US anti-terror training abroad includes K-9, cyber security

A German shepherd sniffed suitcases in an airport inspection drill, excitedly pausing near one bag from which a handler then pulled a satchel with plastic explosives.

The exercise at the compound of the Jordanian police canine unit, staged for visitors this week, is part of the U.S. State Department’s expanding Anti-Terrorism Assistance (ATA) program.

The program has allocated $300 million this year to train and equip domestic security forces in partner nations — so far 21 out of a pool of 56. The aim is to improve the safety of U.S. diplomats and citizens abroad and to support U.S. allies.

In Jordan, a key U.S. ally in a tumultuous region, this includes training more explosives-sniffing dogs for airport duty, focusing on the departure gates of U.S. bound flights, and setting up cyber security training for local law enforcement agencies.

In recent years, Jordan has upgraded its fight against militants and criminals, in large part with U.S. backing, setting up a national emergency call center, a network of street surveillance cameras and databases for DNA, ballistics and fingerprints. Read More