Europe’s po­lice take anti-ter­ror tips from Is­rael


IS­RAEL’S NA­TIONAL po­lice spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, has re­vealed that Euro­pean counter-ter­ror po­lice have been re­ceiv­ing train­ing and in­for­ma­tion in Jerusalem over the past eight months.

In a break­fast ad­dress hosted by the United Syn­a­gogue in cen­tral Lon­don last week, the Bri­tish-born Su­per­in­ten­dent Rosenfeld drew an un­com­pro­mis­ing picture of the dif­fer­ent ap­proaches to ter­ror­ism in Is­rael and in Europe.

He said: “In the last six to eight months there have been ter­ror­ist at­tacks in France and Ger­many, and we [in Is­rael] have had over­seas del­e­ga­tions come to Jerusalem to re­ceive in­for­ma­tion and train with our an­titer­ror­ist unit. They learned how to pre­vent an at­tack from tak­ing place and, if it does, how to re­spond so that there are a min­i­mum num­ber of ca­su­al­ties.”

He be­lieved that part of the prob­lem was Europe’s open borders and, as a re­sult, the dif­fi­culty of iden­ti­fy­ing and track­ing po­ten­tial ter­ror­ists: “That’s ex­actly the dif­fer­ence be­tween Is­rael and Europe. Is­rael has strong, con­crete in­tel­li­gence. We know what house, what num­ber, what name, what ve­hi­cle. We know al­most to the last de­tail who lives where, who is moving around and who is com­mu­ni­cat­ing.”

Such in­tel­li­gence, he said, did not ex­ist on the same scale in Europe. He added: “There are more than 900 Bri­tish pass­port hold­ers who have been to Syria, and who have come back to Bri­tain, and are free to move around.” He did not think the re­sources were avail­able for such peo­ple to be tracked, not­ing that in Is­rael it took be­tween 50-60 peo­ple to mon­i­tor the move­ments of one po­ten­tial ter­ror­ist.

Mr Rosenfeld called on Bri­tain to up its game in try­ing to com­bat ter­ror­ism, say­ing there should be an im­proved pub­lic aware­ness pro­gramme in the UK about po­ten­tial threats.

He said: “There has to be a clearcut line be­tween be­ing able to walk around freely and se­cu­rity. In Is­rael, if there is a bag on the street cor­ner, within 30 seconds a mem­ber of the pub­lic will move peo­ple away and you’ll have a po­lice of­fi­cer or a bomb dis­posal ex­pert on the scene. Here in the UK, un­for­tu­nately, there is not the same aware­ness. Some­one will leave a bag and it will be in the same place 15 min­utes later — and 1,000 peo­ple will have walked by.”

Those deal­ing with po­ten­tial ter­ror­ist threats in the UK had to have “all the tools they need at their dis­posal” in or­der to do so, “and if the law has to be changed, the law has to be

changed”, he said.

Mr Rosenfeld ac­knowl­edged that it was not pos­si­ble to pre­vent ev­ery at­tack. “But what we can do is min­imise”. He said that the strat­egy was “to get back to nor­mal as quickly as pos­si­ble” and spoke of an ideal time frame of two to three hours — in con­trast to a ter­ror­ist at­tack in Lon­don when an area was closed off for 10 days.

He said in Is­rael there was a ma­jor fo­cus on mon­i­tor­ing so­cial me­dia as a way of pre-empt­ing po­ten­tial at­tacks.

The su­per­in­ten­dent also em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of his force’s Ara­bic-speaking of­fi­cers, who go into schools in Is­raeli Arab ar­eas to talk about the dangers of ter­ror­ism.


Train­ing: Rosenfeld

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