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Security Solutions International

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Billing itself as a frontline defense against the threat of “radical Islam,” Security Solutions International (SSI) is a Miami-based company founded in 2004 [1] that claims to provide “homeland security training” to a range of clients, including local police forces, corporations, and federal agencies. [2] Employing alarmist rhetoric about Islamic groups’ purported existential threat to the United States in the “war on terror,” SSI’s website encourages “first Responders and interested members of the concerned public to help Security Solutions International fight the war on terror. Radical Islam has an agenda and wants to destroy our country. As part of our mission, we are dedicated to keeping you informed about the enemy and developments in this global conflict.” [3]

As of October 2009, SSI’s website named two corporate officers: Henry Morgenstern, SSI president and a “U.S. and Israeli citizen” who, according to his SSI bio, lived in Israel from 1984 to 2003, where he allegedly “developed excellent high level contacts with the Security Establishment, making SSI the premiere training company for counter-terror related subjects”; and Solomon Bradman, SSI’s CEO, whose experience supposedly includes managing an electronics equipment exporter. [4]

The company lists two products that are presumably provided to people who sign up to be SSI “Patriot Partners”: the Counter Terrorist newsletter, an SSI publication that claims to keep readers “up-to-date with developments, technologies, successes and … failures in the global struggle against Islamofascism”; and “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War against the West,” a controversial film described as “hate propaganda” by some critics and distributed by the Clarion Fund, a nonprofit organization closely linked to both the U.S. and Israeli right-wing. [5]

SSI’s “Advisory Board” as of October 2009 included nine members: Tom Dempsey, director of the Police Training Institute of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Christopher Schneider of the Anaheim Police Department; Tim Carney, head of the Emergency Operations Center for the Sheriff of Sarasota, Florida; John Donald Rose, assistant professor of Criminal Justice at Walters State Community College; Mark Deluca, police chief of Duxbury, Massachusetts; Doug DeLeaver, a retired enforcement officer from the State of Maryland; John Cost, a member of the Sarasota Sheriffs Office; Quinn Mackin, an event management expert; Scott Lucia, a commander in the Special Operations Division of a Southwest Florida Sheriff’s Office. [6]

 

Core Activities

Among the activities SSI advertises on its website are a training course for law enforcement agencies that is entitled “The Islamic Jihadist Threat” and a Department of Homeland Security-funded training program in Israel for U.S. clients.

“The Islamic Jihadist Threat” Course. According to SSI’s website, this  course is a two-day program “designed to give First Responders a deep understanding of the terror mindset and an explanation of the reasons for the Global Jihad as well as practical tips for Law Enforcement in detecting, preventing and responding to acts of terror.” Course topics include “Where does the hatred come from? – Arab naming conventions – Jihad – The Five Pillars of Islam – Ramadan – Domestic Terror groups – International Terror groups – Understanding the culture of Jihad.” [7]

The course has been harshly criticized. In 2008, for example, the Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) argued that SSI’s training at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission promoted stereotypes that could lead to prejudicial  profiling of Muslims. A CAIR representative told the Seattle Times, “Most police officers don’t have a basic grounding in Islam, so before you teach them about Islam, how can you teach them about radical Islam? It just makes you nervous because when a law-enforcement person pulls someone over, when they see a Muslim person or someone who appears Muslim to them—all this information they just learned kicks in.” [8]

Responding to the criticism, SSI’s CEO Bradman said, “I can’t take the responsibility of my course linking their religion to terrorism. I think their religion got linked to terrorism a long time ago.” [9]

“Homeland Security Training in Israel.” According to SSI, this is the only privately-operated trip of its kind that receives funding from U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The company claims the program “is approved for graduate and undergraduate college credits” and “has been attended by Police, Sheriffs, Emergency Management, Transportation, Fire, Joint Terrorism Task Forces, State Law Enforcement Agencies, Fortune 500 companies, DHS and many more. All of them say this training is the very best they have ever received.” [10]

