Fourth man held over Sydney terror plot, Khaled Merhi, released

Fourth man held over Sydney terror plot, Khaled Merhi, released

Fourth man held over Sydney terror plot, Khaled Merhi, released

"A 39-year-old man, detained in relation to allegations regarding a potential terrorist attack, has been charged with one count of possession of prohibited weapon and released from police custody".

Police have released the final man being held for questioning over an alleged terrorist conspiracy to bring down passenger planes flying from Sydney to the Middle East.

The man, identified as Khaled Merhi, has been released on bail and will face Downing Centre Local Court later this month.

Mr Merhi had a bandage wrapped around his head when he was arrested during police raids on six houses, including his Surry Hills home, on Saturday, July 29.

Khayat, of Lakemba, and Mahmoud Khayat, 32, of Punchbowl, had their matter mentioned in Parramatta Local Court on Friday, after each was charged with two counts of preparing for or planning a terrorist act on Thursday night.

Terror raids across Sydney a week ago uncovered two alleged plots to blow up Etihad Airlines flights from Sydney to Abu Dhabi, using an explosive or gas put into checked baggage.

Police allege that one of the two men charged on Thursday had been introduced to Islamic State by an unidentified brother, who they said was a senior member of the group in Syria, and communication began around April.

The pieces for the improvised explosive device were allegedly shipped from Turkey to Australia.

Details of a second "hypothetical" plot were also uncovered and allegedly involved plans to build a chemical bomb and release highly toxic hydrogen sulfide on a packed train or bus in Sydney.

Police will allege the bomb was built in an everyday kitchen meat mincer and was due to be hidden in the luggage of another, unwitting, Khayat brother, Amer, but for some reason the plan was aborted.

Australia, a staunch US ally that has sent troops to Afghanistan and Iraq, has been on heightened alert since 2014 for attacks by home-grown militants returning from fighting in the Middle East, or their supporters.

'My client Khaled Merhi has also been released.

Counter-terrorism police obtained court permission to hold all the men for seven days under the "specified time" provisions of the Commonwealth Crimes Act. Both men have been remanded without bail, and the was case adjourned until November 14, according to The Independent, following arraignment on Friday.

Kheir said he would review "what basis police had to do what they did" and said Abdul Merhi's life had been "turned upside down" by his arrest.

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