A delegation of 11 high-ranking American law enforcement officials traveled to Israel for an Anti-Defamation League mission exploring Israeli Police counter-terrorism strategies and tactics in June 2006.
The mission was designed to provide participants with the opportunity to study the lessons learned by the Israel Police, with a special emphasis on combating suicide bombings. The presentations and discussions were conducted by Israel Police commanders who played a central role in directing their nation’s counter-terrorism operations during the height of the second Intifada.
The sessions covered an enormous range of topics relating to preventing and responding to terrorist attacks, including information sharing, intelligence gathering, bomb disposal, search and rescue operations, intercepting suicide bombers, working with the media, public awareness, the use of technology and the effect of terror on the Israel public.
The mission was given an extraordinary level of access to the Israel Police, reflecting the increasing strength and importance of the relationship between the Israeli Police and ADL, and the respect ADL’s national training programs, such as ADL’s Advanced Training School and the Israel Police Exchange Program, are given.
The delegation visited a checkpoint in Bethlehem, the site of scores of terror attacks, and toured the security fence and newly completed Rachel terminal. The state-of-the-art blast proof building allows people access to and from the West Bank, while ensuring the safety of the Border Guards from suicide bombers. At Mabat 2000, the Israel Police monitoring center that protects Jerusalem’s Old City, participants examined the close circuit camera system that protects the holy sites throughout the Old City. At the Border Police Counter-Terrorism Training Center, the mission watched exercises simulating police combating terrorists. The delegation also visited Ben Gurion Airport, and was given a behind the scenes look at the systems and technology of the world’s most secure international airport.
The presentations and meetings brought including meetings with the highest levels of Israel’s police, security and intelligence establishment: Avi Dichter, newly appointed Minister of Public Security and former head of Shin Bet; Major General Mickey Levy, Israel Police’s liaison to U.S. law enforcement and former commander of the Jerusalem District during the bloodiest days of the suicide bombing campaign; Major General Uri Bar Lev, commander of the Israel Police’s Southern District who led the Disengagement from Gaza; Brigadier General Dov Lutzky, Deputy Commander of the Northern District; and Brigadier General Shaike Horowitz, the Israel Police’s Liaison to the National Security Council.
One of the participants described the mission as “the very best law enforcement seminar in my 40 plus years as a police officer.” Another participant expresses hope that the “world does not leave Israel alone” to face a threat that extends globally.