OFFGRID|Issue 45
As a Security and Counterterrorism Expert, Michael Rozin is in the Business of Staying One Step Ahead of Modern Threats
Mike Searson

For nearly 20 years, Michael Rozin has focused on terrorism prevention and security. As the president and a founding partner at Rozin Security, he’s skilled in proactive protection against terrorists and other highly motivated perpetrators of violence.

Rozin began his career in the Israel Defense Forces as a sergeant in the specialized combat unit known as Barkan. After his military service, he completed an advanced security and antiterrorism training program at the Israel Security Academy under the oversight of the Israel Security Agency. He then joined the Israel Airport Authority, where he worked as a security agent for Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv. In 2005, he received an award for excellence for his performance at the agency.

In 2006, Rozin was hired as the Special Operations Security Captain at the Mall of America in Minnesota. In this role, he developed, implemented, and managed a behavioral detection unit and various programs focused on counterterrorism at this densely populated venue. These initiatives proved to be so effective that they were presented to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security as a model for security in the private sector.

Rozin is a regular guest speaker at law enforcement conferences on counterterrorism and other proactive security methods. He has trained a number of law enforcement and security agencies on counterterrorism and tactical response techniques.

In addition, Rozin works as a faculty member at the University of Minnesota’s Master of Science in Security Technology program. In this role, he teaches the principles of security risk assessment and the integration of psychology, behavior threat detection, and technology in a security operation.

Rozin is a graduate of the Institute of Counter-Terrorism in the Interdisciplinary Center in Hertzliya, Israel, where he attended a master's level executive counterterrorism studies program. He’s also a certified Krav Maga instructor and fluent in Russian, Bulgarian, Hebrew, and English.


Tell us about your service in the IDF. Did you specialize in anything particular? How did that prepare you for work within the Security Services later on?

Michael Rozin:

I was honored and lucky to be able to serve in the Israel Defense Forces and contribute to the safety and security of the State of Israel. I served in a unit called “Barkan.” Barkan is a small special operations unit equipped with a Stinger anti-aircraft missile and tasked with preventing enemy aircraft from reaching their targets in difficult environments.

My service in the IDF helped me learn how to be organized, disciplined, and capable of going beyond what I thought was possible. I enjoy the power of challenge and discomfort. I developed some of the best friendships in my life, as well as a keen interest in serving the State of Israel and protecting it from threat actors who could immediately cause harm to my family and friends. That call to protect, and the impact of effective security, is what directed me toward my career. My dream became to work for the security services in Israel and continue to serve and protect my country and my family while working in the private sector.

I was thrilled to be accepted in the Israel Security Agency academy for protective agents. There, I rediscovered the importance of discipline, perseverance, and commitment. The ISA training pushed me beyond what I thought I was capable of, and for that, I will be forever thankful.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when dealing specifically with airport security?

MR: The weight of ensuring I don’t miss a terrorist or another threat actor was significant. I was responsible for thousands of lives. I took my job seriously and have always been concerned about the possibility of missing the indicators and failing to identify and stop potential perpetrators proactively. In parallel, I was challenged to balance humans’ desire for convenience and security.

What led you to bring your experience and business to the U.S.?

MR: I’d never imagined that I’d live and operate a business in the United States. God, however, had this plan in place. I met my life partner, wife, and now a co-owner of our business in Israel. It was love at first sight. She is from the U.S., and several years after our initial meeting, I followed my heart and found myself with her in Minnesota. Once here, I realized how impactful the knowledge and experience the State of Israel taught me could be. Thus, I decided to dedicate my career to help the U.S. prevent mass violence and other nefarious acts and to be an ambassador of sorts for the Israeli security industry.

How have the advent of COVID-19 and its associated restrictions and social distancing requirements affected your approach to large event security?

MR: Simply put, currently, there are not many mass gatherings that occur. Thus, the need for the security of large events has presently been put on pause. COVID has also temporarily changed the threat landscape. We believe that next year, as COVID is getting under control, we will see a spike in violence across the United States. We hope organizations take the time now to invest in effective security measures.

Much of your methodology focuses on behavioral profiling. But in American law enforcement, “profiling” is a controversial term that stirs up fears of racism. How would you explain behavioral profiling to people who have these kinds of concerns?

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