Israel foiled planned plane terror plot in Sydney

Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said that intelligence units provided vital information which foiled an alleged plot to blow up a plane from Sydney last year

Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has claimed that intelligence provided by his country foiled an alleged plot  to blow up a place from Sydney.

Last July, Australian police charged two brothers over an alleged plan to blow up an Etihad Airways flight travelling from Sydney to Abu Dhabi.

In a speech in Jerusalem on Wednesday, Isreali PM credited his nation’s intelligence agencies.

“The Israeli intelligence services thwarted the downing of an Australian plane, an unimaginable slaughter,” the Israeli leader said.

 “This would have caused a major disruption in global air transport and this is only one of dozens of terrorist attacks we have foiled around the world,” Netanyahu said, later referring to the alleged plot as an Isis operation.

The Israeli army said one of its intelligence units, named 8200, provided the information in 2017 leading to the arrest of Isis militants who were working “toward the execution of the attack”.

Authorities have said the alleged plot was linked to the Islamic State group.

At the time, Australian police said a home-made bomb, hidden inside a meat-grinder, was due to be carried on to a flight on 15 July but did not make it past security after the plan was aborted for an unknown reason.

Police said that when the bomb plot failed, the two suspects started on a second plot which involved creating an improvised chemical device designed to release hydrogen sulphide, or "rotten egg gas".

Lebanese-Australian brothers Khaled Khayat, 49, and Mahmoud Khayat, 32, were later arrested in Sydney and charged with "preparing for, or planning, a terrorist attack".

Australian police said the plot had been orchestrated by “a senior member of the Islamic State” based overseas. It was prevented when foreign intelligence agencies intercepted communications from the Syrian jihadist, police said.

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

"The Etihad flight was almost 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.

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