Top cop: There’s a clear link between terrorism and crime

Insp.-Gen. David Cohen says at 10th annual World Summit on Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya that "crime and terrorism have common characteristics."

Dudi Cohen 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Dudi Cohen 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
A clear link exists between terrorism and crime, Police Insp.-Gen. David Cohen said on Tuesday during a speech at the 10th annual World Summit on Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya.
The conference was organized by the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, a part of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.
“It was once acceptable to believe that these two spheres, crime and terrorism, were completely separate. Now, we see a growing link between them. Crime and terror have common characteristics,” Cohen said.
A national crime organization can expand globally, and go from a hierarchical organization to a global network. Terror organizations expand in the same way, the police chief said. Drug smuggling routes used by criminals to bring narcotics to Israel from Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt are natural platforms for the terrorist organizations that surround Israel, Cohen added.
“They can easily be turned into infrastructure for terrorists,” he said, adding that the same was true of routes used by illegal immigrants entering the country. “Moreover, we are seeing a connection between terror financing and drug profits,” Cohen said.
The police chief said terrorism prevention has been placed at the top of the police’s national agenda due to the direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Police are working closely with the Shin Bet and the IDF to prevent terrorism, he added.