'Sacrificial lamb' was to take bomb on to Aussie plane

'Sacrificial lamb' was to take bomb on to Aussie plane

'Sacrificial lamb' was to take bomb on to Aussie plane

Abdul Merhi, 50, was released without charge on Tuesday night, more than three days after he was arrested during a series of police raids across four Sydney suburbs.

Federal police have spent days searching several properties across Sydney following the arrest on Saturday afternoon of the men on suspicion of being behind the conspiracy.

Unidentified officials told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation the suspects - reportedly Lebanese-Australian - might have links to the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria.

Domestic travellers have been told to arrive at least two hours prior to their flights, in order to allow enough time to pass through airport security screenings, with worldwide travellers instructed to turn up three hours prior.

"It's a very serious allegation to have against you", Mr Kheir said.

Travellers passing through Australia's airports have encountered huge lines and delays, thanks to the beefed-up security measures implemented after the foiling of an alleged terror plot.

But Sydney Airport's plan takes that further, linking the same facial recognition system with every other touchpoint throughout the terminal, including baggage drop, admission to the security screening queues, clearing passport control without a passport, completing duty-free purchases and even entering airline lounges document-free.

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Airlines UK, an industry body representing UK-registered carriers, said it had warned the Government about the new checks in May. He added: "It is passengers and consumers - many of whom are from the United Kingdom - who are suffering as a outcome ".

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Police said there was no indication the integrity of airport security had been compromised.

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin said on Sunday an improvised explosive device was involved.

The country's two biggest domestic airlines, Qantas Airways and Virgin Australia, did not immediately respond to questions concerning the changed threat level. He said the alleged plot was foiled but Australians should remain vigilant about the threat of an attack. "We want to review all the information police had and what basis they had to do what they did".

People should follow the directions of their airline, he added. At the moment they are employed by subcontractors and don't have to be screened, " Mr Butt said.

On Tuesday, Etihad Airways confirmed it was assisting police with their investigation.

It's been revealed Aussie authorities were tipped off by foreign spies involved in Australia's Five Eyes partners, that includes the US, UK, New Zealand and Canada.

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