Amer Khayat, who is on trial in Lebanon for his alleged part in a plot to bomb an Etihad flight from Australia to the UEA in July of 2017, told a judge that overwhelming evidence against him, including his mobile phone history, incriminating photographs and a signed confession were all fabricated by investigators.
In July of 2017, Australian and Lebanese authorities foiled an alleged plot to blow up an Etihad Airways flight from Sydney Airport (SYD) to Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH). Investigators say the terrorist plan involved an improvised explosive device hidden in a large Barbie doll. The failed bombers had reportedly previously attempted to smuggle the explosive onboard in a meat grinder, but were thwarted when the device exceeded the weight limit for carry-on items.
Now, Amer Khayat, one of the accused plotters, is claiming that he is the victim of a government conspiracy to frame him for the actions of his brothers, one of whom is said to be a high-ranking ISIS commander in Syria. Khayat is facing charges of “preparing for, or planning, a terrorist attack” along with another brother Mahmoud Khayat.
The 40-year-old told a judge that he was an unwitting accomplice in the failed scheme to bring down the passenger plane with nearly 400 passengers onboard. He claimed to be on his way to visit his estranged family after a chance meeting with his brother Mahmoud and was completely unaware that he was attempting to carry explosives.
Khayat told the courtroom that much of the evidence against him had been planted in his cellphone by authorities. He also said that investigators fabricated a signed confession and forged a suicide note written to his mother. The accused terrorist said that he is the victim of “black-masked ninjas” who want to see him convicted as a means of getting to his ISIS-affiliated family member in Syria.
“You [Syrian Authorities] want the big head in Raqqa, Tarek,” Khayat said in testimony reported by The Australian. “Go and get him.’’