Suspect charged in Etihad Airways bomb plot released on bail

Amer Khayyat was arrested and detained in Lebanon in 2017 after Australian officials managed to thwart an attempt to blow up the plane flying from Sydney to Abu Dhabi
Etihad airlines, A380, Lebanon, Sydney, Abu dhabi

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An Australian-Lebanese dual citizen on trial for an alleged plot to bring down an Etihad Airways flight to Sydney two years ago has been released on bail in Lebanon.

Amer Khayyat was arrested and detained in Lebanon in 2017 after Australian officials managed to thwart an attempt to blow up the plane flying from Sydney to Abu Dhabi.

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Two of his brothers - Khaled and Mahmoud Khayat - were charged in July 2017 in Australia with planning to bring down an Etihad Airways passenger jet in a plot police alleged was under the instructions of ISIL.

Amer Khayyat, who denied any knowledge of the planned attack, was released on bail by a Lebanese military court on Friday. Amer claimed to be unaware that a bomb was planted in his luggage. Prosecutors can either appeal or endorse the ruling in a hearing today.

Khaled Khayat was convicted earlier this month of with plotting to bring down the flight with a crude bomb concealed in a meat grinder, AFP reports.

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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 ISIL began in April 2017, with the group sending the men components and propellants through international cargo from Turkey.

Khaled's sentencing is due July 25, while the jury is still deliberating a verdict for his brother Mahmoud. Both men face life sentences.

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