Instinctive Shooting International

Firm Run by Ex-Israeli Special Forces Soldier Wants US Security Contracts in Jerusalem, Iraq, Afghanistan

As the Obama Administration continues the military privatization agenda, a CIA-connected firm and an Israeli-run company named
Instinctive Shooting International are looking to cash in

By Jeremy Scahill

The Obama administration has continued the Bush-era reliance on private contractors to sustain
the US occupation of Iraq and the US operations in Afghanistan. In
Afghanistan, Obama has surpassed Bush’s reliance on contractors with
current contractor levels surpassing
100,000 Defense Department contractors deployed. In Iraq, Obama has
maintained the long-standing ratio of one contractor to every US soldier.

General Stanley McChrystal, the US commander in Afghanistan/Pakistan, said recently that he believes the US has “created in ourselves a dependencyon contractors that is greater than it ought to be.” He added: “I think
it doesn’t save money. I actually think it would be better to reduce
the number of contractors involved, increase the number of military if necessary.”

Despite such proclamations, the pattern of dependence on contractors is continuing unabated—and not just within the Department of Defense.

This week the US State Department posted a solicitation for armed private security contractors to deploy in
“critical or higher than critical threat areas” globally under its
Worldwide Protective Services program. Among the firms that have held
these contracts are Blackwater, DynCorp, Triple Canopy and Armor Group.
ArmorGroup was exposed last year by whistleblowers for a range of
misconduct at the US embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. Among the actions revealed
by the Project on Government Oversight were hazing rituals involving
nudity and heavy drinking that at times included personnel urinating on
each other. The whistleblowers alleged that ArmorGroup personnel created
a general atmosphere of fear and intimidation. Last December, following
POGO’s revelations, the State Department said it was phasing out ArmorGroup.

In its solicitation for contract bids this week, the State Department says it will hire as many as six “qualified
US firms” for “anticipated and unanticipated personal protective, static
guard, and emergency response” functions. The contracts are slated to
last one year with the potential for four, year-long options.
To qualify for the contracts, security companies must have a total annual value of at least $15 million in security contracts and must
possess a valid “Final Secret Facility Security Clearance.” After the
contracts are awarded, the State Department says that it will then
sponsor the contractor for “Top Secret Facility Clearance.” In addition,
bidding companies must have at least two years of experience operating
in “austere and hostile environments overseas” such as Pakistan,
Afghanistan and Iraq and experience in “operating long term personal
protective security details for executive level dignitaries.” The
solicitation indicates that the work will include “a static guard and
emergency response team requirement in Baghdad, Iraq, a static guard and
emergency response team requirement in Kabul, Afghanistan, and a
personal protective security service requirement in Jerusalem.”

Among the companies listed as “interested vendors” to bid on the contracts
are the predictable list of industry giants: L-3 Services, SAIC, USIS,
Northrop Grumman, and DynCorp. Two lesser-known firms in particular that
have expressed interest in the contracts jump out: Instinctive Shooting
and Evergreen International Aviation.

Hiring Instinctive Shooting International for any type of armed contract in a Muslim country,
particularly to operate in Jerusalem with a stamp of US government
legitimacy, should be cause for serious concern and Congressional
inquiry. Instinctive Shooting International (ISI) was founded by Hanan
Yadin, a former member of the Israel National Counter-Terrorism Agency
and a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces. According to his bio
[PDF], Hanan “received advanced training at the Israeli Anti-Terror
Academy and served as an instructor at the Israeli Military Intelligence
Academy. As part of a Special Ops unit he executed high-risk missions
against terrorist’s cells. Hanan is an expert marksman and has completed
advanced training in crisis response, Krav Maga (the Israeli unarmed
fighting system), urban warfare and tactical operations.”
I encountered ISI operatives, all former Israeli soldiers, manning an armed
check-point in New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane
Katrina. At the time, in 2005, its website described ISI’s personnel as
“veterans of the Israeli special task forces from the following Israeli
government bodies: Israel Defense Force (IDF), Israel National Police
Counter Terrorism units, Instructors of Israel National Police Counter
Terrorism units, General Security Service (GSS or ‘Shin Beit’), Other
restricted intelligence agencies.”

Today the website has changed dramatically. Its main graphic is of US soldiers wearing ISI websiteAmerican flag patches, wielding
automatic weapons in what appears to be Iraq. “After 9/11, ISI was able
to bring to bear all of its resources, expertise and experience to work
with U.S. military and government agencies in gaining a deeper
understanding of radical Islam and provide proven tactical techniques to
improve counter-terror operations,” according to the website. This
would hardly be ISI’s first US government contract. It has received many
training and security contracts since its founding in 1993. According
to the company, it is currently under a five-year contract with the US
Army that began in November 2009.

Evergreen has had long-standing ties to the CIA. “In 1980 an Evergreen plane flew the recently deposed
Shah of Iran from Panama to Egypt, hours before the Panamanian
government was due to receive an extradition request from the new
government in Tehran,” according to SourceWatch.
“Giving rides to dictators is something of a specialty for the company -
it also allowed El Salvador’s President Duarte to use its helicopter,
which was officially in the country to help repair power lines. And
according to a series of articles in The Oregonian in 1988, Evergreen’s
owner and founder Delford M. Smith ‘…acknowledged one agreement under
which his companies provide occasional jobs and cover to foreign
nationals the CIA wants taken out of other countries or brought into the
United States.’”

Evergreen is perhaps best known more recently for offering—unsolicited—its security services to Oregon county clerks aheadof the 2008 elections. “During this crucial election Evergreen Defense
and Security Services has recognized the potential conflict that could
occur on November 4,” an
from company president Evergreen president Tom Wiggins to
election officials stated. “Never has there been a more heated battle in
the race for president and voters seem more involved and determined to
achieve their respective goals. EDSS proposes to post sentries at each
voting center on November 4 to assure that disputes among citizens do
not get out of control. All guards will be unarmed but capable of
stopping any violence that may occur, and detaining troublemakers until
law enforcement help arrives.” The offer was suspect on several fronts,
not the least of which being that Oregon has no polling places and votes
by mail.

According to State Department documents, among the projects up for bidding are:

—Private security teams in Jerusalem. The solicitation calls for 46 personnel, including 36
“security specialists” and team/shift leaders for armed details.

—Embassy guards and an Emergency Response Team in Kabul. The solicitation calls
for 219 personnel, including a 142-member embassy guard force and 49
“emergency response” personnel.

—Embassy guards and an Emergency Response Team in Baghdad, Iraq. The solicitation calls for 551
personnel, including 357 “armed guards” and an Emergency Response Team
consisting of 30 protective security specialists and four “designated
defense marksmen.”

The US embassy in Iraq, according to the documents, requires the greatest number of contractors. This is likely
because the embassy there is the largest of any embassy of any nation inhistory.

The State Department has a conference for prospective bidders scheduled for April 27-28 in Arlington,
Virginia. Attendance is mandatory for interested companies.

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