Homeland Security Monitor September 2017

Homeland Security Monitor
Homeland Security Monitor
September 2017

Members of the U.S. Police Unity Tour traveled to Israel in September to learn new counterterrorism techniques at the Beit Shemesh police academy. (Photo: Police Spokesperson's Unit)

Rep. Michael McCaul: U.S.-Israel Alliance Key to Prevent Spreading Iranian Influence

The U.S.-Israel relationship plays an important role in containing Iran’s malign behavior in the Middle East, according to Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX). In an op-ed for The Hill, Rep. McCaul lays out the danger that the Iranian regime poses to Israel and the region, and the need to protect the Jewish state from mounting threats on its borders. “It is in the direct interest of U.S. national security to prevent Iranian influence from spreading across the region. We cannot stand for more instability resulting in more chaos and bloodshed, which will undermine the security of our greatest ally in the region,” wrote Rep. McCaul. “After meeting with many brave Israeli leaders, it is clear that our two countries must continue to strengthen our steadfast alliance to counter regional menaces. As new threats and challenges emerge, we stand firmly beside the Israeli people.”

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U.S. Police Learn Counterterrorism Techniques in Israel

For the second consecutive year, the Police United Tour—a delegation of 52 American law-enforcement officers from 12 states—arrived in Israel to train in counterterrorism techniques and attend an annual 9/11 memorial service outside Jerusalem. Based at the Beit Shemesh police academy, the delegation participated in various counterterrorism training exercises, met with elite units, and was briefed by Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich. The delegation concluded with an annual memorial service at the 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza in the Arazim Valley.

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Treasury Department Sanctions IRGC Supporters, Iranian Cyberattack Networks

On Sept. 14, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated 11 entities and individuals for supporting Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) or helping carry out Iranian cyber-attacks against the United States. “Treasury will continue to take strong actions to counter Iran’s provocations, including support for the IRGC-Qods Force and terrorist extremists, the ongoing campaign of violence in Syria, and cyber-attacks meant to destabilize the U.S. financial system,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. As a result of these designations, all U.S. property and interests subject to these individuals and entities are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

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U.S.-based Boot Camp Partners with Israeli Cybersecurity Experts

The Software Guild, an Ohio-based coding boot camp, recently announced a partnership with Israeli cybersecurity academy HackerUSA. According to The Software Guild, the partnership will inaugurate a new online information protection course “supported by the same tools used by the Israeli military.” A U.S. subsidiary of Israeli cyber institute HackerU, HackerUSA has been training in cybersecurity expertise since 1996. Its instructors include Israel Defense Forces veterans from select units, industry specialists and international information security experts. “Israel is at the forefront of the cybersecurity industry, so it only made sense to bring in HackerUSA, Israel’s cybersecurity elite, to round out our offering,” said The Software Guild founder and chief academic officer Eric Wise.

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Israel Defense Ministry Trains High Schoolers into Cyber Security Experts

Searching for top cyber talent, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is conducting a high school training program for the military’s Intelligence Corps’s prestigious Unit 8200 Central Collection group. The program at Ort High School Holon aims to develop the next generation of online soldiers—and potential entrepreneurs. Unit 8200 had a deep alumni network that has played a major role in developing the Jewish state’s technology industry. “The big challenge is to take children—who are both good and serious—and to encourage creativity in them,” said Sonia Shamai, the coordinator of the cyber track at ORT Holon. “We teach them data communication, programming, the dangers of the Internet world and how to defend themselves against them, but mainly we teach them to think, to be creative and to solve problems on their own.”

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