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Israel, US to share airline terror intel

MOU signed by Transportation Minister and US Homeland Security

Israel and the United States have signed a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) increasing intelligence-sharing on aviation terror, the Transportation Ministry announced Tuesday.

The MOU was signed Tuesday by Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz in Jerusalem and US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in Washington. It was finalized following talks the two held in the US in July.

Under the MOU, the two countries will establish a mechanism to enable the effective flow of intelligence on potential aviation terror attacks between the US Transportation Security Agency and the Transportation Ministry’s Security Department, which works in conjunction with the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).

“This type of cooperation is of unique importance and will grant us the ability to provide an effective response to developing threats in the aviation world,” Katz said.

The new MOU comes about two months after Nigerian national Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried blowing up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 en route from Amsterdam to Detroit. In the December 25 attempt, he was allegedly carrying explosives hidden in his underwear.

The IDF Home Front Command recently held a large-scale emergency exercise at Ben-Gurion Airport to test security forces and their level of preparedness for the hijacking of a commercial aircraft.

By YAAKOV KATZ 03/03/2010 01:26

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