Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has thanked Israeli authorities for an intelligence tip-off that helped police stop an alleged terrorist plot to blow up a plane leaving Sydney last year.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed on Wednesday that his country’s intelligence services had shared information with Australia to help thwart the attack, which police believe involved smuggling a bomb hidden inside a meat grinder on to the plane.
“We revealed today that Israel’s intelligence services prevented the shooting down of an Australian airliner and I can tell you that this is one of many, many such actions that we did preventing terrorism around the world,” Mr Netanyahu said.
The Israeli intelligence unit 8200 was key and terrorism expert Greg Barton said it was unsurprising it had been kept secret.
“While Unit 8200 is a world leader in signal interception and decoding they may well have had a human source or undercover operative who would have been put in danger if it was known the Israelis were involved,” Professor Barton told The Daily Telegraph.
Mr Dutton confirmed yesterday that the information had helped Australian authorities to swoop on those suspected of planning the attack on an Etihad Airways flight last July.
“I want to thank the Israelis very much,” Mr Dutton said.
Raids carried out in July last year in Sydney resulted in the arrests of several men.