GERMANY – German authorities order Israeli anti-vehicle barriers in wake of Berlin attack
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I-24 NEWS – Following Monday’s attack in the German capital, in which a truck plowed through a busy Christmas market, killing 12 people and injuring 48 more, German authorities have contacted an Israeli manufacturer of anti-vehicle barriers with the aim of purchasing the entirety of the company’s product, i24news has learned on Friday.
The Germans contacted Israeli defense company Mifram Security, requesting that the firm reserve its entire stock of modular vehicle barriers for purchase in early January, the company’s president Amos Klein told i24news.
The unnamed government agencies already showed interest in the so-called Modular Vehicle Barrier in the past but did not close a deal in the past.
While unwilling to divulge exact numbers, David Noy, the company’s VP of Business Development confirmed that Mifram currently holds a stock ranging in the hundreds of units.
Mifram expressed its deep sorrow for the casualties of the Berlin attack in a press statement, especially as it says that the attack could have been prevented had its barrier already been deployed to secure events in the German capital.
“The run-over attack in Berlin was preventable by, among other ways, using a Mifram barrier intended to stop speeding vehicles in attacks of this type,” the press release sent by the company reads.
Courtesy of Mifram – “A 2.5 ton minivan travelling at 70 km/h was stopped on the spot by the Mifram barrier.”
Mifram says the Modular Vehicle Barrier is capable of stopping a almost all types of vehicles, ranging from motorcycles and ATVs to light trucks, and when used in several lines of defense, even heavy trucks as the one used in Berlin.
“The barrier’s special design (L shaped) stops vehicles travelling at high speeds by transferring the vehicles horizontal momentum to vertical momentum,” Mifram’s website reads.
“The barrier directs the momentum downwards into the ground thus bringing the vehicle to a complete stop – regardless of its speed,” it says.
“Compared to conventional methods, such as cement blocks or fencing, the MVP presents a cheap, light-weight, and quickly depoyable solution that offers superior protection while being very easy to remove after the event is over,” Noy told i24news.
“A single, 60cm wide unit of the barrier costs around $1000, so you can close off an entire road for around $7000,” he added.
Mifram began producing the MVP about 12 years ago and while it is mostly in use in Israel, over 40,000 units were sold to the US military to protect their various assets both at home and abroad, and police in Japan and Singapore have also begun using the system.
Courtesy of Mifram – “A Mifram Modular Vehicle Barrier secures an access road to the Lyon train station in France.”
“The MVP can be used in the long term to secure airports, harbors, or government buildings, or very short term for events lasting only a few hours,” Noy eplained.
Following a devastating vehicular attack in the French resort of Nice this June which killed 86 people and injured 434, also French authorities decided to deploy Mifram’s barriers in a number of French cities.
“The barriers have long been used to protect infrastructure in Israel and worldwide, as well as in mass crowd events such as Olympic Games, sports events, festivals, and for the protection of terminals, airports and seaports,” Mifram says.
‘DECADES OF EXPERIENCE’
Israeli companies such as Mifram, which specializes in the development of simplistic, cost effective, and efficient security engineering solutions have decades of experience with many different types of terror attacks and were forced to quickly and effectively adapt to the threat.
Former Israeli military spokesperson and security expert Arye Sharuz Shalicar explained Israel’s special approach in an interview with the German Abendzeitung.
“Israel has decades of experience with terror. There, other arrangements are made than in Germany,” Shalicar says.
“Fences are built around the airport, where there is a safety buffer zone of three kilometers, and when a marathon is about to be held, no cars can be parked along the track the night before.”
When asked how the attack in Berlin could have been prevented, Shalicar says that a proper security strategy is key.
Courtesy of Mifram – “A Mifram Modular Vehicle Barrier secures an access road to Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport.”
“How can I protect possible access routes, for example through retractable bollards? Where do I need to enhance video surveillance? And most importantly, where do I place uniformed and civilian police officers?”
“The latter are more important because they remain unrecognized and can detect whether a visitor is nervous and thus suspicious,” Shalicar adds.
The German-born security expert also warned that Germans need to begin to adapt to the new reality of global terror.
“The next attack will also come in Germany, it is only a question of when, where, and how,” he says.
“In Germany, life in the land of Cockaigne is over. It is a realization that is sure to hurt, but here, too, one has to adapt to the geopolitical situation.”