TEL AVIV – Israel thwarted mass 9/11-style terrorist attacks on European cities, including attacks involving civil aviation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday.
“We have, through our intelligence services, provided information that has stopped several dozen major terrorist attacks, many of them in European countries,” he told an audience of NATO foreign diplomats in Jerusalem.
“Some of these could have been mass attacks, of the worst kind that you have experienced on the soil of Europe and even worse, because they involve civil aviation. Israel has prevented that, and thereby helped save many European lives,” Netanyahu said, in an apparent reference to hijacked aircraft.
The prime minister told the group of NATO ambassadors that the world was being threatened by both Sunni and Shiite groups, the Islamic State and Iran-backed groups respectively. He added that Israel was helping every single member of NATO in fighting those radical Islamic terror groups.
Israel is also working towards preventing the Islamic State from increasing its presence in Egypt, he said.
“ISIS is being destroyed in Iraq and Syria, but it is trying to establish an alternative territorial base in the Sinai. Israel is contributing to preventing that in myriad ways,” Netanyahu said. “In general, I would say that Israel is the most powerful indigenous force in the Middle East that fights radical Islam.”
With regards to Iran, Israel is not only is working to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons, it as also “absolutely committed to preventing Iran from establishing a military base in Syria. And we back our words with action,” he stated, adding that the Islamic Republic is seeking to deploy 100,000 more fighters to Syria.
Such a scenario would result in millions more refugees fleeing to Europe.
“Where will the spillover happen? In Europe. Where will the human flow go? To Europe. Who’s preventing that right now? Israel? Right now, Israel alone. But I maintain that it’s a common interest that we have,” he said.