Australia Defends Against ‘Most Sophisticated’ Terror Plot Yet

Australian Federal Police Officers patrol Sydney Airport on July 31, 2017 in Sydney, Australia.
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Australia Defends Against ‘Most Sophisticated’ Terror Plot Yet

Are we defeating terror or just fending it off?

On July 15, Amer Khayat prepared to board his Etihad flight to the Middle East. In his hand was a plane ticket. In his carry-on bag was a meat grinder. And in his meat grinder was a military-grade improvised explosive device (ied).

Amer was oblivious—the device had been hidden in the grinder by his brother Khaled. Over an unknown number of months, Khaled and another brother Mahmoud had been corresponding with an Islamic State handler. This operative had shipped the weapon components to the men from an assemblage point in Turkey.

Had the ied gone off midflight, there would have been a catastrophe. Thankfully, it did not.

For some reason, the mission was aborted at the last second—probably because of a weight issue. As any airline commuter knows, there are strict weight and size limits for carry-on luggage. It turns out explosive-packed meat grinders—while x-ray-proof—are heavy. Amer’s meat grinder was turned back at check-in, and the crisis was averted.

Eleven quiet days slipped by.

During that time, Khaled and Mahmoud were given new instructions by their handler. It was time for the backup plan.

The original bomb was disassembled and the men set about purchasing equipment to create a highly toxic hydrogen sulfide bomb. Police have not released information on the target, but no doubt the location would have been a packed airport, a train station or some other large gathering.

But again, it didn’t happen.

On July 29, one of the most serious terror plots ever planned on Australian soil finally came to an end as police carried out raids on six properties across Sydney.

Three days earlier, an alleged tip-off from a foreign security agency—some claim it was Britain’s MI5—had finally brought the Khayat brothers to police attention.

A catastrophe was avoided by the narrowest of margins, and Australian authorities had been caught completely unaware. On the bright side, perhaps a few more Australians woke up to realize our defensive war on terror isn’t working.

Evidently, that did not happen in Canberra.

The reassuring Justice Minister Michael Keenan said, “I want to remind everyone that this is the 13th time, because of the excellence of our law enforcement agencies, that we have been able to stop a terrorist attack from occurring on Australian soil in the past three years.”

But if the allegations are true, this latest attack outfoxed Australian security. Without the help of foreign agencies, Australian police might never have suspected Khaled and Mahmoud. Remember, the ied came all the way to the airport before being turned back! It was assembled, mailed and taken to the airport with no police interference. Then 11 days passed with authorities not having the foggiest clue as to the devastation so nearly brought to bear on July 15.

If the foreign agency hadn’t given the tip-off, when would Australia have known? Probably at the moment of detonation.

While breathing a collective sigh of relief, we should stop and ask, “Are we really defeating terror, or just fending it off?”

According to abc, “Since 2014, 70 people have been charged as a result of 31 counterterrorism operations around the country.”

That’s a lot of people, and last month two of them almost succeeded! But it isn’t the only near miss we’ve had. There were plots in the last three years to kidnap and behead members of the public in Sydney and Brisbane. There were plots to detonate bombs at a Mother’s Day event, attack people on Anzac Day, and target prominent government buildings such as naval bases and court houses.

In the case of the beheading attempt, the perpetrators had bought bayonets and were en route to behead a stranger when police caught them!

It has been close call after close call—and it has security forces on their heels.

Meanwhile, the Islamic State handler that helped coordinate the attack is still at large. How many others has he been working with?

And while we hate to admit it, the odds are gradually stacking against us. An article titled “Terrorism Rate Increases Ninefold in 15 Years” by Trumpet contributor Andrew Miiller dated May 17 says it all. That’s a 774 percent increase since the year 2000!

Our governments clearly don’t know how to conquer terror. Yet way back in 2002, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry warned about the rise of terror and explained exactly how it can be conquered.

In “Leadership and Terrorism,” Mr. Flurry drew on the military expertise of renowned naval officer and historian Alfred Thayer Mahan. Mahan’s approach to warfare led to him being named “the most important American strategist of the 19th century.”

In his book The Interest of America in Sea Power, Present and Future, Mahan wrote:

[T]he assumption of a simple defensive in war is ruin. War, once declared, must be waged offensively, aggressively. The enemy must not be fended off, but smitten down. You may then spare him every exaction, relinquish every gain. But till down, he must be struck incessantly and remorselessly.

Over the last two years, Australia has “fended off” 13 attacks. But has the real cause been smitten down?

Mr. Flurry wrote:

Our war on terrorism is a defensive war—and “a simple defensive in war is ruin.” The way we are fighting terrorism leads to catastrophe! …

What is essential for us today is a strong leader with real faith in God.

Mr. Flurry’s message is not easily stomached by those who are comfortable playing defense. Mahan described them thusly, “Those who rise in peace are men of formality and routine, cautious, inoffensive, safe up to the limits of their capacity, supremely conscientious, punctilious about everything but what is essential, yet void altogether of initiative, impulse and originality.”

And as Mr. Flurry highlighted, the thing we lack is real essential godly action-taking leadership! “We deceive ourselves today because we talk about victories against terrorists. But there is no winning this war until we annihilate our real terrorist enemies! That includes the terrorist nations,” he wrote.

He concluded, “There is no shortage of help. All we have to do is turn to the God who created heaven and Earth. Whether we learn this lesson now or later, this is how terrorism is soon to be destroyed forever.”

Of course, God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but He does promise to smite the evils that plague our world. Where men hesitate and fall short today, God will soon take action!

As the latest “fending off” at the Sydney airport proves, the lesson of offensive warfare against evil has not been learned by society as a whole. Instead, our security forces are applauded for staving off attack after attack without dealing with the problem. The likes of Iran and her terror proxies are growing bolder by the day!

The good news is God will end their reign of terror. And it won’t just be terrorism that is destroyed. Every nation and system of government established on man’s understanding will be conquered. In a world rife with poverty, war, unhappiness and disease, broken families and terrible afflictions, it will be a merciful overhaul. In place of man’s system, God promises a world-ruling kingdom that will bring joy, happiness and lasting peace. Our free booklet The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Likeextrapolates on that Bible-based promise. And you can be a part of that future!

Australia and mankind as a whole may not be willing to do what is necessary to bring about real peace. Thankfully, God is.