Homeland Security Monitor February 2018

Homeland Security Monitor
Homeland Security Monitor
February 2018

On Feb. 2, the U.S. Department of Treasury sanctioned six individuals and seven businesses connected to the Iranian-backed terrorist organization Hizballah. (AP/Jacqueline Martin)

The U.S.-Israel Relationship: A Unique Partnership in Science, Technology and Business

On Jan. 23, the research and development arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published an article highlighting the organization’s extensive, beneficial cooperation with Israel. Among the many partners of the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), “Israel stands out due to a rich research and development collaboration portfolio.” The two allies began annual bilateral meetings focused on homeland security in 2008, and have since developed five working groups: the First Responders Group (FRG), Cyber Security Division, Borders and Maritime Security Division, Chemical and Biological Defense Division, and the Explosives Division.

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Shin Bet Head: Israel Thwarted Numerous Cyberattacks in 2017

According to the head of Israel’s Shin Bet (Israeli Security Agency), in 2017 the organization prevented numerous cyberattacks against Israeli targets from around the world. “Cybersecurity is our main tool in daily work to thwart terror,” said Nadav Argaman. He continued by stating that Israel is one of the leading global powers when it comes to countering cyberwarfare. “As of today, the ability of rivals to take shortcuts to acquire groundbreaking technologies, which in past they could not do, compels us to be better than we used to be.”

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Israeli Cyber Firms Raise Record-Breaking Investments in 2017

In 2017, Israel’s cybersecurity industry received a record-breaking $815 million in investments, according to a report published by Startup Nation Central on Jan. 30. This sum represents approximately 16 percent of all global investment, making Israel second only to the United States in terms of overall industry investment. “Individual hackers are now armed with state-level cyberattack capabilities,” the report states. “2017 will be remembered as the year when the cybersecurity sector, both worldwide and Israeli, began to invest highly significant effort in defending IoT [the Internet of Things] and connected devices.”

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Treasury Department Places New Sanctions on Hizballah

On Feb. 2, the U.S. Department of Treasury sanctioned six individuals and seven businesses connected to the Iranian-backed terrorist organization Hizballah (also known as Hezbollah). The six individuals, including four Lebanese and two Iraqis, were sanctioned for their ties to Hizballah member and financier Adham Tabaja or his company, Al-Inmaa Engineering and Contracting. Tabaja and his company were designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) in 2015. The seven businesses—based in Ghana, Lebanon, Liberia and Sierra Leone—are owned or controlled by Ali Muhammad Qansu, one of the six newly-sanctioned individuals, who has extensive ties to Tabaja and other Hizballah members and affiliates.

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