U.S. News

Napolitano to hear air security tips in Israel

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano speaks at a White House forum on intellectual property theft and the risks of counterfeited products for U.S. consumers at the White House in Washington in this December 14, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will use a visit to Israel this week to assess passenger vetting and other counter-terrorism measures at its Ben-Gurion Airport, government officials said on Sunday.

Napolitano, whose tenure has been dogged by two attempted al Qaeda attacks on U.S.-bound planes as well as traveler protests at intrusive airport pat-downs and screenings, was due to arrive in Israel by Monday for several low-key professional meetings.

“She’ll be consulting with the Airport Authority, among other things,” said an official briefed on the visit, which will include other countries.

Security at Ben-Gurion, Israel’s main international airport, is considered to be among the most effective in world aviation, though civil liberties groups chafe at what they call a policy of singling out Arab passengers for extra scrutiny.

Writing by Dan Williams; editing by Tim Pearce