The Israeli Defense Forces provided crucial intelligence that uncovered an alleged plot by Muslims to bring down an Etihad passenger plane with a bomb hidden in a meat grinder, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has confirmed.
SMH Mr Dutton confirmed Israel had provided the original tip-off to Australian intelligence officials. “I can confirm it. In doing so I want to thank the Israelis very much. Obviously we’ve got a very close working relationship with them,” he told Sky News on Thursday.
His comments followed remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday that Israeli intelligence services had prevented the downing of an airliner as part of wide-ranging international intelligence-sharing. Intelligence gathered by his military’s elite 8200 unit played a key role in preventing the attack bu the Islamic State (ISIS) on an UAE’s Etihad flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi on July 15, 2017.
Khaled Khayat, 49, of Lakemba, and Mahmoud Khayat, 32, (below) of Punchbowl, were charged by police with two counts of acts done in preparation for, or planning, a terrorist act.
An Australian Muslim man had sent his brother to Sydney Airport to catch the flight carrying a home-made bomb disguised as a meat-mincer, built at the direction of a senior Islamic State commander, Australian police said.
He caught the flight without his checked baggage after it was rejected at a Sydney Airport check-in counter because it was too heavy. He then travelled to Lebanon, the Lebanese interior minister said. Australian authorities have suggested he had no idea he was to have carried a bomb.
Days after the alleged plot was revealed, Lebanon’s interior minister said Beirut had monitored the brothers for more than a year and had worked with Australian authorities to disrupt the attack. A number of men were arrested in raids across Sydney last July relating to the alleged plot.