Joint anti-terrorism exercise part of a much-needed effort

Israel, the USA and Canada are to hold their first joint exercise to increase co-operation in preventing acts of terrorism against commercial aircraft.

The exercise, planned for this summer, was made possible after the three countries signed a strategic memorandum of understanding and aims to enable them to better respond to terrorist incidents.

Details are classified, but sources said that it will include “different scenarios” based on the collective data accumulated by the three countries. Many organisations will take part in the exercise.

Experience has proven that international co-operation, especially in intelligence data, is essential to prevent terrorism against commercial aircraft. Such co-operation exists but, according to Israeli sources, it is “far from sufficient”.

Israel puts a huge amount of technological and human resources into protecting its commercial aircraft, both in the country and overseas.

But while all experts agree that this apparatus can foil a terrorism act after it has been launched, the ultimate aim is to foil such acts in the planning phases, and this is where international co-operation is important.

International exercises are undoubtedly valuable, but it is the everyday work of many people around the world trying to locate any tiny sign of an evolving terrorism act that is probably most effective. This is not happening yet, but efforts in that direction are being made.

Experts did not need the recent rumours about an act of terrorism being behind the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. They point out that at any given moment, somewhere in the world, someone is targeting civil aviation.

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