Plans by an unknown group to attack staff of Israel’s national carrier El Al in Canada have been thwarted, Israel’s private Channel Two television reported on Wednesday.
Without giving the nationalities of the alleged attackers, it said they had monitored the comings and goings of El Al aircrew at a Toronto hotel.
Security procedures for crews overnighting at the hotel between flights have now been changed, it added.
On Tuesday, Israeli newspapers reported that at least five attempts by the Lebanese Hezbollah militia to abduct Israeli businessmen in Africa, Asia, and South America had been foiled.
Each time, Hezbollah — which fought a bloody war against Israel in the summer of 2006 — tried to use “sleeper cells” embedded in far-flung Shiite Muslim communities, the mass-selling Yediot Aharonot reported.
It and other newspapers cited unnamed Israeli security officials and said further details about the plots remain under official censorship.
The alert level has been raised for Israelis in Canada after it was discovered that a terror cell was following and carrying out surveillance on El Al crews staying in a hotel in Toronto, Channel 2 reported Wednesday.
The cell was arrested and El Al changed the guidelines issued to its employees.
The security establishment said that the cell appeared to be planning an attack on the Israelis and that the terrorists apparently belonged to Hizbullah.
On Tuesday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that in recent weeks, several kidnapping plots against Israelis abroad had been thwarted.
Two weeks ago, the Counter-Terrorism Bureau in the Prime Minister’s Office put out a rare “general” travel warning for Israelis traveling anywhere overseas following Hizbullah’s threat to expect retaliation for February’s assassination in Damascus of arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyeh, which the Islamist group blames on Israel.
On Friday, Hizbullah repeated its warning, with the group’s deputy secretary-general Sheikh Na’im Kassem saying that revenge for the death of the terror chief was a legitimate right of the guerrilla group and would come as a “surprise to the Israelis” when it happens.
The Counter-Terrorism Bureau advisory attempted to inform all Israelis abroad of Hizbullah’s intention to abduct or attack Israeli citizens traveling or working around the world in revenge for Mughniyeh death.