Photo Credit: Wikimedia / km30192002
EL AL Israel Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, May 21, 2021

El Al pilots flying back to Israel from Thailand on Saturday night dodged an attempt by cyberterrorists to seize control over the flight’s communication network and divert the aircraft from its destination, according to a report by Israel’s KAN Reshet Bet public broadcaster.

The crew received instructions that diverted from the pre-programmed route. Suspicious about the sudden change, the pilots switched frequencies to an alternate communication channel to verify the instructions while also checking the data with other air controllers.


It became clear very quickly that someone was trying to mislead the pilots.

No group has claimed responsibility for the incident, which took place over an area in which Iranian-backed Houthis are also active.

However, sources in Somalia told the news outlet that a group in Somaliland was responsible for the attempted attack.

The flight continued without further incident and reached Ben Gurion International Airport safely.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.