Police: IS ‘commander’ directed plane bomb plot in Australia

A commander in Islamic State ordered a group of Australian men to build a bomb destined for an Etihad Airways flight departing from Sydney, police have said.

The improvised explosive device was intended to be smuggled on to a flight on 15 July but the plan was aborted before it reached airport security.

Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan said the instructions to the group were “coming from a senior member of the Islamic State”.

Mr Phelan described this person as a “commander” based overseas.

Police said the commander had organised for the parts of the IED to be sent to the men in Australia via international cargo from Turkey and that he had instructed them on how to build the bomb.

“With assistance from the ISIL commander, the accused assembled the IED into what we believe was a functioning IED to be placed on that flight.”

Mr Phelan described the explosive as “high-end”, adding: “I don’t want to be specific because it’s still under examination for the exactness of it but high military-grade explosive”.

“This is one of the most sophisticated plots that has ever been attempted on Australian soil.”

One of the men had brought the device to Sydney airport in a piece of luggage he asked his brother to take with him on the flight, Mr Phelan said, adding that the brother had not been told about the bag’s contents.

But, for some reason, the man had left the airport with the bag and the brother, who has not been charged in relation to the plot, continued onto the flight without it.

“There is a little bit of conjecture as to why it didn’t go ahead. It didn’t get past the check-in,” he said.

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Source: Sky News