LONDON: Pro-Israel pressure groups are influencing law enforcement agencies in the US through training and consultancy programs, leaked police documents show.
The BlueLeaks collection of data, hacked from US law enforcement agencies in 2020, contains files showing that police received training from Israel Defense Forces programs on dealing with Islamist extremism, The Guardian reported.
And the Anti-Defamation League, a US-based Jewish advocacy group, enjoys a close relationship with law enforcement agencies, with the organization hosting training sessions for officers on the “evolving nature of Islamic extremists.”
BlueLeaks shows intelligence that was distributed by federal law enforcement programs, including fusion centers, which share information between local, state and federal agencies.
ADL staff members are revealed by BlueLeaks to have attended fusion center events as registered visitors, advising law enforcement that “we facilitate workshops … on extremism, hate crime and (in Washington D.C. and Israel) counterterrorism.”
The leak has raised questions about the influence of pro-Israel organizations in US law enforcement, and how those ties have affected the treatment of pro-Palestinian activists.
Former FBI undercover agent Mike German told The Guardian that the relationship is damaging the ability of officers to carry out good law enforcement.
“It’s frustrating that we’ve developed this national law enforcement intelligence-sharing network that basically takes disinformation straight from the right-wing social media fever swamps and puts it out under the imprimatur of law enforcement intelligence, so it becomes an amplifier of disinformation rather than a corrective to that disinformation,” he said.
“At a time where there’s much more public sensitivity to foreign influence in domestic affairs, having a foreign country’s security services aligned with the beat cop on the streets of American neighborhoods is concerning.”
Another group that has advised law enforcement, according to the leaks, is LA Clear, which provided “analytical and case support” to drug investigations in California.
However, the group’s BlueLeaks files show that it recorded information relating to conflicts in the Gaza Strip sourced from the IDF.
One such document is a recreation of an IDF PowerPoint presentation titled “Escalation in the Gaza Strip,” bearing the insignia and name of Israel’s Strategic Division.
The Dado Center, a military studies department of the IDF, authored another presentation that was used by LA Clear.
It offers an analysis of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, the 22-day invasion of Gaza in 2008, and highlights challenges including “legitimacy (external & internal, strategic narrative)” and “media coverage (a controlled information environment).”
Cast Lead resulted in the IDF targeting civilians and carrying out “indiscriminate attacks that failed to distinguish between legitimate military targets and civilian objects,” Amnesty International said in a 2009 report.
BlueLeaks also shows LA Clear’s use of a 2011 report issued by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, an Israeli research group founded and staffed by former IDF intelligence personnel.
The intelligence documents related to Israel lack any links to LA Clear’s stated mission of targeting US drug networks, raising questions about the presence of IDF-linked intelligence networks in American policing.
The documents fail to show US law enforcement seeking training or consulting from other community groups, including Muslim organizations.