U.S., Israeli Intelligence And Security Cooperation: Airline Security is Part of the Story

By Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman
We were reminded of the subject of aviation security — a field where Israel has traditionally led the way, doing things that hardly any other countries were willing to do for many years — when The New York Times wrote that America’s TSA is expanding its presence at many foreign airports.  We can hope that not only will luggage be searched, but some psychological and visual profiling will be involved — so suspicious passengers can be spotted early, by whatever methods the Transportation Security Administration has developed in recent years.  Some of the methods and knowledge doubtless were based on Israel’s experience.

israel spy, spies against armageddon, Israel airport security

As The Times put it: “The thinking is simple: By placing officers in foreign countries and effectively pushing the United States border thousands of miles beyond the country’s shores, Americans have more control over screening and security. And it is far better to sort out who is on a flight before it takes off than after a catastrophe occurs.”

The Israeli airline El Al, in a program coordinated by the Israeli government’s domestic security agency — Shin Bet — has had a presence in foreign airports, notably at the El Al check-in counters, all around the world for decades.  El Al was usually the only airline to have this.  That has changed.

 The subject is covered, in depth, in one of our chapters in Spies Against Armageddon entitled “At the Front Together.”  Focused on Israel-U.S. covert cooperation since the attacks of 9/11, it reports that in the years before that surprise attack on the United States, Israeli experts had urged America’s airlines and government authorities to do a lot more to protect airplanes, airports, passengers, and crew members.  The Americans usually said that Israeli-style methods would be too expensive to implement.  But, as you take your shoes and belt off at the airport security checkpoint, consider where we are now.
June 16, 2012

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