Homeland Security Monitor-April 2015

Homeland Security Monitor
Homeland Security Monitor
April 2015

The House Armed Services Committee adopted an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that increases U.S.-Israel initiatives to develop an anti-tunneling system.

House Committee Approves U.S.-Israel Anti-Tunnel Legislation

The House Armed Services Committee adopted an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would expand U.S.-Israel efforts to develop an anti-tunneling system, The Hill reported. The measure was authored by Reps. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) and Gwen Graham (D-FL) and passed by voice vote during markup. Anti-tunneling initiatives have been given priority as Hamas attempts to reconstruct its underground infrastructure, posing a serious threat to Israelis near the Gaza border. The lawmakers also noted that development of such a system could help American security forces thwart smuggling along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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U.S., Israel to Expand Cybersecurity Cooperation

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is seeking to expand cooperation with the Israel National Cyber Bureau, the hub of Israel’s cyber community, and its many start-up companies, Defense News reported. U.S. officials are encouraging their Israeli counterparts to apply for $75 million in annual grants for cybersecurity research and are looking to integrate an Israeli cyber research center within existing DHS test beds. “Cyber is a team sport. Advanced research and development has global economic and national security implications,” said DHS Cyber Security Director Douglas Maughan.

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Israel to Deploy New Anti-Tunnel System on Gaza Border

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is expected to soon deploy a revolutionary tunnel detection system along the Gaza border, according to The Times of Israel. The new system uses sensors and advanced algorithms to relay Palestinian tunnel locations back to the IDF, which will help protect Israel soldiers and civilians from terrorist infiltration. The threat posed by Palestinian tunnels prompted Operation Protective Edge during the summer of 2014. Recently, the terrorist organization Hamas has been seen using heavy machinery to rebuild tunnels.

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Israel Joins Lockheed Martin to Train Students in Cybersecurity

U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin will partner with American and Israeli experts to introduce a national cybersecurity curriculum for Israeli high school students, JNS reports. The announcement was made at the annual CyberTech conference in Tel Aviv and aims to prepare the next generation to confront the growing threat of cyber warfare. Israel is subject to hundreds of thousands of cyber-attacks each day. “Israelis place a high cultural value on technology and innovation, which today requires an equally highly skilled and knowledgeable cyber workforce to protect it,” said Joshua Shani, chief executive of Lockheed Martin Israel.

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U.S. Army Approves Purchase of Israeli Surveillance Balloon

The Israeli-developed Skystar Balloon Surveillance System has been approved for use by the U.S. Army and could soon provide crucial aerial reconnaissance for the United States, The Times of Israel reported. Developed by RT Aerostats Systems, the surveillance balloon system flies up to 1,000 feet in the air, is equipped with five high-resolution cameras, and can operate for three days straight. The model is currently deployed over the skies of Jerusalem and has been effective in observing and protecting strategic facilities and neighborhoods. RT CEO Rami Shmuely praised the Army's decision, stating, “The selection and approval of the SkyStar 180 by the U.S. Army is evidence of the system's quality and its high-level technological capabilities.”

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