Australian court sentences 2 Sydney brothers to jail for Etihad plane bomb plot

Two Sydney brothers have been jailed for at least 30 and 27 years for plotting to plant a bomb hidden in a meat grinder on an Etihad flight out of Australia.

Khaled Khayat, 52, and Mahmoud Khayat, 34, were found guilty in May and September respectively of conspiring to commit a terrorist act between January and July, 2017.

The court ruled the brothers had planned to slip a meat grinder packed with explosives into the baggage of their unwitting brother, Amer Khayat, who was catching an Etihad flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi.

In the New South Wales Supreme Court on Tuesday, Justice Christine Adamson sentenced Khaled Khayat to 40 years and Mahmoud Khayat to 36 years in prison, with non-parole periods of 30 and 27 years respectively, according to court judgement.

“That no one actually suffered physical injury or was killed as a result of this conspiracy does not make it other than extremely serious.

“The objective seriousness was very high for each offender,” the judge said at the sentencing hearing.

The plot included their fourth brother Tarek Khayat, 47, who fought for Islamic State in Syria.

He supplied the explosives and instructed his Sydney brothers to plant the bomb.

Prosecutors said that the plan was abandoned when the luggage was found to be overweight when checking in and the meat grinder had to be removed.

Prosecutor Lincoln Cowley told the court during the trial in September that Khaled Khayat was working on a second plot to plant poisonous gas on a flight when he was arrested by police.

Both brothers maintain their innocence. 

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