrorist attack, has been charged with one count of possession of prohibited weapon and released from police custody.”
Merhi, whose detention by police had been extended by a magistrate, was due to be released Sunday if he was not charged. He is set to appear in court on the prohibited weapon charge on August 24.
Two other men — Khaled Khayat, 49, and Mahmoud Khayat, 32 — were charged with terrorism offenses and refused bail Friday.
Another man, 50-year-old Adbul Merhi, was released without charge Wednesday.
Australian police alleged Friday that as part of the plans, a senior Islamic State commander directed a group of Australian men to build a bomb destined for an Etihad Airways flight out of Sydney.
The improvised explosive device was due to be smuggled onto the July 15 service, but the attempt was aborted before they reached security.
Police said they had also foiled a second alleged plot involving a “chemical dispersion device,” designed to release hydrogen sulphide, but this was in the early stages.
The second plan was hatched after the first one failed, police said, and was not necessarily targeted at a plane.
Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan had described the plans as “one of the most sophisticated plots that has ever been attempted on Australian soil.”
Khaled Khayat and Mahmoud Khayat face life imprisonment if convicted, with their case back in court on November 14.


North Korea says it won’t give Trump a summit for free

Updated 18 November 2019

North Korea says it won’t give Trump a summit for free

  • Kim Kye Gwan says Washington must discard what North Korea sees as its “hostile” policies to keep the negotiations alive

SEOUL: North Korea has responded to a tweet by US President Donald Trump that hinted at another summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying it has no interest in giving Trump further meetings to brag about unless it gets something substantial in return.

The statement on Monday by Foreign Ministry adviser Kim Kye Gwan is the latest call by North Korea for US concessions ahead of an end-of-year deadline set by Kim
Jong Un for the Trump administration to offer mutually acceptable terms for a deal to salvage nuclear diplomacy.

Kim Kye Gwan says Washington must discard what North Korea sees as its “hostile” policies to keep the negotiations alive.