Global Affairs

Israeli Cyber Intel Helped Foil Attacks in “Dozens” of Countries 

Israeli cyber intelligence has helped thwart “major” terrorist attacks in “dozens” of countries, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a cyber-security conference in Tel Aviv on Wednesday.

Israel alerted Australian authorities about a planned Islamic State attack on an Etihad Airways flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi, foiling an explosion in the air. Etihad is the national airline of the United Arab Emirates.

“That plane from Sydney to Abu Dhabi was going to be exploded in midair,” Netanyahu said. “We found out through our cyber activities, we found out that ISIS was going to do this and so we alerted the Australian police and they stopped this, before it happened.”

Israel shares information about cyber-threats and attacks with 85 countries, he explained.

“This particular incident,” Netanyahu said, referencing the Etihad terror plot, “if you multiply that 50 times, that will give you an idea of the contribution that Israel has made to prevent major terrorist operations, especially from ISIS, in dozens of countries and most of those cases were foiled because of our activities in cyber-security.”

Last month, Israeli intelligence services tipped off the United States on an impending Iranian attack on “U.S. interests in the Gulf.” In November, Israel’s intelligence agency, Mossad, provided Denmark and Sweden with the information to stop the attempted assassination of the leader of the Danish branch of an Iranian opposition group.

It was the second time in just a few months that Iran has been accused of planning a terrorist attack against an exiled Iranian opposition group on European soil. In June 2018, France, Germany, and Belgium foiled a planned attack against a meeting of thousands of Iranian opposition supporters just north of Paris that was also attended by leading U.S. figures. An Iranian diplomat, accredited to Tehran’s mission in Austria, was implicated in the plot.

Following the thwarting of the Paris terror plot, Israeli media reported that the Mossad provided crucial intelligence that led to the arrest of the cell planning the attack.

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