‘Worst plot on our soil’

Story appeared in: Torch | August 8th, 2017

A THIRD man detained during counter-terrorist raids, has been charged with possessing a prohibited weapon and released from police custody on Sunday.
Khaled Merhi, 39, was charged and released on bail to face the Downing Centre Local Court on August 24.
Merhi, from Surry Hills, was arrested with Khaled Khayat, 49, from Lakemba and Mahmoud Khayat, 32, from Punchbowl, during counter-terrorism raids on properties on Saturday, July 29. Wearing gas masks and ballistic-armour, backed by firefighters and paramedics, officers from the Joint Counter Terrorism Team stormed homes in Sproule Street, Lakemba, Renown Avenue, Wiley Park, Victoria Road and Craig Street Punchbowl, and a terrace on Goodlet Lane, Surry Hills, arresting four men. A 50-year-old man was later released without charge.
The Khayat brothers were charged with two counts of preparing for, or planning, a terrorist attack. They faced Parramatta Local Court on Friday and were refused bail to reappear in November.
Police allege the brothers plotted to bring down a passenger plane with an "improvised device".
The Australian Federal Police have called the plan "one of the most sophisticated terror plots attempted on Australian soil".
As investigations continue into the plot, police urge the community to report any suspicious activity to the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400. You can remain anonymous.

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Publication: Torch | Section: news | Author: Mick Roberts | Story ID: 130079 | Viewcount: 17323