Australian court finds second man guilty of plotting to blow up Etihad flight

Above, an Etihad Airways aircraft crosses at low altitude above buildings in the Lebanese capital Beirut’s coastal neighborhood of Hamra on July 10, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 20 September 2019

Australian court finds second man guilty of plotting to blow up Etihad flight

  • Bomb hidden in a meat grinder, a court spokeswoman said on Friday

SYDNEY: An Australian court has found a man guilty of planning to blow up an Etihad Airways flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi nearly two years ago with a bomb hidden in a meat grinder, a spokeswoman for the New South Wales Supreme Court said on Friday.
Police had accused the man, Mahmoud Khayat, and his brother Khaled Khayat of planning two terrorist attacks: the bomb and a chemical gas attack on the flight to Abu Dhabi in July 2017.
Khaled was found guilty by the New South Wales Supreme Court in May, but the jury was unable to reach a verdict against Mahmoud. His retrial ended with a guilty verdict on Thursday afternoon for planning “the terrorist act,” the spokeswoman said.
Khaled and Mahmoud Khayat were arrested after police raids in Sydney. Police had said that high-grade explosives used to make the bomb were flown from Turkey as part of a plot “inspired and directed” by the Islamic State.
The court will hear sentencing submissions later, the Australian Associated Press reported.
The verdict in Mahmoud’s case came only a few hours before Lebanon’s military court acquitted another brother, Amer Khayat, of the plotting to blow up the Etihad flight.
The military court sentenced the three other Khayat brothers — Khaled, Mahmoud and Tareq — in absentia to hard labor for life, Lebanese state news agency NNA said late on Wednesday.
Lebanon’s police said in 2017 that Tareq was a Daesh commander in Syria.
Khaled, Mahmoud and Amer were all living in Australia but occasionally visited Lebanon. Amer landed in Beirut in July 2017 on the day of the plot to smuggle the bomb onto the plane, Lebanon’s interior minister said at the time.


Prince William and wife Kate see impact of climate change at Pakistan glacier

Updated 7 min 36 sec ago

Prince William and wife Kate see impact of climate change at Pakistan glacier

  • Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate flew to the northern tip of the Chiatibo glacier, where a climate change expert explained how it was retreating
  • They later observed damage and emergency response drills in a village in Chitral that had been hit by floods

ISLAMABAD: Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate on Wednesday visited a melting glacier in the Hindu Kush mountain range not far from Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, witnessing first hand the impact of climate change their trip is seeking to highlight.
They flew by helicopter to the northern tip of the Chiatibo glacier, where a climate change expert explained how it was retreating.
It is one of the around 7,000 of Pakistan's 7,200 glaciers that meteorological officials say show signs of melting, citing data gathered over the last 50 years.
Earlier, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had stopped at an airport in Chitral and been given a traditional feathered mountain hat, similar to one gifted to William's mother Princess Diana during her visit to the area in 1991. They were also given an album of photos of Diana during her visit.
William highlighted the visit to the glacier and the challenge of climate change, a major theme of their five-day trip, in a speech the previous evening at a reception hosted by the British High Commission at Pakistan's national monument in the capital, Islamabad.
Pakistan's northern glaciers and those throughout the Hindu Kush and Himalaya region, are an important water store for 250 million people, and another 1.6 billion rely on rivers originating in the mountains, putting many communities at risk as global temperatures rise.
"This could lead to a loss of over a third of these vital glaciers in less than a century, with enormous impacts not only on the availability of water, but on agriculture and hydropower generation," William said in his speech.
He said he hoped Wednesday's visit to Chitral would help the couple better understand the challenges residents were facing first hand. "I hope to learn what more we all can do to help prevent and mitigate this impending global catastrophe."
Kate and William later observed damage and emergency response drills in a village in Chitral that had been hit by floods due to glaciers melting.
They also vistaed a settlement of the Kalash people, a small indigenous group living in the Chitral region where they met with young people and wore colourful local scarves and headwear while being treated to song and dance.