el al plane 298.88.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
A terrorist plot to blow up an El Al jet at Geneva airport with an RPG (rocket propelled grenade) in December was uncovered by the Swiss and French intelligence agencies, details released for publication on Friday revealed.
The Yedioth Aharonot newspaper reported that a secret agent working undercover amongst an Islamic terror cell in the city discovered the plan after three immigrants of Arabic origin boasted of their attempts to smuggle weapons from Russia with the ultimate goal of shooting down an Israeli plane at the airport.
When the matter was reported to Israeli security, El Al changed the flight paths of all its Geneva-bound planes, landing them at Zurich Airport the following week.
Swiss officials reported that no arrests were made following the discovery since the plan had yet to reach its final operational stages.
El Al has reportedly installed the Flight Guard Self Protection System at a cost of one million dollars per plane on some of its fleet, and plans to install it in all its jets in the future.
However, the system, which is capable of detecting an approaching missile, would be largely useless against an 'unguided' weapon such as the RPG, which is not radar-guided and does not expel enough heat to be tracked.