Israeli counterterrorism expertise in Montco

Israel and Montgomery County are criss-crossing in a couple of ways this week when it comes to counterterrorism. 

Lower Merion Police Superintendent Michael McGrath is one of 15 participants from the United States in Israel this week attending the Northeast Counterterrorism Seminar, an "intensive training program conducted in cooperation with the Israel National Police," according to a Lower Merion Township news release. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) organizes and funds the training, which is in its fourth year.

"The group is attending high-level briefings on the operational response to terrorism, border and airport security, maintaining safety and access to holy sites, the role of advanced technology in policing, and the effective use of the media during a crisis, the ADL's website says.

In Norristown, Montgomery County prothonotary Mark Levy, along with county commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr., Sheriff Eileen Behr, Kevin Steele of the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office, and local police chiefs met today with Jonathan Fine, a counterterrorism expert at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, along the Mediterranean Sea north of Tel Aviv. 

"Dr. Fine and the group conversed about differences in gun control in Israel and the United States, the intricacies of relationships between terrorist activity in Israel and violent shooting sprees in the United States and how understanding these terrorist activities can better ready ourselves and our County to deter these actions," according to a prothonotary account of the meeting.

The meeting was in collaboration with the Consulate General of Israel to the Mid-Atlantic Region, with the help of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.