ISIS commander who plotted to blow up an Etihad flight is being held in a secret U.S army jail in Iraq
Article RadarTHIS ARTICLE CONNECT:
- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
An alleged Islamic State commander who is accused of planning to blow up a plane last year is being held by American forces at a secret military base in Iraq.
As the alleged ringleader of the plot, Tarek Khayat, is accused of conspiring with his three Lebanese-Australian brothers to blow up an Etihad Airways flight as it left Sydney on July 15 last year.
News Corp has investigated into the whereabouts of Khayat, whose family gave him up following their arrests in Australia.
The investigation found that the alleged ringleader has been secretly held in isolation by American military forces at an unnamed base.
Since being there, they have interrogated him in regards to his role as a commander of an Islamic State unit that plotted attacks in the west.
News Corp claim that Khayat has been intensely interrogated by the soldiers, and has since lost a leg, is suffering from lung cancer, and has given up names of foreign fighters and Islamic State members.
He was captured by Kurdish fighters in the Syrian city of Al-Hasakah in March this year for his alleged plan to blow up Etihad flight EY451.
Lebanese intelligence officers confirmed with News Corp that Khayat had been captured, and said that he was an ‘Australian Lebanese jihadi’, but is unsure if he holds citizenship in Australia.
He was in a group of 13 Islamic State jihadis who attempted to flee Syrian Democratic Forces soldiers, but ultimately failed.
It was confirmed by two separate Lebanese intelligence sources that he was taken into custody by Kurdish-backed SDF and then taken into Iraq.
The alleged ringleader’s brothers, Khaled Khayat and Mahmoud Khayat, were both charged with two counts of acting in preparation for, or planning, a terrorist act.
The trio of brothers allegedly planned to sneak the bomb on to the plane by placing it in the carry-on luggage of an unwitting fourth brother who was travelling to Abu Dhabi to visit family, but the plot was foiled when he was told his bag was too heavy.
The men were allegedly relying on insider information at Sydney Airport to successfully bring the bombs past security check points.
Court documents prepared by a Lebanese military prosecutor claim Mr Khayat helped plan the attack in Raqqa, Syria, as revenge for the death of his two teen sons, who died in the war earlier last year.
Khaled and Mahmoud were arrested in Sydney on July 29, 2017 and have been charged with two counts of planning a terrorist act.
The pair were seized during police raids at four properties just days after Australian authorities were alerted to the foiled plan by Israel’s military intelligence.
They have both pleaded not guilty to their charges and are set to face trial next year.
Members of Ahmed Merhi’s family were also arrested during the raids but were later released without charge. It’s believed they’re related to the Khayat family through marriage.
Ahmed, who is in his 20s, moved to Syria from Sydney in 2014 and is allegedly connected to those responsible for the murder of police accountant Curtis Cheng in 2015, according to ABC.
Source: Daily Mail