Archive for category Israel

History: Found–The Helmet Of An Ancient Greek Mercenary

At the time the helmet was made, circa 600 B.C., Greek colonies dotted the Mediterranean coast, stretching from the Black Sea to southern France. Even so, there is no evidence of Greek colonies in Israel, indicating the warrior who ventured into Haifa Bay was likely the leader of a group of Greek mercenaries.
This warrior was likely one of Egyptian pharaoh Necho II’s troops, which he sent through Israel accompanied by a fleet of ancient ships. The pharaoh was heavily involved in military campaigns in the region for nearly a decade, operations in which this warrior and his group likely were involved.
“They were not fighting for the Greeks, they were fighting for Egypt,” Sharvit told LiveScience in an interview.

This just popped up on my radar and I had to share. How cool is this? As to the history of this helmet, they speculate that the owner was a Greek mercenary fighting for the Pharaoh Necho II, who knows? Or he could have been a Greek pirate/trader, which was a common practice at that time as well.

On a side note, this is a helmet in the Corinth style, which was a common type of helmet worn by hoplites. They also wore these things tilted back on their head when not fighting, just so they could see well. But when they needed to battle at that moment, they would tilt the helmet forward and put it on correctly to start fighting again. Maybe the guy who owned this thing tilted the helmet back a little too far and it fell off into the drink? lol

The other interesting part about this is that Necho II was the guy that killed Josiah, the king of Judah of biblical fame. If this mercenary was a part of that effort, he more than likely was contracted to be on the naval flotilla that supported Necho’s campaign. (Judah was simply a speed bump for the big battles against the Assyrians)

Who knows and it is all speculation based on the dating of this artifact. The thing I look at is the history of the hoplite in ancient Greece and the societies that produced such incredible warriors back then. Sparta and the Battle of Thermopylae is one example of the type of hoplite forces that the various city-states of Greece produced.

Another famous Greek mercenary was Xenophon and his Ten Thousand– an assembled group of mercenary soldiers hired by Cyrus the Younger. Xenophon even wrote a book about this army and it’s campaign and epic journey called Anabasis. A very famous book that has been used to teach Socratic philosophy, military history of the time, leadership, and governance. It was also the basis to many other books and films, as well as the inspiration to such individuals as TE Lawrence.

I could go on about the numerous other Greek mercenaries and famous hoplites, but I will stop there. –Matt


Covered with gold leaf (now somewhat corroded), this 2,600-year-old bronze helmet was discovered in the waters of Haifa Bay, in Israel. The helmet would have been worn by a wealthy Greek mercenary leader. CREDIT: Photo courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority.

Found: Ancient Warrior’s Helmet, Owner Unknown
By Owen Jarus
28 February 2012
A Greek bronze helmet, covered with gold leaf and decorated with snakes, lions and a peacock’s tail (or palmette), has been discovered in the waters of Haifa Bay in Israel. But how this helmet ended up at the bottom of the bay is a mystery.
The helmet dates back around 2,600 years and likely belonged to a wealthy Greek mercenary who took part in a series of wars, immortalized in the Bible, which ravaged the region at that time. Archaeologists believe that he likely fought for an Egyptian pharaoh named Necho II.
Dredging discovery
The helmet was discovered accidentally in 2007 during commercial dredging operations in the harbor. After it was discovered, conservators with the Israel Antiquities Authority went to work cleaning it and archaeologists began to analyze it.
They discovered that it is very similar to another helmet found in the 1950s near the Italian island of Giglio, about 1,500 miles (2,300 kilometers) away. That helmet has been dated to around 2,600 years ago, something which helped the researchers arrive at a date for the Haifa Bay helmet.

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Israel: Security Companies Hold 40 Percent Of The Guns In Israel

This is an interesting story. I had no idea that private security held 40 percent of the guns in Israel? But I also understand why so many folks have weapons. That country has been in a constant state of war or threat of war. They constantly face threats inside their borders and outside, so it is not uncommon to see soldiers carrying their weapons all over the place. Or even settlers armed with weapons to defend their families. But I had no idea that the ratio was that high for PSC gun ownership.

With that said, I do not think it is wise for guards to lock up their weapons there. 24 people being killed in the last decade by guns of off duty guards in the last decade is a sad loss, but there is not mention as to how many lives were saved by guards on their off duty who were armed?

Especially as things become even more dangerous and unstable around Israel because of the Arab Spring. So to me, it is very logical to have as many armed individuals both on duty and off duty, just to deal with any potential threats. –Matt


Israeli armed guard, Falamiya village, West Bank.


