Bomb plot accused ‘tried to stop terror’


Contrary to what Khaled Khayat told police, he never took the bomb to Sydney international airport on July 15 in 2017, his barrister Richard Pontella said on Tuesday in the NSW Supreme Court.

The 51-year-old and Mahmoud Khayat, 34, have pleaded not guilty to conspiring – between January 20 and July 29 in 2017 – to do acts in preparation for, or planning, a terrorist act.

The Crown alleges the siblings along with their brother Tarek Khayat, who was involved with ISIS in Syria, and an unknown person dubbed “the controller” plotted the plane bomb attack and a lethal poisonous gas attack on people in a confined space.

But Mr Pontello said Khaled Khayat did not enter into an agreement to do acts in preparation for a terrorist attack.

“The defence case is the polar opposite,” he said.

“He agreed to do those acts in order to prevent a terrorist act from ever occurring, which ultimately he did.

“The bomb never made it onto the plane. As far as he was concerned, it was never going to make it onto the plane.”

Prosecutor Lincoln Crowley QC has alleged the bomb was in a meat grinder to be put into the luggage of another brother, Amer Khayat, who was flying out of Sydney on an Etihad flight.

Khaled Khayat was arrested during terror raids across Sydney on Saturday, July 29, 2017.Source:Supplied

Mr Pontello said his client told police he kept on refusing the controller’s requests to get involved in the plot and had wanted to get his brother Tarek off his back.

“He was hoping Tarek would actually be killed in the conflict over there so the whole thing would go away and he would be left alone.” But Khayat thought Tarek would get someone else to do it if he continued to refuse and then a terrorist act might occur.

Mahmoud Khayat’s barrister, Bruce Warmsley QC, told the jurors while Khaled Khayat made admissions to police his client had denied any involvement.

“(Khaled) said he took the bomb out there with his brother to put on a flight in circumstances where that bomb would ignite during that flight,” he said. “Mahmoud said he went out with two of his brothers to see one of them off and he was not aware one of his brothers was intending to murder the other brother by putting a bomb in his hand luggage.”

There was no evidence of the controller having any communications at all with his client.

The jurors would not be satisfied “that Mahmoud Khayat’s relationship with Islam is the kind which demonstrates motivation to commit horrific crimes,” Mr Warmsley said.

The trial continues before Justice Christine Adamson.



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