King, Thompson introduce Anti-Terror Technology Sharing Bill
Legislation will build on relationships with key allies like Israel
Today, U.S. Reps. Peter T. King (R-NY) and Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member and Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, introduced the “Promoting Anti-terrorism Cooperation through Technology and Science (PACTS) Act.” The bill will enable the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to collaborate with our strongest allies—including Israel, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Singapore—in the development of homeland security technologies and sharing of scientific information to help thwart terrorist attacks.
“The 9/11 Commission made it clear that our country needs to do a better job of engaging other nations in developing a coalition strategy against terrorism, and that is exactly what this bill helps accomplish,” Rep. King said. “Israel is one of our most important allies in the War on Terror, and a symbol of hope and freedom in the Middle East. That relationship should serve as a model for all our allies.”
“Homeland security begins at home but does not end at our borders. Many of our security threats could be addressed by revolutionary technologies, some of which have been developed by friends and allies around the world,” Rep. Thompson said. “The Department of Homeland Security has had some success in leveraging international homeland security technologies and incorporating them here at home. This bill will allow the Department to accelerate and broaden those efforts to fully connect the Department with many more international science and technology businesses, including those that are small and disadvantaged. Collaboration done correctly could help protect our communities if given the chance.”
The bill is modeled after an established, highly successful joint venture with Israel, the Bi-national Industrial Research and Development Foundation, or “BIRD” Foundation. The BIRD Foundation has invested $225 million in 690 cooperative research and development projects since 1977, benefiting both Israel and the United States.
“The development and implementation of technology is critical to the security of our homeland; and, for the past 29 years, we’ve benefited from a close working relationship with Israel through the BIRD Foundation, and the Israelis’ great experience and success in combating terrorism,” King said. “The U.S. and its allies in the Global War on Terror share a commitment to peace, freedom, and democracy—and already there is great cooperation among these countries in the fields of defense, intelligence, and homeland security. It is time we expanded that relationship to assist in the sharing and developing of technologies.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Please contact Dena Graziano or Todd Levett at (202) 225-9978