At Heart of ISIS Airplane Plot: Meat Mincer

IED made it inside Sydney Airport, but not through security
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2017 8:46 AM CDT

(Newser) – If all had gone according to plan, a bomb disguised as a meat grinder would have taken down a plane in Australia last month. The existence of the plot was revealed late last month, and now police are providing details: Khaled Mahmoud Khayat, 49, and Mahmoud Khayat, 32, were charged Thursday with planning a terrorist act. Police on Friday said the unsuspecting brother of one of the men was to carry an IED disguised as a meat mincer onto an Etihad Airways flight departing Sydney for Abu Dhabi on July 15, reports Reuters. The bomb had been created with guidance from ISIS, which allegedly mailed the men some of the necessary components via Turkey. But though the luggage in which the IED had been placed entered Sydney Airport, it never made it beyond the check-in counter.

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The details here are a bit vague: The Sydney Morning Herald reports the bag was determined to be too heavy and was never checked in. Reuters says it's believed one of the suspects left the airport with the bag; the unwitting brother boarded the flight. Police reportedly seized the IED device in raids last month. A security expert speculates on the methodology to Reuters: "If someone does a quick physical inspection it just looks like what it is, a meat grinder, because it's not electrical or electronic, it's less likely to be suspicious." Under the direction of an ISIS operative in Syria, the suspects were also trying to create a chemical device intended to release hydrogen sulfide in a crowded public area, "potentially public transport," police say, per CNN. However, they were "a long way" from having a usable device. (Read more Australia stories.)

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