Security check at Ben Gurion Airport
Photo: Shaul Golan
Photo: AP
Michael Chertoff
Photo: AP

US keen on Israeli airport security technology

Visiting American Homeland Security head Chertoff says will seek to adopt novel Israeli methods to help protect airports, public places against attacks

US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said in Jerusalem on Thursday he will seek to adopt novel Israeli methods, like behavior-detection technologies, to better secure America's airports.


"That's a scenario where Israel has a lot of experience," Chertoff said in an interview with Reuters. "I think that it is of interest to us to see if there is any adaptation there."


Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport, known for its strict security measures, relies heavily on techniques that detect suspicious behavior among travelers.


Chertoff said such methods, as well as Israeli technologies that detect explosives, are some of the things that may help protect US airports and other public places against attacks.


Chertoff, at a conference in Jerusalem for public and homeland security ministers from around the world, signed an agreement with Israel to share technology and information on methods to improve homeland security.


One of the new systems presented at the conference, developed by the Israeli technology company WeCU, uses behavioral science, together with biometric sensors, to detect sinister intentions among travelers.


'Challenge will be to keep moving forward'

The US homeland security chief said that not all methods developed and used in Israel, such as questioning every passenger, are practical in larger US airports.


Israel's Ben Gurion handles about 9 million travelers a year while major US hubs, like Chicago O'Hare, see some 76 million passengers.


"Not every technological approach here (in Israel) is necessarily applicable, but we are always open to look for technology from whatever source," Chertoff said.


Chertoff also said that the US could not adopt border security methods used in Israel, which prevent Palestinian militants from entering its territory, for US efforts to stop illegal immigrants from crossing its frontier with Mexico.


"(It's) a vastly longer border. It's not an area where there is much useful experience," he said.

Chertoff has recently cleared the way for the completion of nearly 500 miles of a planned barrier fence in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.


"The challenge will be to keep moving forward. We need to continue to implement the measures we have in place and continue to look for additional things to match what the enemies are doing because they are constantly retooling themselves," he said.


Chertoff is expected to leave his post when President George W. Bush finishes his term in January 2009.


פרסום ראשון: 05.29.08, 23:48
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