The 9/11 attacks prompted many Western countries to visit Israel to find out how it secures its airport, considered one of the safest in the world, recalls Danny Yatom, the former director of Mossad, in an interview with Sputnik News.
After the 9/11 attacks, many Western countries came to Israel to learn how it secured its airport, former Mossad director Danny Yatom. They also wanted to know how to classify people and how to spot those who might pose a danger to society. “I remember I was in my office. When I saw a plane collide with the World Trade Center, I immediately said this was no accident. It was a terrorist attack. Some people still doubted it. When the second plane hit the building, everyone realized I was right,” he explained to Sputnik.
He had already left the Mossad by that time, but he was still an important Israeli security figure. “From their investigation, the Americans concluded that there were some indications that the terrorists were planning an attack on American targets. But no one thought the assault would be carried out in the heart of the United States. Americans thought they were safe from such attacks and that no one would dare to do it,” he explained.
And when things calmed down, the US started to analyze what was wrong. This led to a change in policy. But also, it was the attitude of the US and many other states towards Israel that changed. “The tragedy changed the offensive and defensive approaches of the United States. It has changed its security procedures.”
“They became more meticulous in screening travelers, began to rely more on technology and the pressure gauge, and implemented many regulations on what was prohibited or allowed on a flight,” Danny Yatom details in the interview.
Shortly after leaving the Mossad, he became involved in politics and saw various delegations from around the world come to Israel seeking advice. “They wanted to know how we secure our airport [considered one of the most secure in the world, ed.] They were curious to see how we check who gets on a plane, how we classify people, and how we determine who can be a danger and who can’t,” explained the former Mossad director.
Now, 20 years after the 9/11 attacks, he says the world has not become safer, but politicians and the public have become more aware of the dangers posed by radicals.
They have also realized that to keep their country safe, they need to ensure that stability is maintained in other parts of the world as well.
Moreover, many Western states have used it as a pretext to launch military campaigns in countries such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
The US has already left Afghanistan at the end of August. Washington is considering taking a similar step in Iraq, withdrawing its forces by the end of this year. Danny Yatom says he understands the reasons for their decision but warns that the battle against extremists is far from over.
“These terrorist organizations don’t want to accept us [the West]. They don’t want to reconcile. Their goal is to annihilate us. And we must stick to our own goal: to continue our efforts to stop them,” concludes the former director of Israel’s intelligence agency.
As a reminder, 9/11 cost the lives of nearly 3,000 people, and 25,000 others were injured. Not to mention the 2,000 billion dollars in damages.