Skip to comments.A few tips on how the experts spot a terrorist
Posted on 05/31/2002 5:15:12 PM PDT by vannrox
|from the May 29, 2002 edition - http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0529/p01s03-wome.html
A few tips on how the experts spot a terroristIsraeli security specialists say US system looks for the weapons while Israeli system looks for the terrorist.
By Ben Lynfield | Special to The Christian Science Monitor
JERUSALEM - For years, a T-shirt has been on sale in downtown Jerusalem that reads: "Don't worry America, Israel is behind you."
It is a slogan whose time has come at least for the Israeli government, which is translating American post-Sept. 11 security concerns into closer ties with the US, and for Israeli businessmen, who see an opportunity to market their army and secret-service experience.
Israel's Shin Bet security service last week instructed a delegation from the New York Police Department on how to deal with suicide bombings. On Monday, eight senior law enforcement officials from Georgia arrived for a week of lectures, seminars, and scrutiny of an Israeli paramilitary border police unit. The bomb unit of the Los Angeles Police Department was here earlier this month. And Israeli police superintendent Shlomo Aharonishky met two weeks ago in Washington with Chief of Police Charles Ramsey and FBI agents to discuss how to handle suicide bombers.
"There is no question the ties have gotten closer," says Gil Kleiman, an Israeli police spokes-man. "No other law enforcement agency has the experience we have in dealing with terrorism within the constraints of a Western system of law and court systems."
By year's end, Israel will host a convention of police commissioners from across the US, Mr. Kleiman says.
While Israel's security forces are widely reputed to be among the best in the world, not everyone in Israel agrees that the country offers a model of how to reconcile security measures with democracy.
"Palestinian civilians need to prepare for their graves when they approach Israeli checkpoints," says Hashem Mahameed, a member of the Knesset for the left-wing Hadash Party. "I don't think the practices in the West Bank and Gaza are something Americans could take pride in."
But Israeli security specialists say that the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which began in 1967, as well as securing Israeli facilities in the Middle East, Europe, and Africa, have accorded decades of experience which can benefit the US.
For example, they say, Israel has been grappling with how to stop suicide bombers since 1987, when the Iranian-inspired Hizbullah group began bombing Israeli targets in Lebanon.
"We met with people from the World Trade Center who told us that they thought of everything except for an airplane crash," says Shlomo Dror, a security specialist who works with American clients. "I told them that we began thinking in 1983 about the possibility a plane could be hijacked and crashed into the Shalom Tower [in Tel Aviv]."
Mr. Dror was spokesman for the Israeli defense ministry and before that the spokesman for an Israeli government agency responsible for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He joined the Shin Bet 23 years ago, after his army service, and has been in charge of security for embassies and El Al airline on three continents.
He was watching television in his office in the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv on Sept. 11. "When I saw the second plane crashing I knew it was a terrorist attack. It made me realize that the United States is really in need of advice from Israeli professional people."
"Israel has been some kind of laboratory to check how the suicide bombers work, and all the conclusions from our experience can be brought to bear in the United States," he says.
Together with American partners with experience in the marines or CIA, Dror and two Israeli colleagues in January formed New World Security, a New York-based company to offer advice ranging from securing buildings to training travelers on how to protect themselves from kidnapping or abuse.
No figures are available for how many Israelis have gone into security consulting for American clients since Sept. 11, but Zeev Schiff, defense correspondent for the daily newspaper Haaretz, says they are carving out niches in computer security and airport security. "These people have a lot of experience and know the tricks of the other side," he says.
Dror says his company's clients include Wall Street firms and a municipality, but declines to be more specific.
Israeli specialists have a low regard for American security searches. They say they tend to cause unnecessary discomfort for travelers, while being prone to missing potential assailants. "The United States does not have a security system, it has a system for bothering people," Dror says.
"The difference between the Israeli and American systems is that we are looking for the terrorist, while the Americans look for the weapons," he adds.
At the heart of the Israeli system is the questioning of the passenger, which Dror says is done not only to get answers, but also to gauge the passenger's behavior. "The reason we open the suitcase is to have another few minutes with the passenger, to ask some more questions," he says. The questioning also serves as a way to quickly decide who to send to the plane without probing more thoroughly, he adds. Dror advocates Israeli-style security clearances for all workers at the companies for whom he consults. They entail checking a person's history by interviewing acquaintances and family "We check the man himself, not documents."
But Dror adds that Israeli methods, even if fully adopted, will not stop all attacks. "There is no 100 percent in security. If you want 100 percent security on flights, every passenger has to take all his clothes off, have his suitcase checked, and be handcuffed and tied to his seat. For sure this can never be. The idea is to enable people to continue their lives while making an attack less possible."
