JERUSALEM: Israel’s spy services are helping France investigate the Paris gun and bomb attacks, Israeli media said, with one radio station suggesting the assistance drew on surveillance of militant groups in Syria and Iraq.
Israel had no advance warning of Friday’s rampage that killed at least 129 people, but within hours of it happening gave France information about some of the Islamic State militants who claimed to have carried it out, the top-rated television station Channel Two said, quoting an unnamed senior Israeli official.
Without providing details, Channel Two said Israeli intelligence saw a “clear operational link” between the attack in the French capital, Thursday’s Beirut suicide bombings and the Oct. 31 downing of a Russian airliner in the Egyptian Sinai.
Israeli spy services are monitoring Syria and Iraq – where Islamic State insurgents have conquered swathes of territory – which may have yielded intelligence on the organisation of the Paris attacks, Israel’s Army Radio said.
Israeli officials contacted by Reuters had no comment, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters on Saturday: “I’ve instructed Israel’s security and intelligence services to assist their French counterparts and counterparts from other European countries in any way possible.”
A Western diplomat said last year that Israel was providing the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State with information gleaned from international travel databases about Western citizens suspected of joining the insurgents.