Disturbing happy snap of terrorist brothers
A DISTURBING happy snap of two would-be terrorist brothers, who failed to bring down a Sydney flight with a homemade bomb, shows them smiling at a family barbecue while performing a religious salute popular among ISIS fanatics.
The newly released image has emerged along with details of the dysfunctional family which would have seen a third brother unwittingly become a suicide bomber.
Mahmoud and Khaled Khayat planned to blow up an Etihad flight by putting a bomb, concealed in a meat grinder and doll, in the luggage of their brother Amer.
The attack was foiled when airport staff said Amer's luggage was overweight, two NSW Supreme Court trials later heard.
Amer flew on unaware but was locked up in Lebanon as police swooped on Khaled and Mahmoud back in Sydney.
Mahmoud tried to convince his interrogators he was lax in his faith and disagreed with ISIS in the Middle East and those intent on "making trouble" in other countries, documents released by the court show.
"We're here in this country. We should follow the rules of this country," he said in his initial police interview.
Investigators handed Mahmoud a photograph of him along with Khaled and a nephew, standing on the banks of the Georges River.
They are holding one finger raised, a symbol of God's single power known as Shahada.
The gesture is used innocently by many Muslims - but has also become a potent symbol by ISIS adherents as a form of salute.
"Would you agree with me that that particular gesture is quite popular in the media relating to …" one agent began querying Mahmoud.
"Oh you mean like ISIS and stuff? … But to me no, not for that," Mahmoud responded.
The then 32-year-old and his older brother are believed to have been directed by another brother, Tarek, a sheik who had taken up arms for the terror group in Syria.
Mahmoud described Tarek's ideas as "very strict".
The family is "sad" Tarek is not around, Mahmoud said, but the relationship with Amer had been strained long before his bag was packed with explosives.
"He used to be a gambler, he used to (be) alcoholic," Mahmoud said.
"We heard he's gay and that stuff. He divorced his wife, he left his two daughters and that's our problem with him."
Khaled and Mahmoud Khayat were ultimately found guilty of conspiring to commit a terrorist act in separate trials this year.
Amer was acquitted and released by a Lebanese military court.