NATION Fathers and sons in terror plot raid
TWO father- and- son terror teams linked by marriage are allegedly behind a plot to blow up an international flight out of Sydney using a homemade bomb disguised as an everyday mincer.
Until last week, the four men – the fathers aged in their 40s – were totally unknown to the nation’s counter- terrorism authorities, with only one conviction for negligent driving between them.
But early last week police picked up a “small piece of intelligence” about a possible “Islamistinspired” plot to use a crude homemade bomb. This had escalated by Thursday, forcing tougher security at Sydney’s international and domestic airports.
It is believed the plot involved smuggling the bomb onto a flight bound for the Middle East, possibly Dubai, hidden in carry- on luggage.
With the men under surveillance, police decided to arrest them on Saturday because they assessed the risk to public safety was too high.
“There was a serious threat that had to be shut down,” a senior officer said.
Five homes were raided in Surry Hills, Punchbowl, Wiley Park and Lakemba. It is understood the plan was to use wood scrapings and explosive material inside a kitchen appliance, such as a mincing machine.
Police seized a number of items from one home, including the bottom and top half of a domestic grinder and a box containing a “multi- mincer” used to make sausages. They also took away a number of handwritten notes, two phones, an iPad, two mobile phone sim packs and vehicle registration and insurance papers.
Material to make a bomb, that was understood to be “ready to go”, was allegedly found at a house in Cleveland St, Surry Hills.
The other two men were arrested in Lakemba, with the younger of the two dressed only in a towel.
The four have not been charged. Police applied to the Federal Court yesterday to hold them for up to seven days. Then, under Commonwealth laws, they will have to be charged or released.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the threat of terror in Australian was “very real”, as he explained security had been beefed up at all major airports around the country.
Police are concerned that those who were caught were cleanskins, not associated with known groups.
“With terrorism you can’t wait to put the whole puzzle together. You do have to go early because if you get it wrong the consequences are severe,” NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said.
AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin said the “credible” plan was “Islamist- inspired” and likely targeted at the aviation industry.