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Students tap Israeli expertise during summer program

September 29, 2008

Thirty ASU students traveled to Jerusalem this summer to learn about the logistics and challenges of security in Israel — a place where three major world religions intersect, ideological tensions are increasing, and where counter-terrorism research and response is at the forefront of the country.

Internationally recognized experts taught the ASU delegation about daily security concerns in Israel, history of countermeasures for suicide bombers, counter-terrorism, infrastructure security, emergency management, mass casualty response and international politics.

The 10-day trip was organized by Charles Loftus, a veteran member of ASU's police department and a faculty associate in the School of Applied Arts and Science’s social and behavioral sciences area based at ASU's Polytechnic campus. Loftus instructs the National Security, Intelligence, and International Terrorism class (POS-364). He teaches courses in national security, intelligence, terrorism and homeland security.

When considering how to best exemplify and train his students on the realities of counter-terrorism, Loftus did not reach-out to U.S agencies, but felt Israel was an obvious and ideal choice for his class.

“Israeli agencies have been ‘battle tested’ unlike many of their American counterparts,” says Loftus. “Not that we haven’t experienced terror attacks in the U.S., just not at the same frequency, particularly lone suicide attacks. The Israelis have learned how to do certain things very well to protect their citizens, things we are still learning. ”

The study-abroad Israel Counter Terrorism program is the first of its kind at ASU, and a joint project between the university and the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response, a U.S. and Israeli counter-terrorism organization.

The ASU delegation was greeted by the Israeli Minister of Tourism Raphael Ben-Hur and subsequently visited various Israeli cities including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Galilee.

Students were also introduced to Israeli culture, cuisine and history. The program will be offered again during the summer of 2009 and is geared toward students who are seeking careers in the military, law enforcement, counter-terrorism, Middle-Eastern politics, private security and emergency response management. For more information or to enroll, visit the ASU Travel Abroad website at

Chakris Kussalanant,
(480) 727-9181