Australian-Lebanese ordered released in Sydney bomb plot

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A Lebanese military court has ordered the release on bail of an Australian-Lebanese dual citizen on trial for an alleged plot to bring down a passenger plane bound for the United Arab Emirates from Sydney two years ago, his lawyer said Saturday.

Amer Khayyat had been detained in Lebanon in the summer of 2017, days after Australian authorities foiled an alleged plot to down an Etihad flight bound for Abu Dhabi in 2017.

Two of Khayyat’s brothers are on trial in Australia for the plot. But Australian authorities believe Amer Khayyat was an unwitting participant in the failed attack.

Lawyer Joceline Adib al-Rai said the military court ordered Amer Khayyat’s release on bail during a session he attended Friday. Prosecutors can either appeal or endorse the ruling in a hearing Monday.

During his trial, Amer Khayyat rejected the accusations, saying he “had no idea” of the plot.

His two brothers, Mahmoud and Khaled Khayyat, are accused of planting the bomb, hidden inside a Barbie doll and meat grinder, in their brother’s hand luggage.

The improvised device, using “high military-grade explosive,” was due to be smuggled onto a July 15 service from Sydney, but the attempt was aborted before they reached security.

Police claimed that communications with ISIS extremist group began in April 2017, with the group sending the men components and propellants through international cargo from Turkey.

One of the brothers is believed to have earlier traveled to Syria to join the ISIS.

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