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US Police Agencies Took Intelligence Directly From IDF, Leaked Files Show

THE GUARDIAN, Jason Wilson, December 8, 2023

Analysis of BlueLeaks trove also shows police received training on domestic ‘Muslim extremists’ from pro-Israel groups

Hacked police files show US law enforcement agencies for decades received analysis of incidents in the Israel-Palestine conflict directly from the Israeli Defense Forces and Israeli thinktanks, training on domestic “Muslim extremists” from pro-Israel non-profits, and surveilled social media accounts of pro-Palestine activists in the US.

The Guardian’s analysis of documents from the BlueLeaks trove of internal law enforcement documents found no indication that this was balanced by information from other Middle Eastern sources or US Muslim community groups. Nor is there any indication that pro-Israel activists were subject to any specific scrutiny.

At a time of polarized reactions to the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, the analysis raises questions about the scope of police intelligence-gathering in the US and the influence of Israel and its supporters on those efforts, and how this has shaped the treatment of activists and social movements, especially those who are pro-Palestinian.

Mike German, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, former FBI undercover agent and author of Disrupt, Discredit, and Divide: How the New FBI Damages Democracy, said the use of such documents and receipt of such training was damaging the practice of good law enforcement.

“It’s frustrating that we’ve developed this national law enforcement intelligence-sharing network that basically takes disinformation straight from the rightwing 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,” German said.

The BlueLeaks trove was obtained and released by self-described hacktivists in June 2020. It contains material from more than 200 law enforcement agencies, including intelligence material disseminated by federally sponsored umbrella bodies such as fusion centers and high-intensity drug-trafficking area (Hidta) programs.

One body whose internal archives were exposed in the hack, LA Clear, is tasked with providing “analytical and case support” in narcotics investigations in southern California, according to its website. It was established as a joint project between the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs Association, the California department of justice, and the Los Angeles county sheriff’s department in 1992.

Despite its ostensible mission to combat drug trafficking, the LA Clear archive of training materials (labeled “lacleartraining”) included in the BlueLeaks trove has several analyses of previous episodes of widespread conflict in Gaza and the West Bank that are sourced directly from the IDF and closely aligned Israeli thinktanks.

One of the documents is a reproduction of a PowerPoint-style presentation dated 11 April 2011, badged with the insignia and name of the Strategic Division of the IDF, and entitled “Escalation in the Gaza Strip”.

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