Ya'alon Urges Global Spies to Pool Resources on IS

Israeli Defense Minister says Islamic State can only be defeated if intelligence agencies learn the lessons of 9/11 and cooperate.

AFP and Arutz Sheva Staff ,

A Kurdish fighter hold a position overlooking
A Kurdish fighter hold a position overlooking

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon on Tuesday called for world intelligence agencies to work together against the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group.

"In order to stop and overcome the Islamic State, we have learnt since 9/11 that there must be cooperation between intelligence agencies from across the free world, a sharing of experience and operational cooperation," he told public radio.

Ya'alon's comments follow a speech he made Monday night, in which he criticized the international community for focusing on criticizing Israel instead of targeting state sponsors of terrorism - naming Qatar and Turkey as two of the most prominent such states, along with Iran.

The Islamic State (IS) group, formerly known as ISIS, is at the forefront of a sweeping militant assault that has overrun swathes of Iraq and holds significant areas of territory in neighboring Syria. The ultra-violent group has imposed strict Islamic law on areas under its control, and has embarked on a campaign of mass-killings of non-Muslims and rival Muslim sects which Amnesty International recently described as ethnic-cleansing on an "historic scale".  

US President Barack Obama on Friday called for a broad coalition to defeat the IS jihadists and he is to chair a key UN Security Council session on the threat on September 24. The US has carried out over 130 airstrikes in Iraq, backing Kurdish and pro-government ground forces who are battling Islamic State jihadis.

Asked about the proposed international coalition, former military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin indicated Israel would likely share its intelligence with its allies.  

"The intelligence that we gather in the Middle East - which deals with threats from Iran, (Lebanon's Shiite) Hezbollah, what's happening in Syria, terrorist organisations in Sinai and the Gaza Strip - is of very good quality and we share it with our allies," he told the radio.

Israeli intelligence services have already reportedly been providing their foreign counterparts with intelligence, including satellite imagery, on IS positions in Iraq.

Last week, Ya'alon adopted a recommendation by the Shin Bet internal security agency (also known as the Shabak or Israel Security Agency) and designated both the Islamic State and Al Qaeda affiliated Abdullah Azzam Brigades as an "illegal organisation" under Israeli law.  

The move allows for legal measures to be taken against both organisations as well as anyone found to be supporting or financing them.

Last week, IS released a video showing the beheading of US journalist Steven Sotloff, who also reportedly held Israeli nationality, in the second such execution of a US journalist within a fortnight.

The Abdullah Azzam Brigades is a Lebanese jihadist group linked to Al Qaeda which periodically claims rocket fire on Israel.