Would-Be Terrorists Allegedly Planned To Smuggle Sydney Plane Bomb In Barbie Doll

Plot to blow up plane from Australia using a Barbie doll is foiled

According to Lebanon's interior minister, intelligence obtained by Lebanese authorities uncovered the plan that was set to take place on a flight from Australia to Abu Dhabi on an Emirati carrier (assumed but unconfirmed to be Etihad Airways).

He said the bombs did not make it onto the plane because the handbag they were placed in was 7 kilograms above the weight permitted by the airline.

Police would not name the ISIS commander who allegedly sent the explosives to Sydney but said he was "not Australian" and was not related to any of the local terrorism targets.

Lebanon's interior minister, Nouhad Machnouk, has told a Saudi-owned TV channel that the duo accused of being behind the plot were Lebanese-Australian brothers.

Machnouk said two of the brothers, Khaled and Mahmoud Khayyat, are held in Australia, while another, Tarek, is a senior member of the Islamic State terror group based in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa.

The source said authorities took the tip seriously and it was the most risky operation they have been involved in because of how far along the alleged plot was.

The United Arab Emirates' national airline said it is working with Australian authorities in the ongoing investigation.

While the plot was fairly sophisticated, Australian police believe the brothers were "a mile-and-a-half from having a functioning chemical dispersion device".

Australian police in early August said an unnamed Khayat brother had no idea he was to carry an improvised explosive device on the flight but Mr Machnouk says Amer Khayat was "involved in the operation".

At least one of those arrested was released, but brothers Khaled Khayat and Mahmoud Khayat remained in custody and were charged with "preparing for, or planning, a terrorist attack".

Amer, who made several trips between Australia and Lebanon under the pretext of coming to get engaged or married, was arrested in Lebanon after he arrived in mid-July from Australia.

At the time, Australian Federal Police (AFP) Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan said some components for the bombs had been sent through global cargo from Isis members to the men in Australia.

Australian security agencies were reportedly unaware of the plot until British and American operatives tipped them off, but Mr Machnouk appeared to be implying it was actually Lebanon.

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

"The [targeted] plane had 120 Lebanese on board in addition to other nationalities", Machnouk said. He said the four brothers wanted to punish the UAE and Australia for being part of the USA -led coalition that is targeting the extremists.

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