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Israeli intelligence thwarted terror attack on Australian flight, IDF says

By
Susan McFarland
The Israel Defense Forces said Wednesday its intelligence Unit 8200 foiled a major terror attack last summer that involved bombing an Etihad airliner traveling from Sydney to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. File Photo courtesy of Etihad Airways/EPA-EFE
The Israel Defense Forces said Wednesday its intelligence Unit 8200 foiled a major terror attack last summer that involved bombing an Etihad airliner traveling from Sydney to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. File Photo courtesy of Etihad Airways/EPA-EFE

Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Intelligence agents in the Israel Defense Forces foiled a major terror attack last summer after learning the Islamic State terror group planned to bomb an Australian flight, authorities said Wednesday.

Unit 8200, a military intelligence division in the IDF that collects signal intelligence and code decryption, provided information about the attack that led to the arrests of the suspects.

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"The foiling of the attack saved dozens of innocent lives and proved Unit 8200's position as a major player in the intelligence fight against the Islamic State," an IDF officer said.

The intelligence agents are on the front line of Israel's cyberwars -- with about half of the unit engaged in activity beyond Israel's borders, intercepting and gathering intelligence about threats.

Officials said the thwarted Islamic State attack was planned for an Etihad Airways flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, last July.

Four men were arrested in Sydney suburbs for planning attacks -- one of which involved planting an explosive device on someone who unknowingly would carry it onto the plane.

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Unit 8200 said it also recently stopped an Iranian cyberattack that targeted private and public organizations in Israel.

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