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Iran Press TV

Australian police charge two men over plane bomb, gas device plots

Iran Press TV

Fri Aug 4, 2017 4:50AM

Police in Australia have charged two men with plotting to bomb a plane and conduct a chemical attack in the country.

Police said on Friday that two men had been charged with planning to build and plant an improvised explosive device on a passenger jet, and to build a device to release poisonous gas.

Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan told reporters that the men had been "inspired and directed" by the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.

Phelan said the terrorists had planned to blow up an Etihad Airways plane flying out of Sydney. The explosive device had been taken to Sydney's airport to be planted in the plane, but the plan was aborted and the bomb did not breach airport security, he said.

Phelan said that in a separate event, the same men had attempted to create an improvised chemical gas device.

The terrorist plot to down an aircraft with explosives was first announced last week. On Sunday, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that four people had been arrested across Sydney in relation to the "elaborate" plot.

One man has been released while another is being held without charge under special counter-terror laws.

Turnbull said the terror alert level, which was elevated on September 2014 amid rising concerns over attacks by Daesh and similar organizations, would stay at probable.

Turnbull said the primary threat to Australia came from "lone actors."

"But there's still the ability for people to have sophisticated plots and sophisticated attacks still remain a real threat," he warned.

Australia has been on alert for attacks by home-grown terrorists since last year.

A large number of Europeans and Westerners have gone to Syria to fight against the Damascus government. There have been fears that the militants may return home battle-hardened and carry out singular terrorist attacks.

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