nsucurrent.com March 17, 2018

Israeli intel thwarts ISIS attack on Australian airliner

23 February 2018, 04:24 | Colleen Roy

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a lunch meeting at the 54th Munich Security Conference

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a lunch meeting at the 54th Munich Security Conference

But he said any intelligence uncovered by the 8200 unit was probably "raw data" and it still needed to be verified and analysed by Australian intelligence authorities before it could be acted on.

Partnering with the Israeli intelligence community allowed the transfer of the secret information to the local and national defense authorities in Australia who succeeded in preventing the attack.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) on Wednesday said its military intelligence division, Unit 8200, played a critical role in preventing a previously disclosed plot to bomb an Etihad Airways flight out of Sydney previous year.

Israeli media said the army statement referred to an attempted bombing in July of an Etihad Airways flight due to leave Sydney for Abu Dhabi, which was foiled by Australian security forces before the plane took off. It was prevented when foreign intelligence agencies intercepted communications from the Syrian jihadist, police said.

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

ASIO then worked with other worldwide partners, Dutton said.

"The Etihad flight was nearly blown out of the sky and would have resulted in hundreds of people losing their lives so we are very grateful for the assistance Israel provided in that matter", Dutton told a local radio station.

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.

Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said Israel was "directly" involved in uncovering the alleged plot.

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

But the device never made it onto the plane, apparently because it was too heavy to pass check-in. Instead, Phelan said, the would-be terrorist left the airport with the IED, and his brother continued onto the flight without it.

Dutton says 14 imminent terror attacks have been stopped in Australia and 85 people have been charged with terror-related offences in recent years.

The suspects had planned to crash the aircraft using a "military-grade explosive" sent by a senior member of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, Australia police alleged previously.

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