Plot to blow up Etihad airliner foiled by Lebanese officials
A terrorist plot to bring down an Etihad flight from Australia to the UAE has been prevented by Lebanon’s security forces.
According to the country’s interior minister, the culprits had planned to blow up a flight from Australia to Abu Dhabi by sneaking explosives aboard in a Barbie doll.
Nouhad Machnouk, speaking to a Saudi Arabia-owned TV channel said the plot involved four brothers, one of whom was supposed to be on board the plane, carrying around 400 passengers, in order to bring it down 20 minutes after takeoff.
According to Machnouk, the brother had stashed the explosives in a carry-on bag, but wasn’t able to take them on the plane as the bag was over the airline’s 7kg limit.
Amer Khayyat, 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.
"The operation was foiled because of the extra weight," Mr Machnouk said.
"Intelligence branch followed on the case and found that Amer was involved in this act and it appears that he was supposed to carry it out."