Monday, January 11, 2010


The Israeli firm ICTS International (not to be confused with ICTS Europe, which is a different company), and two of its subsidiaries are at the crux of an international investigation in recent days, as experts try to pinpoint the reasons for the security failure that enabled Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to board Northwest flight 253 and attempt to set alight explosives hidden in his underwear. A Haaretz investigation has learned that the security officers and their supervisor should have suspected the passenger, even without having early intelligence available to them. At this time, ICTS and the Dutch security firm G4S are hurling recriminations at each other, as are the authorities at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, the Federal Aviation Authority and U.S. intelligence officials.

The failure was a twin flop: An intelligence failure, which U.S. President Barack Obama has already stated, in the poor handling of information that arrived at the State Department and probably also the CIA from both the father of the would-be bomber and the British security service; and a failure within the security system, including that of the Israeli firm ICTS. The ICTS daughter company, I-SEC, has another daughter company - called PI (Pro-Check International). The firms provide security services to airports: consultation, instruction, training, inspection and supervision. Two decades ago, ICTS adopted the system used in Israel, namely of profiling and assessing the degree to which a passenger is a potential threat on the basis of a number indicators (including age, name, origin and behavior during questioning). At the same time, a decade ago, the company developed a technological system called APS (Advanced Passenger Screening). This system is based on a computerized algorithm, and is fed passenger information from the airline company. The system was offered to the Israel Airports Authority and the Shin Bet in the past, but rejected. According to the company's Web site, most of the large airlines in the United States use the system. However - in real time - the system of ICTS failed. Even if U.S. intelligence failed and the name of the Nigerian passenger was not pinpointed as a suspect for the airline, he should have stirred the suspicion of the security officers. His age, name, illogical travel route, high-priced ticket purchased at the last minute, his boarding without luggage (only a carry on) and many other signs should have been sufficient to alert the security officers and warrant further examination of the suspect. However, the security supervisor representing I-SEC and PI allowed him to get on the flight. ICTS was established in 1982 by former members of the Shin Bet and El Al security. Menachem Atzmon, who has been chairman of the board of directors since 2004, holds the controlling shares in the firm. The ICTS headquarters are in the Netherlands and the company is traded in the New York Stock Exchange. Some senior managers are Israeli, including the joint managing director Ran Langer. Another important figure is Doron Zicher, general manager of I-SEC. Zicher has been in charge of operations in the Netherlands for more than two decades and has served as adviser to the Dutch Justice Ministry, which is responsible for setting guidelines for airport security. The company prides itself on employing 1,300 persons and providing security services to airports in 11 countries including France, Britain, Spain, Hungary, Romania and Russia.

