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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

Australian police free one of four suspects in 'Islamic-inspired' plot

The target has been reported by Australian media as an Etihad flight to Abu Dhabi

One of four men who were arrested after the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism team conducted raids throughout Sydney suburbs over the weekend has been released.
One of four men who were arrested after the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism team conducted raids throughout Sydney suburbs over the weekend has been released.

Australian police said on Tuesday they had released one of four men arrested in raids last weekend that foiled an "Islamic-inspired" plot to bring down a plane reported to have been travelling to Abu Dhabi.

The Sydney Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that the plot, which may have involved a bomb or poisonous gas, was set to be carried out on an Etihad A380 flight from Sydney to the UAE capital.

The AFP has not released details of the plot, although a US official familiar with the arrests told Reuters that the target appeared to have been a commercial flight from Sydney to the Arabian Gulf.

Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways said on Tuesday it was assisting the AFP in the investigation.

A 50-year-old man was released on Tuesday night, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said in a statement, adding that no criminal charges had been filed against him. The other men remain detained without charge, the statement said.

Australia has been on heightened alert since 2014 for attacks by home-grown militants returning from fighting in the Middle East, or their supporters, but has suffered few domestic attacks.

The 2014 Lindt cafe siege in Sydney, in which the hostage-taker and two people were killed, was Australia's most deadly violence inspired by Islamic State militants.

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