Homeland Security Network Blog
The information source for first responders.
Israel and Australia counterterrorism information sharing
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently revealed that Israeli intelligence had shared information with our security agencies that foiled an Islamic State plot to blow up an Etihad flight from Sydney last July.
Police arrested two brothers, Khaled Khayat and Mahmoud Khayat, and charged them with plotting to bring down the jet. They’re now before the courts accused of trying to smuggle an improvised explosive device hidden inside a meat grinder onto the plane. The attempt was aborted before they reached airport screening (the device was too heavy to pass through check-in).
The plot had been orchestrated by a senior commander of the Islamic State based in Syria, alarming our security agencies by demonstrating the ability of homegrown jihadis to access technical planning directly from terrorists in the Middle East. Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has publicly thanked Israeli authorities for the intelligence tip off. He pointed out that Israel has an ‘enormous capacity’ within its intelligence community and it’s an ‘important relationship with ASIO and the Australian Federal Police’.
During his visit to Australia last February, Netanyahu pointed out that both states had ‘superb intelligence services’ that could be better if they worked more closely together to counter violent Islamist extremism.
Israeli intelligence is now taking a more global approach. It’s part of the international effort to fight radical Islamist terror, with Israeli intelligence bodies having ‘tightened coordination with counterparts in friendly countries in recent years’.
Last May, a storm arose after it was reported that President Donald Trump had revealed in a conversation with the Russian foreign minister and Russian ambassador to the US details of Israeli warnings regarding a plan by Islamic State to blow up passenger jets flying to Europe using laptop bombs.
In January this year, Prime Minister Netanyahu told a group of ambassadors from NATO member states that Israel’s intelligence services had provided information that had thwarted several dozen major terrorist attacks, many of them in Europe. Many could have been the worst kind of mass attacks because they involved threats to civilian aviation, he said.