Israeli Intelligence Thwarted Daesh Attempt to Down Passenger Plane - Netanyahu

IntelIDF Spokesperson

Mr. Netanyahu's revelation came during a speech in Jerusalem to U.S. Jewish leaders, and followed a statement from the Israeli army that a branch of military intelligence known as "Unit 8200" had foiled an "aerial attack overseas by Islamic State".

Australian security forces revealed in July that arrests were made in connection with a bomb plot targeting an Etihad flight to Abu Dhabi, but Israel's role in the investigation went unreported until the IDF's announcement this week.

"The cooperation with the Israeli intelligence community allowed for the transfer of information to the local security authorities and led to the arrest of the suspects, who were in the advanced stages of preparations and close to executing the attack".

ISRAELI Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday intelligence provided by his country foiled a plot by the Islamic State group to bring down a plane from Australia.

A year ago two brothers were arrested in Sydney - Khaled Khayat and Mahmoud Khayat - and charged with plotting to bring down an Etihad Airways passenger jet destined to fly to Abu Dhabi from Sydney.

"This Etihad flight was nearly blown out of the sky and it would have resulted in hundreds of people losing their lives, so we are very grateful for the assistance Israel provided in that matter", he told Sydney radio 2GB.

Mr. Netanyahu also said the thwarted attack in Australia was one of dozens similar attacks Israel has prevented around the world. "Obviously we've got a very close working relationship with them", he said.

Within 48 hours of uncovering the first detail about the plot, the Israeli military unit, led by a young female Israeli officer, relayed the intelligence to the Australian authorities.

"The assumption in Australia was that the intelligence provided came via [the United Kingdom's] Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and MI6", he said.

"In the days between getting the intelligence data and making the arrests, they [Australian authorities] had to identify the targets. they had to put them under surveillance and then move as quickly as they could", Professor Barton said.

Khaled Khayat (left) was arrested in Sydney over the terrorist plot.

A third was charged with an unrelated weapons offence, while the fourth was released without charge.

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