Knesset: Guards should leave weapons at work
MK Gal-On says security companies current hold 130,000 weapons, about 40 percent of the guns in the country.
MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), chairwoman of the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women, demanded on Monday that security guards be required to leave their weapons at work, following a report that 24 people were killed in the last decade by guns belonging to off-duty security guards.
The report was issued by Woman to Woman, the Jerusalem Shelter for Battered Women.
“Security companies seem to have received an exemption from the law that forbids guards to remove their weapons from their place of work,” Hotovely said.
The Likud MK said she would ask Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch to enforce the law and instruct security companies to allocate a secure place for guards to check their weapons.

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Jobs: Personal Security Specialist, Israel And Afghanistan

This is cool. IDS was a partnership company that Kaseman and U.S. Training Center put together to bid on DoS stuff. (I could be wrong on the arrangement there, and if anyone wants to correct the record, please help me out)

IDS was mentioned in this contract award I posted awhile back. They now they have a web site up and jobs are flying for Afghanistan and Israel. They are looking for the standard WPS type positions–medical, designated marksman, etc. But I figured I would provide a link to their website, because I have pretty much done the same thing for all of the other companies listed on this award.

I am not the POC or recruiter for this job and please follow the link below if you would like to apply. Good luck and let me know how it goes? –Matt

Personal Security Specialist
Location: McClean, VA
Job # 627543
Date Posted: 08-18-11
Personal Security Specialist
International Development Solutions
All candidates should be willing and able to work in a high-threat environment and pass pre-deployment medical screening to include a Physical Training test.
Duty Location: Jerusalem
Security Clearance Required: Secret
Job Description:
Perform the day-to-day protective security functions as specified in daily post and detail orders .
Driving the lead vehicle (auto, aircraft, boat), principal’s vehicle, or follow-vehicle, whenever required in motorcade or similar operations.

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Legal News: Appeals Court Lets Contractor’s Family Sue Palestinian Authority Over His Death

Thanks to Clay over at the FJ Facebook Page for pointing this one out. I wish the families success in their case. –Matt


Appeals Court Lets Contractor’s Family Sue Palestinian Authority Over His Death
August 14, 2011
An appeals court ruling allows a case to proceed against the Palestinian Authority by the family of a contractor killed by a roadside bomb while providing security to State Department employees during an October 2003 trip to the Gaza Strip.
On Friday, the three-judge panel, members of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, released a ruling explaining that the family of Mark Parsons can sue the Palestinian Authority under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1991 over questions of material support by the PA to a terror group. The decision overturns part of a lower court’s summary judgment in favor of the PA.
“Although we agree with the district court that the family’s conspiracy claim theories are too speculative to survive summary judgment, we believe a reasonable juror could conclude that Palestinian Authority employees provided material support to the bomber,” reads the ruling.
Mark Parsons and two other members of DynCorp International were killed by a roadside bomb while protecting a convoy that included State Department employees on their way to interview Palestinian Fulbright Scholarship applicants. A roadside bomb exploded as the convoy traveled past the Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, about a quarter of a city block away from a manned PA security checkpoint.

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Industry Talk: Global CST Doing ‘Too Good Of A Job’ In Latin America

If anyone remembers the raid that freed the American contractors and Ingrid Betancourt in Colombia, then you might have remembered me talking about Global CST’s supposed involvement.  Well, according to this article, this company was definitely kicking some butt and ruffling some feathers down in Latin America. lol It is an example of private industry competing with government forces in the war fighting department, and government getting all bent out of shape because the company is actually  good at what they are doing.

Which brings me to an interesting point here.  When the US shows some concern about a PMC, then there is a good chance that the company actually knows what they are doing.  And it makes sense, because the Israelis are very good at problem solving and war fighting.  Why wouldn’t a PMC like this not do well?  For more research into the company, I wrote about them awhile back and these guys will be the ones to watch down in Latin America and elsewhere. It would be a good one to contract with for the war against the cartels.

