Terror accused duo to face Sydney court over alleged plot to bring down plane

 

Two men will face a Sydney court accused of planning a terrorist act over an alleged plot to bring down a plane.

A 49-year-old from Lakemba, Khaled Khayat, and 32-year-old Mahmoud Khayat from Punchbowl were both charged with two counts of acting in preparation for or planning a terrorist act, Australian Federal Police said on Thursday night.

Both men are scheduled to appear before Parramatta Court on Friday morning, but the AFP haveadvised they are not expected to appear in person, but instead will appear via video link.

The maximum penalty for the offence is life imprisonment.

A third man Khaled Merhi remains behind bars, held under special anti-terror laws, while police investigations continue. He can be detained until the weekend under the current ruling.

Picture: 7 News

Senior police, earlier on Thursday, foreshadowed the charges with NSW Commissioner Mick Fuller describing the evidence as "very strong".

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull echoed his words.

NSW Commissioner Mick Fuller described the evidence obtained as "very strong". Picture: 7 News

"Investigations have proceeded very well in terms of uncovering evidence," he told reporters in Perth on Thursday.

"The police have uncovered very substantial evidence."

Picture: 7 News

The aviation terror threat level has meanwhile been lowered to "possible" on advice from ASIO. The threat level was raised to "probable" when the plot was discovered.

"Travellers will see progressive adjustments to airport security over the next 24 hours," Mr Turnbull said in a statement on Thursday.

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