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Etihad Airways terror scare in Sydney: Passenger safety and transparency first

Etihad Airways terror scare in Sydney:  Passenger safety and transparency first

eTurboNews -

When safety and security is the issue, Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates has always demonstrated there is no room for mistakes and compromises. It could have been one of the most sophisticated terror attacks in the aviation world and in Australia last month when Australian Federal Police allege they had disrupted two separate terror plots being masterminded by the same group.  This disruption was done with the full support and cooperation of Etihad Airways Sydney operation and local law enforcement but in particular intelligence agencies.

Khaled Khayat and Mahmoud Khaya were charged last night in  Parramatte Local Court in Sydney, Australia with terror offenses. They were accused of an attempt to smuggle an improvised explosive device (IED) onto an Etihad Airways plane scheduled to take off from Sydney on a non stop flight to Abu Dhabi on July 15, but went on to implement a separate plan to build a hydrogen sulfide bomb.

Another man was released mid-week, while a fourth man remains in custody. It has been reported that Australian authorities were rushed into arresting the men by a British threat to issue a public travel warning about Australia.

The first plot was to detonate an IED, to allegedly be planted on the brother of one of the accused, on an Etihad flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi on July 15. Their second alleged blueprint involved releasing a toxic “rotten egg gas” bomb. Hydrogen sulfide, known as “rotten egg gas” is highly toxic, and often fatal for people exposed to it.

United Arab Emirates national carrier Etihad Airways reacted immediately and transparent in not denying the incident. Etihad is known to have one of the most sophisticated security systems in the aviation world in place.

An Etihad spokesperson told eTurboNews today: “The ‎safety and security of our passengers and crew are always Etihad Airways’ topmost priority. Working closely with the relevant authorities in each country, Etihad Airways implements the most stringent security measures throughout all of our ‎operations worldwide.”

Etihad Airways showed complete transparency and even at a time the name of the airline involved was not yet released, Etihad stopped rumors and issued a brief statement: “The Etihad Airways aviation security team is assisting the Australian Federal Police with its investigation and the matter is ongoing.”

Speaking in Perth, Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan said security at Australia’s airports would be increased and the impacts of the alleged plot “could have been catastrophic”.

In court, police will allege the IED had been built under instructions from a senior Islamic State (IS) controller in Syria and was to be planted in the luggage of a brother of one of the accused on the Etihad flight out of Sydney on July 15.  The brother was not aware of the plan.

However, that attempt was aborted, and a second plan was then put in place to create a “chemical dispersion device”.

The attempted attack comes at a time the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and other nations are accusing Qatar to support terror groups and these countries cut all diplomatic ties and air-routes to and from Doha. Qatar has strongly denied the acquisition and condemned the blockade put in place against the oil rich country.

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