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Though the incident took place over a known Houthi area, some say this incident was at the hands of a Somali group, based on frequent communication disruptions in the country.

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

February 21, 2024

1 Min Read
Plane taking off at sunset
Source: Markus Mainka via Alamy Stock Photo

"Hostile elements" last week reportedly tried to take over communications on an El Al plane flying from Phuket, Thailand, to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. 

The attempted communications tried to divert the plane from its destination, according to the Jerusalem Post, though the plane safely reached its destination.

During the incident, the flight crew received instructions that differed from the plane's set route, raising suspicions that the crew was being misled into potentially dangerous circumstances. The crew ignored these false orders and switched to an alternative form of communication.

"The disturbances are not aimed at El Al planes and ... this is not a security incident," according to an El Al statement. "The disruption did not affect the normal course of the flight thanks to the professionalism of the pilots who used the alternative means of communication and allowed the flight to continue on the planned route."

This communication incident occurred over an active Houthi area, leading some to believe that the Iran-backed group was behind this attempted diversion. Some sources, however, say that a group in Somaliland, a de facto state, was responsible, as there has been an increasing amount of communication disruptions in the country. Authorities have reportedly issued instructions to all pilots to switch to other communication methods if they experience a similar situation.

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Dark Reading Staff

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