Unmanned, Armed Vehicles to Secure B-G Airport Fence

Unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) equipped with weapons and cameras will soon be involved in perimeter security at Ben-Gurion International Airport, Haaretz has learned. Such vehicles would help prevent terrorist infiltrations similar to the incident yesterday morning in which a disturbed man jumped over the airport's perimeter fence.

The UGV, made in Canada, is to begin three days of demonstration use today for the Israel Airports Authority. The vehicles will be put into service to assist jeep-mounted security personnel in their patrols of the perimeter fence.

Yesterday, at around 8 A.M., airport security personnel apprehended a 31-year-old man who had managed to scale the perimeter fence and was running toward planes. Security guards identified him as someone they had seen acting strangely in the terminal the night before, and they stopped other security guards from shooting to kill the intruder.

The incident started when a security guard at the Rimon Gate pedestrians' entrance to the main passenger terminal noticed the man climbing the fence, jumping down to the other side and running toward planes. She shouted at him to stop and activated the alarm system. Surveillance equipment also caught the man on camera. Armed security personnel rushed toward him with their guns drawn and began to surround him, keeping a safe distance for fear he was a suicide bomber armed with explosives. Additional security personnel coming from the terminal were able immediately to identify the man as the one they had questioned during the night. He was cuffed and turned over to the police for questioning.

The entire incident lasted about five minutes.

Police detectives called the intruder's father from his mobile phone, and he confirmed that his son has psychological problems. The father said he had given his son permission to take his car the night before.

The infiltration occured less than 24 hours after a large-scale security drill at the airport Friday.