WHEN ARE WE GOING TO WAKE UP??? Hopefully, we are seeing the beginning of the end of the PC crowd. I only hope it doesn't take another attack and loss of American lives before it's banished for good.
Not a terrorist
This article needs to be read far and wide, and needs to be distributed if need-be to irate/critical fellow travelers at airports while in line or on aircraft whom are beginning to publicly, yet under their breath, voice disgust with the whole sordid approach.
I for one have just about had it with the most recent idiotic incident I was witness to, that of an 80- year-old frail, partially handicapped Chinese woman at a US airport being humiliated, having her shoes taken off, and being barked at in military order style by some gum chewing, overweight black "security" woman from those incompetent indirect murderers, The Argenbright Company.
America's way to do things is NOT always the best in ALL cases; but our naive, nationalcentric, jingo culture may well prevent us from ever correcting the situation, or at least taking note of the importance of news articles like these. That is, until (as noted) we have another US aircraft hijacked in the country by an individual or individuals that would have otherwise been screened out by Israeli-type questioning/profiling, or otherwise not let into the country were it not for the shameless behavior of some dimwit, high school education affirmative-action INS bureaucrat.
Shame on our country. We have it coming again, sad to say. Will we ever wake up and learn from mistakes?
[Log and save article for additional reading after our next disastrous "September 11."]
Is this a stage, or is something terrible going to happen before a move to serious security is made?
I am reminded of all the gun-control nuts who devote their lives to a crusade against guns, but never seem all that concerned with catching or locking up criminals.
Welcome to prewar Germany, I mean America........
Uh...oh... I'm in the Constitution Party. We all talk about the constitution.
...Decades-Long Friends of Terrorists ..HILLARY RODHAM -&- BILL CLINTON jump forward 2 paces.
It can't come none too soon. We need profiling. NOW.
The PC crowd will get us killed, I am convinced, sadly.
I wished there were more we could do.
We confuse a gun for an enemy, while we consider the murderer simply as an extension of the gun.
We confuse a political agenda as an enemy, while we consider terrorists merely extensions of foreign agendas.
The Terrorists and murderers are the Direct Threat. They are building themselves into institutions bred within American society which chooses to aloofly remain unarmed an unalarmed. Even when a first wave is destroyed, even a self-chosen destruction implicit in suicide terror, the institutions will continue to flow more terror.
Which is more evil, the suicide bombers or the institutions melded into our social fabric which obscure their organization?
Consider the following predicament. 4-6 men of Middle eastern origin, exhibiting cultural patterns of new immigrant or visa status, flash money and buy land adjacent to US military bases, exhibiting fervid desire for a particular area where little competition exists. When reported to authorities, generally younger officers and intelligence networks, the report is met with mediocre acceptance. An attitude prevails in which the issue is immaterial because no crime is committed and even discussing the issue implies one must be either a bigot or needs to 'get over it'.
Now compare this rather common current sentiment with what one feels when they study about the attack on Pearl Harbor. Do most Americans today sincerely believe the radar operators and chain of command at lower echelons in Hawaii, that fateful day in Dec, 1941, were sincerely acting appropriately and justifiably so, when no alert was passed to the Fleet prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor?
There seems to be a tremendous irony here contradicting all common sense.
We need to continue to quantify and qualify the threat. We need to see more reporting from the government to the people as to the identity of the threat. Let the people decide how to lead events to protect ourselves. Too many people in positions of leadership simply have fallen to a lust of control rather than serving the public. They act with good intentions, but are creating an environment which actually promotes the flavor of terror without realizing their actions are encouraging the trend.
Their training manual tells them not to break the law so as to avoid the attention of the police.
Therefore, any 18 wheeler doing 55mph has got to be one of them. Going uphill does not count.
On a serious note, though, I really hate the word "terrorist." They are thugs, punks, boy bitches, murderers, and a lot of other things, but none of them cause me to loose a second of sleep. My daughters still travel the world. One's job takes her to the Carribean, South America, South E. Asia, and Africa. They too are unafraid. There are, after all, worse things than death. Life afraid of your own shadow springs to mind.
Our airport non security was recently best exemplified by the ever sharp, affirmative action hired, non American, high school drop out screener who recently did not allow one of our soldiers ~ home on medical leave, his jaw wired together from a face wound in Afghan ~ because he had wire snips in case he began to choke.
Someone should have choked the screener.
But...but...that might hurt someone's feelings.