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Cablegate: Blue Lantern Follow Up On Rdt Equipment and Systems

VZCZCXYZ0017
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #0792/01 0951224
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 041224Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6176
INFO RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 0927
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUCNFB/FBI WASHDC
RHMFIUU/HQ BICE INTEL WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 000792

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR PM/DTCC (BLUE LANTERN COORDINATOR, STITZIEL)
STATE FOR NEA/IPA (PECCIA)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETTC KOMC IS
SUBJECT: BLUE LANTERN FOLLOW UP ON RDT EQUIPMENT AND SYSTEMS

REF: A) TEL AVIV 481 B) STITZIEL-KEAYS 3/6/08 E-MAIL
C) STATE 7531

-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. (SBU) On April 3, emboffs met with RDT Equipment and
Systems (RDT) executives to follow up on questions regarding
the company's possession and transfer of a USML-controlled
FLIR camera. Operations Manager Noam Sarfati acknowledged
that the FLIR camera in RDT's possession was left with
Fibrotex "for a few days" so that the company could perform
extended tests on the materials it is producing. Sarfati was
able to produce an in-house document referring to a temporary
export license issued by the State Department authorizing
RDT's possession of the FLIR camera, but could not show any
subsequent license authorization or conditions for possession
and use of the camera. END SUMMARY.

----------
BACKGROUND
----------

2. (SBU) Emboffs' April 3 visit to RDT was prompted by
questions raised during a February 20 pre-license check of an
Israeli company -- Fibrotex Technologies -- which was
proposing to import a FLIR camera (ref A). At that time,
emboffs discovered that Fibrotex had already obtained a FLIR
camera on loan and without a license from the State
Department. Subsequent research by the State Department's
Directorate of Defense Trade Controls raised further concerns
that RDT itself may have acquired the FLIR camera without a
license (ref B).

--------------------------
DETAILS ON THE FLIR CAMERA
--------------------------

3. (SBU) On April 3, emboffs met with RDT Operations Manager
Noam Sarfati and Sarit Cohen to follow up on questions
regarding the company's possession and transfer of the
USML-controlled FLIR camera to Fibrotex. At emboff's
questioning, Sarfati acknowledged that RDT salesman Oz Koren
had visited Fibrotex to demonstrate the FLIR camera and
"might have left it for a short time." (NOTE: Emboffs noted
that this was at odds with Fibrotex engineer Vladimir
Kotler's statement on February 20, that Fibrotex had been
authorized by RDT to keep the camera on loan until their own
camera could be delivered (ref A). END NOTE.) Sarfati said
that RDT frequently does allow companies to keep licensed
technologies on loan for several days so they can conduct
"extended checks" of the technology before deciding to buy
it. He quickly added, however, that as soon as Fibrotex's
license application for the FLIR camera was denied, RDT had
their lawyer send a letter to Fibrotex requesting the
camera's return. Sarfati showed emboffs the camera he
claimed that Fibrotex was using -- an SC4000 ThermaCAM. The
serial number (S/N) on the camera was 1011. The part number
(P/N) was 420-0044-04-00P. The camera also bore the
following markings: Rev. 130. 320x256 InSB. The camera was
contained in a large, plastic case protected by foam padding,
stored alongside cables and other components.

-----------------------------
DETAILS ON THE EXPORT LICENSE
-----------------------------

4. (SBU) When asked under what authority RDT received and
operated the FLIR camera, Cohen produced a document on RDT
systems letterhead that stated that the FLIR camera system
was being consigned to RDT under "an approved temporary
export license as issued by the U.S. Department of State,
license no. 730001118, a copy of which has been provided to
us." The document further stated that the ThermaCAM SC4000
system is to be used for demonstration purposes, and that
RDT's "possession and temporary use of the....equipment is
anticipated to be between the following dates:
(07-11-21-07-12-15)." Neither Cohen nor Sarfati could
produce a copy of the State Department-approved export
license. When emboffs pointed out that the document was
printed on RDT letterhead, Sarfati explained that it had been
e-mailed from the FLIR manufacturer with instructions to
print it on company stationery. When emboffs noted that the
temporary license document specified anticipated dates of use
from November 21, 2007 through December 15, 2007, Sarfati
seemed confused and insisted that there must have been a
mistake. He suggested that there may have been a more recent
license issued, but said he never received a copy of it. He
explained that RDT does not receive licenses directly from
the USG for any of the controlled items in RDT's possession,
but rather relies on the manufacturers to obtain the
necessary authorizations. When asked, Sarfati was able to
produce copies of Department of Commerce-issued licenses and
terms of use for five other cameras purchased by RDT.
Sarfati identified the following person as RDT's main point
of contact at FLIR Systems in the U.S.:

Melissa Wilkinson
Trade Compliance Officer
FLIR Systems, Indigo Operations
70 Castilian Drive
Goleta, CA 93117
Phone: (805) 690-7176
FAX: (805) 685-2711

Sarfati said that Wilkinson may have sent the text of the RDT
document. Sarfati said that there is another person in
Sweden who works for FLIR and who is responsible for Israel.
Without providing his name, Sarfati indicated that it is
possible that either this man or Ms. Wilkinson may possess a
copy of the original export license for the FLIR camera,
issued by the State Department.

--------------------------------------------- --
DISCUSSION ON MAINTAINING CONTROL OF THE CAMERA
--------------------------------------------- --

5. (SBU) Emboffs noted that the document specified that RDT
agrees "...to maintain control of the equipment at all times
and not to additionally consign the equipment to any third
party not specifically named on the license," and "...to be
responsible for taking all necessary steps to ensure the
security of the equipment on the license from loss, theft, or
unauthorized access." When asked if he believed this would
allow RDT to leave the FLIR camera with Fibrotex
unsupervised, Sarfati said that his company "has to be
lenient on that because nobody will purchase anything if they
cannot test it." He added that while he was not aware of any
specific directives regarding restrictions on the use of the
FLIR camera, he uses his "common sense," to ensure that the
technology is protected. The document -- signed by Avi Tiv,
General Manager for RDT Equipment and Systems -- further
states that RDT agrees to maintain security measures for the
equipment, but lacks a description of the security measures
to be maintained. (NOTE: A copy of the document has been
sent by FAX to PM/DDTC at FAX number 202-261-8198).

6. (SBU) Sarfati acknowledged that his company is regularly
audited by the Israeli Ministry of Defense's Directorate for
Security (Malmab/DSDE), and volunteered that all RDT
employees go through background checks and receive Israeli
military security clearances. He claimed not to be familiar
with new GOI export control laws, however, and suggested that
his security office might be familiar with them.

7. (SBU) At the beginning of the meeting, Sarfati said that
salesman Oz Koren, who has worked at RDT for two years, had
allowed Fibrotex to borrow the camera for "a few days." At
another moment, he said RDT may have left the camera with
Fibrotex for "a short amount of time." At the end of the
meeting, Sarfati backpedaled from his original statement and
suggested instead that the unit was in fact not left
unsupervised overnight. He said he would have to ask the
salesman to find out more about the dates that Fibrotex used
the camera, and indicated that he would be able to supply a
listing of the dates when Fibrotex used the camera, if such a
listing is requested.

********************************************* ********************
Visit Embassy Tel Aviv's Classified Website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/telaviv

You can also access this site through the State Department's
Classified SIPRNET website.
********************************************* ********************
JONES

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