The schedule for SSI’s November 2009 Israel training included visits to police stations, courses on “suicide terror,” a presentation on defenses against Kasam Missiles at the Ashdod Power Plant, and a visit to “the scene of one of Israel’s most deadly attacks at the Hebrew University.” [11]

The training also included several tourism trips to Christian sites in the Holy Land, an aspect of the training that one observer writes “is likely to be especially attractive to Christian Zionists.” [12]

Participants in the Israeli training are encouraged to enroll, for an extra fee, in a course on Israeli martial arts called Krav Maga. In an alleged testimonial about the course on SSI’s website, a “U.S. soldier” says, “Not only did I learn a great deal from these true professionals but they made me feel welcomed as a warrior in a world-wide fraternity, as a brother in arms. I would recommend that anyone who goes on the Israeli Homeland Security course stay for the Krav Maga training. Not only does it train you to be an effective fighter, but it gives you the opportunity to train with real Israeli warriors.” [13]

Commenting on SSI’s training programs, Eli Clifton and Daniel Luban of the Inter Press Service write, “The religious emphasis of SSI’s trips, their propensity to view all of ‘Islamic Culture’ through the prism of ‘where does the hatred come from?’ and their partnership with the ‘Obsession’ project’s divisive anti-Muslim message, all raise serious questions about why this group has been receiving DHS funding.” [14]

 

Other product and services

SSI has made numerous claims about joint projects with other companies aimed at “capitalizing” on business opportunities related to homeland security, both in the United States and abroad.

In November 2007, SSI announced it was teaming up with the Israel-based company Hazard Threat Analysis Ltd. (HTA) to provide a subscription-based “intelligence service” aimed at providing “law enforcement and First Responders with crucial and previously unavailable intelligence information essential in combating Jihad-related terrorist activity.” Describing the service, called HS-BOOST (Homeland Security – Bulletin of Open Source Threats), Gadi Aviran, CEO of HTA, said, “We offer up-to-date analysis of terrorism threat [sic] by collecting, translating, and analyzing open-source intelligence material. We believe in 360-degree analysis—by investing in careful, multi-layered assessments based on an understanding of the nuances of the Jihadi Web.” [15]

In December 2006, SSI reportedly agreed to a deal with Universal Detection Technology (UDT), a developer of “early-warning monitoring technologies,” to operate a bioterror air monitoring system in Israel. The system, called BSM-2000 Anthrax Detection System, was to be promoted to the “Israeli defense establishment” at upcoming SSI training courses in Israel. UDT CEO Jacques Tizabi said of the deal, “We hope to open new opportunities by demonstrating our capabilities during SSI’s homeland security training in Israel. SSI has a history of very successful counter terrorism courses and material and we look forward to expanding to the Israeli market through our partnership.” [16]

 

Staff Publications

Both SSI corporate officers have published articles highlighting connections between their work and the “war on terror” in Counterterrorism, a journal published by the International Association of Counterterrorism & Security Professionals. [17]

In an article for the 2007 issue of Counterterrorism called “The Origin of Radical Islam: The Muslim Brotherhood’s Goal of Taking over the World and Restoring the Caliphate,” SSI’s CEO Morgenstern pushes the idea that for decades, groups like the Muslim Brotherhood have been secretly implementing a plan to impose Islamic law across the globe. Employing argumentation pushed by neocons like Frank Gaffney, Morgenstern highlights the views of modern Islamic thinkers like Sayyid Qutb, whose ideas form a core part of the ideology of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. In particular, writes Morgenstern, Qutb believed that the world is reverting to a primordial order and the way to end this chaos is “to preach the Koran’s meaning everywhere and resort to physical power and jihad to destroy any remnants of the corrupt order.” [18]

