Homeland Security Monitor - February 2010

AIPAC Homeland Security Monitor
A Summary of Key Articles Highlighting U.S.-Israel Homeland Security Cooperation

1. Israel Installs New Airport Screening System 2. Israel Conducts Mass Biological Warfare Drill 3. Israeli Airline Expert Offers Security Advice 4. Israeli Technology and Expertise Help U.S. Secure Airports 5. Israel Hosts Emergency Preparedness Conference

FPO photo

Israel has developed a new biometric screening system for airline passengers.



1. Israel Installs New Airport Screening System
Israel has installed a new biometric screening system at Ben Gurion Airport in the wake of the failed terrorist attack in Detroit, Israel National News reported. According to Israel Airports Authority officials, the new system will expedite security processing and check-ins at the airport by scanning passports through a machine at the registration desk and recording fingerprints and facial imaging samples. The one-time process produces a personal “smart-card” for passengers, which they can then use for future travel.

2. Israel Conducts Mass Biological Warfare Drill
Israel recently conducted a large-scale bio-terrorism drill simulating a smallpox outbreak caused by a terrorist attack, the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported. Representatives from more than 30 countries participated in two-day simulation, which was the largest of its kind and hosted by the Israeli Defense and Health Ministry. Dr. Erik Rose, CEO of SIGA Technologies in the United States, participated in the drill and announced that his company is producing thousands of smallpox vaccines for Israel. SIGA Technologies was responsible for producing the smallpox anti-viral medication for the U.S. Department of Health.


3. Israeli Airline Expert Offers Security Advice
Isaac Yeffet, the former head of security for El Al, Israel’s national airline, discussed in a recent CNN interview Israel’s methods to ensure airline security and what the United States can learn from them. Yeffet, now an aviation security consultant, described Israel’s complex screening processes, evaluated America’s approaches, and provided recommendations for U.S. airlines. “For the last 40 years, El Al did not have a single tragedy,” Yeffet said. “And they came to attack us and to blow up our aircraft, but we knew how to stop them on the ground.”

4. Israeli Technology and Expertise Help U.S. Secure Airports 
In the wake of the Christmas Day bombing attempt, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is looking to Israeli technology and policies to prevent future terrorist attacks, the Associated Press reported. Israel-based WeCU Technologies is testing a new airport screening device that detects subtle facial and body language to identify potential terrorists. The technology identifies abnormal responses from airport travelers, who would then undergo additional screening. Officials are also looking at the Israeli model of “concentric security rings” that start miles from the actual airport.

5. Israel Hosts Emergency Preparedness Conference
The IDF Home Front Command and the Israeli Ministry of Health recently hosted the International Preparedness and Response to Emergencies and Disasters (IPRED) Conference in Tel Aviv, BioPrepWatch.com reported. Homeland security professionals from more than 35 countries participated in this four-day conference aimed at providing a forum for the exchange of lessons learned and best practices. “It is very impressive to see the amount of people that came, the attendance is very impressive,” said Home Front Commander Maj. Gen. Yair Golan. Participants also had an opportunity to witness Israel’s biological warfare drill.
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AIPAC's Homeland Security Monitor is a monthly summary of key articles highlighting the cooperative homeland security programs central to the strong and mutually beneficial strategic relationship between the United States and Israel. For more information on these issues, please write to homelandsecurity@aipac.org.