All 9/11 Airports Serviced by One Israeli Owned Company
It's one of those times when an innocuous comment in an unrelated news report triggers a revelation.
In the article at there is the following paragraph:
"To make the situation worse, a private security company called ICTS, owned by an Israeli, Ezra Harel, and registered in the Netherlands, was employed at Charles de Gaulle airport to screen passengers boarding US planes. Most of its personnel are ex-Shin Bet officers. The company covers security at Boston's Logan airport, where the American Airlines plane came down after flight attendants and passengers overpowered Reid."
The point of the article was that ICTS knew shoe bomber Richard Reid was dangerous, but allowed him on board a flight from Tel Aviv to Paris. Maybe they did and maybe they didn't. But the idea that an Israeli owned company had inside access to the airport used to launch an abortive terror attack brought to mind the strange message Odigo Systems, another Israeli owned company with offices near the World Trade Towers, received that warned of the impending attacks before the hijacked planes had even left the ground.
So, I went back to another story that had surfaced briefly, reported at about how at least one hijacker had smuggled a GUN aboard one of the hijacked planes. Even prior to 9-11, getting a gun on board a passenger plane represented a serious lapse of security. I wondered why this story of a gun was being concealed behind talk of box cutters and screwdrivers.
Then I went back to the first article and its mention that ICTS handled security at Logan International Airport, from which two of the 9-11 hijacked planes had departed.
Sure enough, a visit to ICTS' own web site at confirms that ICTS is in fact an Israeli owned company, and that it sells services to every airport from which the hijacked planes operated, including security, sometimes through wholly owned subsidiaries like Huntleigh USA Corporation.
It has been suggested that the incredible feat of hijacking four aircraft without a single arrest at the gate would require the resources of a nation-state. This is even more true with the revelation that at least one gun had managed to be aboard a hijacked plane. One company had automatic inside access to all of the airports from which hijacked planes departed on 9-11, and to the airports used by Richard Reid, the shoe bomber. An Israeli company. One that Mossad agents could easily find employment with without the management knowing who they were or what their purpose really was.
But one thing is clear. By virtue of the Odigo warning, someone knew enough about the planned attacks to warn Odigo before the planes had even departed the airport gates, yet they did not call the Israeli security company at the airports which could have stopped the flights from leaving.
Think about that one for a while.
Hours before the House version of the first Patriot Act went to a vote, "technical corrections" were inserted into the body of the legislation whereby foreign security companies such as ICTS-International would be immune from lawsuits related to the events of 9/11. Talk about not being available for deposition! This "Patriot" act legislative sleight of hand occurred before the inception of the 9/11 Commission when Fearless Leader George W. Bush was still resisting the very IDEA of an investigation into 9/11. Hence, in the face of an institutional cover-up, citizens were denied the possibility of a discovery process which is normally afforded to litigants. Without such discovery process, ICTS-International would never be compelled by a court of law to give testimony and show evidence related to the missing airport video surveillance tapes of 9/11 or any other aspect of security measures in place on 9/11. []
"Evidence linking these Israelis to 9/11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It's classified information."
US official quoted in Carl Cameron's Fox News report on the Israeli spy ring.
"Investigators within the DEA, INS and FBI have all told Fox News that to pursue or even suggest Israeli spying ... is considered career suicide."
Carl Cameron, as quoted in The Spies Who Came In From The Art Sale
"While I agree with you, if I say anything about US geopolitical interests with Israel, I might as well clean off my desk."
Unnamed reporter as quoted in American Media Censorship and Israel
See also: Israel and 9/11 - Index of What Really Happened
ICTS International NV Auditor Raises 'Going Concern' Doubt
ICTS International NV filed its 20-F on June 26, 2009 for the period ending December 31, 2008. In this report its auditor, Mahoney Cohen & Company, CPA, P.C., gave an unqualified opinion expressing doubt that the company can continue as a going concern.
The 9-11 Lottery Coincidence
Analysis Shows Such Coincidences Aren't So Unusual
CommentaryBy John Allen Paulos
Oct. 6
Everything's connected: the attacks on America last year, the New York State lottery, the collapse of WorldCom, the Bush Administration's proposed war against Iraq, the death of quarterback Johnny Unitas, and many other private events. To top this off, Arthur C. Clarke anticipated some of these incidents decades ago.
Let me back up a bit. On Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2002  9/11/02  the New York State lottery numbers were 911, an eerie coincidence that set many people to thinking or, perhaps more accurately, to not thinking.
A natural question comes to mind: How likely is this? After all, the lottery took place in New York state on the anniversary of the mass murder exactly one year before.
These factors are not relevant, however. On any given day, each of the 1,000 possiblities  000, 001, ... 233, ..., 714, ..., 998, 999  is as likely to come up as any other. This is true of Sept. 11 as well, so the probability that 911 would come up on that date is simply 1 in a 1,000. This probability is small, but not minuscule.
A Better Question
The broader question that should come to mind, however, is: What is the probability that some event of this general sort  something that is resonant with the date or likely to stimulate us to think of it  would occur on Sept. 11? The answer is impossible to say with any precision, but it is, I argue, quite high.
First off, there are two daily drawings in the New York State lottery so there were two chances for 911 to come up that day, increasing the probability to (a bit under) 1 in 500. More importantly, there were innumerable other ways for an uncanny coincidence to occur.
How many addresses or license plates, for example, have 911 in them? At each of these addresses and for each of these vehicles, something could have occurred that caused people to think of Sept. 11. Possibilities include an accident, murder, or arrest of someone suspected of terrorism, related to a victim of the attack, or otherwise associated with it.
Or consider sports scores and statistics. There are countless ways for 911 to occur here. One coincidence that I personally noted involved the death of Johnny Unitas, the former Baltimore Colts star, on Sept. 11th. Arguably the best quarterback in history, he might be ranked No. 1 among NFL quarterbacks. Combine this ranking with his jersey number 19 and you have yet another instance of 911, albeit in a different order, on Sept. 11.
You might say that there is no message associated with Unitas' death, but even those people believing in the significance of the 911 drawing can't say what its message was.
Stocks, War, and Arthur C. Clarke
The stock market is also a major producer of numbers, many of them, it seems, totally fictional.
This brings to mind WorldCom, whose collapse dwarfed Enron's and whose stock was selling a bit under $64 per share a couple of years ago. The 3 billion or so outstanding shares are now worthless, so $191 billion in investors' wealth has disappeared. Those same three digits again! Oddly, $191 billion is very close to the Pentagon's estimated cost for the proposed war in Iraq, which, some claim, is sheltering al Qaeda members, bringing us back once again to Sept. 11. Talk about circular reasoning!
Another "close" example is the Sept. 10 closing value of the September S&P 500 futures contracts. You guessed right; it was 911. And yet another lottery coincidence occurred on Nov. 12 of last year, when 587 was drawn on the same day that Flight 587 crashed into Queens.
The bottom line is that this is too easy to do. There are an indeterminate number of ways for such events to come about even though the probability of any particular one of them is tiny. Furthermore, after such an event occurs, people glom onto its tiny probability and neglect to ask the more pertinent question: How likely is something vaguely like this to occur?
Keep this in mind when you read the following excerpt from the great science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke. In his 1973 novel, Rendezvous with Rama, Clarke wrote: "At 0940 GMT on the morning of September 11 in the exceptionally beautiful summer of the year 2077, most of the inhabitants of Europe saw a dazzling fireball.... Somewhere above Austria it began to disintegrate.... The cities of Padua and Verona were wiped from the face of the earth, and the last glories of Venice sank forever..."
Who would have thought that Arthur C. Clarke was the brains behind Osama bin Laden?
Professor of mathematics at Temple University and adjunct professor of journalism at Columbia University, John Allen Paulos is the author of several best-selling books, including Innumeracy and A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper. His Whos Counting? column on appears the first weekend of every month.

1 comment:

  1. i really dig your stuff. i'm new to the blog scene. some friends suckered me into it, but when i come across blogs like yours, i don't feel like i'm wasting my time. haha. i'd like to talk more and maybe you could give me some pointers as to how i can improve my blog and things like that. i'm basically computer retarded. i could use the help. haha. i'm at: . follow me so we can talk more. thanks for your time.