- On Sept. 21, Michael Chertoff, the secretary of the Department
of Homeland Security (DHS), announced that a consortium headed by the Chicago-based
Boeing Company had won a multi-billion dollar contract to install sensors
and radar along the U.S. border. The deal, the first part of a multibillion-dollar
government plan designed to reduce illegal entry along the Canadian and
Mexican borders calls for cameras, sensors and even unmanned planes.
- When Chertoff was asked why DHS had chosen the Boeing-led
group he declined to comment. The reason for Chertoff's silence, however,
is telling: the Boeing team includes an Israeli military subcontractor
which will play a key role in "securing" the U.S. border.
- Of interest is the fact that Chertoff's Israeli mother
played a key role in creating that country in its infancy.
- The Boeing team, which will implement the DHS program
called the Secure Border Initiative (SBI) along the northern and southern
borders of the United States, includes a Merrimack, N.H.-based surveillance
technology firm called Kollsman Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Elbit
Systems Ltd. of Haifa, Israel.
- The Israeli-American team includes Unisys Corp., DRS
Technologies Inc., L-3 Communications Holdings Inc., Lucent Technologies
Inc., Perot Systems Corp. and the Israeli-owned Kollsman, which makes the
thermo-imaging cameras used to monitor Israel's borders.
- As Chertoff announced the awarding of the contract, estimated
to be worth some $2.5 billion, he was giving a very lucrative and sensitive
contract to an Israeli company with close ties to the Israeli military.
The contract reportedly does not have a set value. Payments will be announced
as parts for the system are ordered.
- The work will be done in phases, with the first piece
being a 28-mile stretch near Tucson, Ariz., Chertoff said. This first phase
will cost $67 million, he said. Boeing's proposal includes some 1,800 towers
along the borders with cameras developed by Israel's Elbit Systems Ltd.
which can reportedly spot people up to 9 miles away.
- Elbit Systems says it is "the prime contractor and
systems integrator for the Israel Police Border Control System, a computerized
system for registration and control deployed at every Israeli border crossing.
- "Elbit Systems has developed and integrated multi-layered
solutions incorporating cutting-edge biometrics, optical ID and RFID [radio
frequency identification] technologies. Our perimeter security solutions
have also been adapted for energy infrastructures and offshore installations,"
the company's web site says.
- "We are looking at a technology that is advanced
and can pick a face in the crowd," Wayne Esser, capture team leader
of the Boeing team, told Washington Technology.
- Elbit provides Israel's military with a border security
surveillance system with integrated sensors, radars, a "smart fence"
- TIES TO ISRAELI INTELLIGENCE
- Kollsman is not the only player on the Boeing team with
ties to Israeli military intelligence. As AFP has reported previously,
Unisys Corp., chaired by Lawrence A. Weinbach, has integrated Israeli security
software into the computer products it sells to the U.S. government and
other clients. Software from Check Point Software Technologies of Ramat
Gan, Israel, for example, is integrated into Unisys products.
- Elbit Systems is directed by a high-level board that
is comprised of former Israeli major generals, colonels, ambassadors, and
former chiefs of Israel's largest banks and companies. The company's only
non-Israeli director on its board of 18 members is Timothy Taylor, the
British-born president and CEO of Elbit Systems of America. Taylor speaks
to the U.S. media for the Israeli-owned company while the former Israeli
fighter pilots and generals run the company from Haifa.
- SBI is a Chertoff initiative that is meant to be "a
comprehensive plan to control our borders and stem the flow of illegal
immigration. "What we are looking to do is build a virtual fence,"
Chertoff said. "We want to know when anybody or anything is crossing
- While the Israeli press was quick to report that an Israeli
company was part of the SBI border security program, Chertoff failed to
mention it. "Elbit System's subsidiary Kollsman announced it would
supply technology to identify threats, deter and prevent crossings, and
apprehend intruders along U.S. borders," Israeli daily Ha'aretz reported.
- Huntleigh U.S.A., another Israeli-owned security company,
provided passenger screening at Boston's Logan Airport on the morning of
Sept. 11, 2001. Huntleigh, which is wholly owned by the Israeli company
International Consultants on Targeted Security (ICTS) apparently failed
to intercept the Arab terrorists who hijacked the two planes that hit the
World Trade Center, according to the government version. Now, the same
administration that failed to stop the terror attacks of 9-11 is hiring
an Israeli-owned company to help protect the entire U.S. land border.
- Christopher Bollyn is a much-traveled international journalist
currently based in Chicago, serving as Midwest bureau chief for American
Free Press. He has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects including
the controversy surrounding computerized voting systems, the Arab-Israeli
conflict and the many unanswered questions surrounding the 9-11 terrorist
- Lest we forget - Israeli security companies had the contracts
for the security at the airports where the alleged 'Arab terrorists' were
allowed to pass through to board the 911 flights. -ed