Etihad helping Australia with plane 'terror plot'


New details about the alleged plot emerged as Australian pilots called for photo identification to be reintroduced for the issuing of all domestic plane tickets and for all airport employees, including those checking in hand luggage, to go through thorough security screening.

Abdul Merhi, 50, was released from police custody on Tuesday night, Australian Federal Police said.

Police moved swiftly and raided five properties across Sydney in Surry Hills, Wiley Park, Punchbowl and Lakemba on Saturday evening.

Local reports have also said the men might have links to the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria, with Justice Minister Michael Keenan only saying "it's clear that this has been inspired by radical Islamic ideology".

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Arriving at the airport much earlier than your actual flight time is good advice in general, but thanks to recently introduced "security measures" from the government, the major airlines are now recommending global passengers arrive up to three hours before their scheduled departure times and two hours for domestic trips.

He also said there will be fewer delays at Australian airports for travellers after authorities disrupted the aviation terror threat.

The two men facing charges will appears in a Sydney court on Friday morning.

Police have not identified the airline that was allegedly targeted in the plot, nor the specific means that were to be used to bring it down, other than to say it involved an "improvised device".

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

"This investigation remains ongoing and further information will be provided at an appropriate time", the police statement said.

Dr Coyne described the increased screening as "security theatre" meant to deter terrorist co-conspirators from carrying out an attack, reassure the public that flying remained safe and give agencies time to identify and rectify any vulnerabilities.

The concerns came as Sydney's Daily Telegraph cited sources alleging the plot involved using an unwitting passenger to carry a bomb onboard, with Etihad Airways confirming this week it was helping the investigation.

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Mr Turnbull said he would not comment on the alleged terrorist plot, but that Australian Federal Police commissioner Andrew Colvin assured him charges are likely to be laid.