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Posted: October 30, 2003

The St. Louis Regional Office of the Anti-Defamation League and the Missouri State Highway Patrol together organized a unique training event at the MSHP Academy in Jefferson City, Missouri, on October 13-14, 2003. The purpose of this training, which involved a variety of federal and state law enforcement officers with domestic and international terrorism responsibilities, was to teach law enforcement officers how to use the Internet in their investigations.

Experts from ADL were on hand to discuss the history of the Internet, as well as how the Internet has been used and misused by extremists of all types. They also outlined the nature of extremist activities on the Internet, from constitutionally protected speech to actions in support of criminal activities to criminal acts themselves.

According to one State Patrol Investigator, "It was an exceptional training that provided tools which have long been overlooked. ADL's instructors have made Internet research understandable for criminal investigators."

ADL experts further taught attendees information-gathering techniques as well as analytical tips. Attendees themselves were able to hone their skills during several exercises.

Although law enforcement officers have previously been trained on subjects such as "Hate on the Internet" or "Extremism on the Internet," this is one of the first times that officers engaged in the war on terrorism have been taught techniques to use the Internet itself to help bring suspects to justice.

"In today's crime-fighting environment," said ADL Director of Fact Finding Mark Pitcavage, "Officers have to be able to utilize the Internet just as deftly as extremists do."

This training comes on the heels of an October 3 ADL training on hate crimes and extremism for over 50 law enforcement officers at the St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy. "ADL is committed to helping Missouri law enforcement agencies protect our state's citizens from hate, bigotry, and extremism," said Karen Aroesty, ADL St. Louis Regional Director.

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