FRESH AIR

Australia’s security chiefs highlight benefits of intel sharing with Israel

Sep 10, 2019 | Sharyn Mittelman

Duncan Lewis

Retiring ASIO Director-General of Security Duncan Lewis recently addressed the Lowy Institute and reflected on the importance of exchanging information on security threats with international partners to disrupt planned terror attacks.  As an example, he highlighted that in July 2017 Israel shared intelligence with Australia that helped stop the bombing of an Etihad plane on the Sydney-Dubai route, in what is now known as “Operation Silves”.

Mr Lewis said“This plot involved a direct attack, a direction that came from ISIL members in Syria against aviation targets here in Australia.  This incident represents a serious and sophisticated threat.  It was a sobering reminder that the aviation sector remains an enduring and attractive target for some transnational groups.  This was an example where Australia benefitted from an intelligence lead from an international partner, in that particular case, the State of Israel.  The sharing and joint development of intelligence capabilities continues to strengthen our individual and collective ability to detect, to monitor and respond to threats.”  

Israel’s role in helping to thwart the terror attack has also been previously noted by senior figures in Australia and Israel.  Last year, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton confirmed Israel helped Australia stop a plot to blow up an airliner. His comments followed remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israeli intelligence services had prevented an attack of an “Australian airliner” as part of wide-ranging international intelligence-sharing.

The importance of protecting this intelligence-sharing relationship was also raised by Australia’s Director-General of National Intelligence Nick Warner at a hearing of the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and Security Committee.  The hearing was part of an investigation into whether there are sufficient legal protections in place for journalists and whistleblowers, following the Australian Federal Police raids on the ABC’s Sydney headquarters and the home of News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst over separate stories that were allegedly based on leaked classified information.

According to an ABC news report (Aug. 7), “[Warner] cited intelligence received from Israel which helped to foil a plot to blow up an Etihad flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi in July 2017, with a bomb hidden inside a meat grinder.  ‘The unauthorised disclosure or publication of foreign partner information could have serious ramifications, including putting at risk Australia’s relationship with those partners and that country,’ Mr Warner said.   ‘Put simply, if those partners do not trust Australian intelligence agencies to keep their intelligence information secret, they will not share it.’”

It appears very clear that the close relationship between Australia and Israel is deeply valued by Australia’s most senior officials working in the intelligence field.  This partnership has already apparently saved hundreds of Australian lives by stopping the aviation terror attack of 2017.

Tags: ,

RELATED ARTICLES


Palestinians distribute drinking water to displaced people in Gaza City (Image: Anas Mohammed/ Shutterstock)

The truth about water in Gaza

Jul 12, 2024 | Featured, Fresh AIR
(image: Casimiro PT/Shutterstock)

Médecins Sans Frontières has lost its way

Jul 3, 2024 | Featured, Fresh AIR
CCTV footage of the 14-year-old attacker in military fatigues (screenshot)

Sydney University stabbing highlights issues in AIJAC submission on right-wing extremism

Jul 3, 2024 | Featured, Fresh AIR
More than 1,000 truckloads of aid waiting to be picked up inside Gaza at the Kerem Shalom crossing on June 18 (Source: COGAT)

Counting – and miscounting – Gaza aid trucks

Jun 20, 2024 | Featured, Fresh AIR
Screenshot 2024 06 06 At 2.30.10 PM

Did Hamas accept ceasefire proposal? ABC can’t get its story straight

Jun 6, 2024 | Featured, Fresh AIR
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh meets Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

Iran uses pro-Palestinian students and criminals as proxies

Jun 5, 2024 | Featured, Fresh AIR

RECENT POSTS

Palestinians distribute drinking water to displaced people in Gaza City (Image: Anas Mohammed/ Shutterstock)

The truth about water in Gaza

Hezbollah missiles are targeting northern Israeli towns and infrastructure (Screenshot)

Why appeasing Iran will lead to broader Mid-East war

This placard expresses the ultimate purpose of the anti-Zionist movement – a world without the collective Jew (Image: X/Twitter)

Essay: The Placard Strategy

A far-right graphic makes caricatured Jews responsible for everything the far-right hates

Deconstruction Zone: The conspiracy trap

The “encampment” at the University of Sydney (Image: X/Twitter)

The Last Word: What is a university?

Palestinians distribute drinking water to displaced people in Gaza City (Image: Anas Mohammed/ Shutterstock)

The truth about water in Gaza

Hezbollah missiles are targeting northern Israeli towns and infrastructure (Screenshot)

Why appeasing Iran will lead to broader Mid-East war

This placard expresses the ultimate purpose of the anti-Zionist movement – a world without the collective Jew (Image: X/Twitter)

Essay: The Placard Strategy

A far-right graphic makes caricatured Jews responsible for everything the far-right hates

Deconstruction Zone: The conspiracy trap

The “encampment” at the University of Sydney (Image: X/Twitter)

The Last Word: What is a university?

SORT BY TOPICS