Also, it is interesting that the company has set up a Scribd and a Youtube Channel, but no Twitter or Facebook account?  They might as well go all out with the social networking effort if strategic communications is the intent? Just saying… –Matt

US saw Israeli firm’s rise in Latin America as a threat, cables show
May 09, 2011
A security company led by the former head of operations for the Israeli military made such inroads into Latin America a few years ago that U.S. diplomats saw it as a security risk and moved to thwart the company’s expansion, U.S. diplomatic cables show.
The diplomats’ efforts were made easier when an interpreter for the Israeli firm, Global CST, was caught peddling classified Colombian Defense Ministry documents to Marxist guerrillas seeking to topple the state, one cable said.
Still, the ability of the Israeli security consultancy to obtain contracts in Colombia, Peru and Panama in rapid succession speaks to the prowess of retired Israeli military officers in peddling security know-how amid perceptions that they’d bring better results than official U.S. government assistance. Read the rest of this entry »

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Israel: The Dubai Job, By Ronen Bergman

     According to the official police report, the killers first injected Al-Mabhouh with a poison, then smothered him with a pillow. Saeed Hamiri, M.D., of the Dubai forensic lab, said the crime-scene investigators found a trickle of blood on Al-Mabhouh’s pillow, bruises on his nose, face, and neck, and an injection mark on his right hip. Along with signs of struggle in the room—a damaged headboard, for example—these details would seem to suggest that the target was smothered to death. But one has to wonder about the plausibility of these conclusions. (The Dubai chief of police did not respond to several requests from GQ for an interview.)


     Why did the Mossad permit things to go so wrong in Dubai? In a word, the answer is leadership. Because Dagan refashioned the Mossad in his own image, and because he drove out anyone who was willing to question his decisions, there was no one in the agency to tell him that the Dubai operation was badly conceived and badly planned. They simply did not believe that a minnow in the world of intelligence services such as Dubai would be any match for Israel’s Caesarea fighters.

     Wow, what a cool article and it really shed some light on this assassination performed by the Mossad’s Caesarea.  I posted a deal about this incident when it first came out and it was very interesting to see how this played out on the world stage.

    Of course some folks called it an embarrassment for the Israelis, because the operatives and operation were revealed by the Dubai police.  And others called it a success and that maybe the Israelis wanted to show the world that the finest security out there could not stop them from doing what they had to do. Either way, the Hamas jackass they targeted is dead.

     Now that some time has passed and folks have been able to put the pieces together, we are now getting a better picture on how this went down.  I didn’t know back then if they used poison or a stun gun to incapacitate Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, so that they could smother him with a pillow. I guess it was poison and toxicology boiled it down to succinylcholine. *

     But with this stuff, the drug itself could have killed him. The pillow could have been used to muffle the target’s voice while waiting for the drug to do it’s thing. The big benefit of this drug is that it is one of the fastest acting muscle relaxants out there, so the struggle would have been minimal.

     The other part of this story that was interesting, was the commentary on Dagan–Mossad’s director.  If it is true that he is not seeking feedback or other people’s opinions then that is not good. Ultimately, an organization must be a learning organization if it wants to continuously improve. And because Dagan has forced out or shut down anyone that disagrees with him, now he is at the mercy of what Irving Janis calls groupthink. Not good. –Matt

The Dubai Job

One year ago, an elite Mossad hit squad traveled to Dubai to kill a high-ranking member of Hamas. They completed the mission, but their covers were blown, and Israel was humiliated by the twenty-seven-minute video of their movements that was posted online for all the world to see. Ronen Bergman reveals the intricate, chilling details of the mission and investigates how Israel’s vaunted spy agency did things so spectacularly wrong

By Ronen Bergman

January 2011

Monday, January 18, 2010. MorningAt 6:45 a.m., the first members of an Israeli hit squad land at Dubai International Airport and fan out through the city to await further instructions. Over the next nineteen hours, the rest of the team—at least twenty-seven members—will arrive on flights from Zurich, Rome, Paris, and Frankfurt. They have come to kill a man named Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, a Hamas leader whose code name within the Mossad—the Israeli intelligence agency—is Plasma Screen.

Most of the operatives here are members of a secretive unit within the Mossad known as Caesarea, a self-contained organization that is responsible for the agency’s most dangerous and critical missions: assassinations, sabotage, penetration of high-security installations. Caesarea’s “fighters,” as they are known, are the elite of the Mossad. They rarely interact with other operatives and stay away from Mossad headquarters north of Tel Aviv, instead undergoing intensive training at a separate facility to which no one else in the agency has access. They are forbidden from ever using their real names, even in private conversation, and—with the exception of their spouses—their families and closest friends are unaware of what they do. As one longtime Caesarea fighter recently told me, “If the Mossad is the temple of Israel’s intelligence community, then Caesarea is its holy of holies.”

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