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Terrorist allegedly behind Sydney plane bomb plot is captured in Iraq

An Islamic State commander who is accused of conspiring with his Sydney-based brothers to blow up a plane last year has been arrested in Iraq with an Australian IS fighter.

Tarek Khayat and his relative Ahmed Merhi were caught earlier in the year after reportedly moving from Syria, according to the ABC.

Mr Khayat allegedly hatched a plot with his brothers, Khaled and Mahmoud Khayat, to blow up Etihad Airways flight EY451 from Sydney to Abu Dhabi with 400 passengers and crew members on board last July.

Islamic State commander Tarek Khayat, who is accused of conspiring with his Sydney-based brothers to blow up a plane last year, and his Australian relative Ahmed Merhi (pictured), have been arrested in Iraq

Australian authorities have accused the commander of connecting Khaled and Mahmoud to a IS controller to teach them how to make the bombs – one in a meat grinder and the other in a Barbie doll.

The trio of brothers allegedly planned to sneak the bomb on to the plane by placing it in the carry-on luggage of an unwitting fourth brother who was travelling to Abu Dhabi to visit family, but the plot was foiled when he was told his bag was too heavy.

The men were allegedly relying on insider information at Sydney Airport to successfully bring the bombs past security check points.

Court documents prepared by a Lebanese military prosecutor claim Mr Khayat helped plan the attack in Raqqa, Syria, as revenge for the death of his two teen sons, who died in the war earlier last year.

Mr Khayat allegedly hatched a plot with his brothers, Khaled (pictured) and Mahmoud Khayat, to blow up Etihad Airways flight EY451 from Sydney to Abu Dhabi with 400 passengers and crew members on board last July

Mr Khayat allegedly hatched a plot with his brothers, Khaled (pictured) and Mahmoud Khayat, to blow up Etihad Airways flight EY451 from Sydney to Abu Dhabi with 400 passengers and crew members on board last July

Khaled and Mahmoud were arrested in Sydney on July 29 and have been charged with two counts of planning a terrorist act

Khaled and Mahmoud were arrested in Sydney on July 29 and have been charged with two counts of planning a terrorist act

Khaled and Mahmoud were arrested in Sydney on July 29 and have been charged with two counts of planning a terrorist act.

The pair were seized during police raids at four properties just days after Australian authorities were alerted to the foiled plan by Israel’s military intelligence.

Members of Ahmed Merhi’s family were also arrested during the raids but were later released without charge. It’s believed they’re related to the Khayat family through marriage.

Ahmed, who is in his 20s, moved to Syria from Sydney in 2014 and is allegedly connected to those responsible for the murder of police accountant Curtis Cheng in 2015, according to ABC.

Mr Khayat was a senior IS commander in Tripoli before relocating his wife and five children to Syria in 2014, the publication reported.

Members of Ahmed Merhi's family were also arrested during the raids (pictured) but were later released without charge

Members of Ahmed Merhi’s family were also arrested during the raids (pictured) but were later released without charge

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