U.S. Law Enforcement Officials Learn Counterterrorism Strategies from Israeli Counterparts
A delegation of 15 senior law enforcement officials from the Northeast recently returned from a trip to Israel where they had a firsthand look at Israel's counter-terrorism strategies and tactics.
Sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League, the trip included meetings with counter-terrorism experts, senior law enforcement officials, and visits to Israel's borders with Syria and Lebanon as well as an Israeli town near the Gaza Strip which was the site of recent missile attacks.
During the weeklong mission U.S. officials met with their counterparts in the Israel National Police, Israel Defense Forces and Israeli security and intelligence communities.
Participating agencies included the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Massachusetts State Police; New Jersey State Police; New York State Police; Hartford, Connecticut Police; New Haven, Connecticut Police; Lakeville, New Jersey Police; Newark, New Jersey Police; Cambridge, Massachusetts Police; and Canton, Massachusetts Police.
In Ashkelon, site of recent missile attacks, the mission participants met with Chief Superintendent Haim Blumenfeld, who discussed the challenges of performing police duties under the constant threat of a terrorist attack. Local officers demonstrated the equipment and tactics used by Ashkelon police officers. The American officers also learned how Israel secures its airports, malls, and holy sites.
Upon completion of the program, participant Weysun Dun of the FBI stated:
"[The seminar] was simultaneously an eye-opening and enlightening experience. The FBI is the lead agency for counterterrorism in the United States and, as the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in New Jersey, it was very useful for me to observe how various sectors of the community coordinate to address the constant threat of terrorism facing Israeli Society. The itinerary and seminar agenda provided the opportunity to interact with a variety of government, military, business, and civic leaders, which provided me with insight into the complexities of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and to show the human side of the political and religious situation in the region. Seeing the geography of Israel was key to understanding the challenging issues faced in the region."