Israeli security personnel could soon train in FBI Academy

A bill, pending Senate approval, supports Israel's inclusion in the coalition of countries that send their police forces for training at the prestigious U.S. International Law Enforcement Academy – which teaches how to combat terrorism and drug trafficking, detect fraudulent documents and audit procedures

Daniel Edelson, New York|
The Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to give its initial approval to a new bill that would send Israeli security forces to train at the FBI Academy.
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The U.S.-Israel Cooperation Expansion Act was introduced by Republican Rep. Carlos Jimenez, who was previously a Miami-Dade County Commissioner in Florida, actually includes two pro-Israel clauses.
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FBI headquarters building in Washington
FBI headquarters building in Washington
FBI headquarters building in Washington
(Photo: AFP)
The first section condemns the "terrorist acts carried out by Iranian military emissaries, including Hamas, Hezbollah and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad against the residents of the State of Israel."
The section states that "the Jewish-Democratic State of Israel is a key ally and strategic partner of the United States," which for its part should continue to support its security. This section of the proposed law also states that the US recognizes Jerusalem as the "legitimate capital city of the State of Israel," supports Israel's "self-determination efforts and collective security against external forces" and "initiatives that combat anti-Semitic behavior around the world."
The second section – the more intriguing and practical aspects of the law – supports Israel's inclusion in the coalition of countries that send their police forces for training at the U.S. International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEAs).
This is a prestigious police academic institution managed by the US State Department, where lecturers from the various law enforcement agencies in the U.S. teach police forces from around the world about combating terrorism and drug trafficking, detecting fraudulent documents and border control procedures.
The academy was established in 1995 by then-President Bill Clinton as a means of connecting, sharing knowledge and training between law enforcement agencies around the world to reduce cross-border crime.
Currently, there are five ILEA branches around the world: El Salvador, Hungary, Thailand, Botswana and Ghana. A sixth branch, in Roswell, New Mexico focuses on high-level leadership skills and the policies necessary to facilitate effective law enforcement – particularly as it relates to human and civil rights, cybercrime, money laundering and more.
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(Photo: AFP)
Besides the FBI instructors who make up a large part of the academy, about 12 American law enforcement agencies send representatives there on their behalf to teach the international police officers. This includes the IRS (Internal Revenue Service), the Immigration Authority (ICE), the Department of the Interior, the Diplomatic Security Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The instructors and agents conduct courses at the academy on topics such as facility security, international investigations, investigations at terrorist sites, the fight against human and wildlife trafficking, the fight against corruption, drug trafficking, money laundering and financial crimes. To date, more than 70,000 people from 100 countries around the world have graduated from the academy program, so ILEAs also provide a fertile ground for future cooperation between security forces around the world and improve the practical capabilities of criminal justice institutions to eradicate cross-border crime.
"Since joint military exercises between Israel and the United States have proven to be a great success, the bill aims to bring the same approach to share best practices and help law enforcement better protect American communities," reads the explanation accompanying the bill.
The bill, which still needs the Senate's approval to pass, has already received the support of 12 Republican lawmakers. Israel's consul general in Miami, Maor Elbaz, was quick to thank Jimenez for the initiative in a tweet.
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