ADL Provides Extremism and Civil Liberties Training to the Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC, May 1, 2007 … The Department of Homeland Security has contracted with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to provide its specialized training and expertise on extremism, hate groups, domestic and international terrorism, and civil liberties to high-level agency personnel.
ADL held a special session of its Advanced Training School (ATS) for Homeland Security officials on April 22-24 in Washington, D.C. On hand for the briefings were 34 participants representing various divisions within the department, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Transportation Security Administration's Federal Air Marshals Service, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, and the U.S. Secret Service.
In remarks to the ADL's National Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the briefings are one way his department, the government's third largest, is partnering with ADL to address issues of immigration, civil liberties and extremism.
"By providing this course since 2003, ADL has equipped hundreds of graduates from over 150 law enforcement agencies with vital information about terror networks, extremist movements and civil liberties protections," Secretary Chertoff told an audience of nearly 500 ADL leaders from across the country.
"Our Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties has been working closely with ADL, and we've just completed a course for over 30 of our colleagues at DHS, working with the ADL on these issues of terrorism and civil liberties," Secretary Chertoff added.
ADL's Advanced Training School, launched in 2003, provides law enforcement professionals with state-of-the-art training, information, resources and contacts to increase their capabilities in combating domestic and international terrorist threats. Between 2003 and 2006, ATS held 10 sessions, training 326 senior level law enforcement personnel representing 162 different local, state and federal agencies.
"Our trainings are intensive and offer a range of detailed information about anti-government extremists, hate groups, extremism and terrorism on the Internet and hate groups," said David C. Friedman, ADL Director of National Law Enforcement Initiatives. "We have had phenomenal feedback from the participants, and the ATS program has enabled us to establish important relationships and contacts with law enforcement."
ADL convened the special session of ATS at the request of Homeland Security's Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Participants examined the tactics used by terrorists and extremists, the strategies that may be used by law enforcement to deter, prevent and respond to incidents and threats, and the civil rights and liberties that must be protected in the process. The Homeland Security Department has expressed an interest in offering subsequent sessions to its personnel.
ADL has a range of experts who monitor domestic extremists, hate groups, and terrorist organizations, and also brings in outside experts for specialized ATS briefings. Homeland Security's training, for example, included a briefing from Brig. Gen. Nir Meri-Esh of the Israel Police, who shared his firsthand experiences and knowledge in preventing and responding to terrorist attacks.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.