According to Morgenstern, the Brotherhood has been working to achieve this goal by secretly indoctrinating people worldwide, inviting unwary students to prayer sessions without initially revealing the real agenda.  Using language strikingly similar to certain kinds of anti-Semitic conspiracy mongering, Morgenstern obliquely associates all Islamic prayer sessions with terrorist organizing. He writes, “The Muslim Brotherhood’s plan which has aspects that are economic, political, and social has developed over the last 40 years. When small groups of devout Muslim men have gathered in homes in U.S. cities to pray, memorize the Koran, and discuss events of they day they were also concerned about their ultimate goal, one so controversial that it is a key reason they have operated in secrecy: to create Muslim states overseas and, they hope, someday in America as well.” [19]

Morgenstern connects his sort of ideology analysis to the work of homeland security agents. He writes, “Every First Responder should have a knowledge of how Terrorists think … to equip him or herself with a clear understanding of why we are fighting a war on terror in the first place—and why it may come to our cities, neighborhoods, schools, malls, and streets at any time.” [20]

In a 2006 issue of Counterterrorism, SSI’s president, Solomon Bradman, asserts that SWAT teams should be converted to counterterrorist (CT) squads. Highlighting the types of threats such teams might face, like booby-traps and suicide bombers, Bradman contends that “SWAT teams need to train … by first learning about the enemy they are up against and the new higher threat level they will face at the scene.”

“A successful CT mission brings the terrorist back alive as they are the source of … needed intelligence,” Bradman reminds his readers. “With the high skill levels already established on our SWAT teams across the country adding CTU tactics to the training already being conducted not only makes sense but is the key to winning the war on terror.” [21]

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Sources

1. Market Wire, “Miami Becomes the Homeland Security Capital of the USA during the UASI National Conference April 10th-April 13th,” April 5, 2007.
2. See Security Solutions International website.
3. SSI, “Patriot Partners,” (accessed September 28, 2009)
4. SSI, “Corporate Officers,” (accessed September 28, 2009)
5. SSI, “Patriot Partners,” (accessed September 28, 2009)
6. SSI, “Advisory Board,” (accessed September 28, 2009)
7. SSI, “The Islamic Jihadist Threat,” (accessed October 1, 2009)
8. Janet I. Tu, “Does Course on Islam Give law Enforcers Wrong Idea?” Seattle Times, May 26, 2008.
9. Janet I. Tu, “Does Course on Islam Give law Enforcers Wrong Idea?” Seattle Times, May 26, 2008.
10. SSI, “Homeland Security Training in Israel,” (accessed October 1, 2009)
11. SSI, “Homeland Security Training in Israel,” (accessed October 1, 2009)
12. Eli Clifton and Daniel Luban, “Where does the hatred come from?” LobeLog, Inter Press Service, August 20, 2009.
13. SSI, “Krav Maga,” (accessed October 2, 2009)
14. Eli Clifton and Daniel Luban, “Where does the hatred come from?” LobeLog, Inter Press Service, August 20, 2009.
15. Market Wire, “SSI and HTA to Launch Subscription Intelligence Service,” November 19, 2007.
16. PR Newswire US, “Universal Detection Technology in Deal with Security Solutions International to Run Bio-Terror Air Monitoring System in Irael,” December 6, 2006.
17. International Association of Counterterrorism & Security Professionals
18. Henry Morgenstern, “The Origin of Radical Islam: The Muslim Brotherhood’s Goal of Taking over the World and Restoring the Caliphate,” Counterterrorism, Summer 2007.
19. Henry Morgenstern, “The Origin of Radical Islam: The Muslim Brotherhood’s Goal of Taking over the World and Restoring the Caliphate,” Counterterrorism, Summer 2007.
20. Henry Morgenstern, “The Origin of Radical Islam: The Muslim Brotherhood’s Goal of Taking over the World and Restoring the Caliphate,” Counterterrorism, Summer 2007.
21. Solomon Bradman, “From SWAT to Counter Terror Unit,” Counterterrorism, Fall 2006.

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