US, Israel up counter-terror cooperation

US Homeland Security dep

The US Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Holl Lute, met with Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch in Jerusalem on Wednesday, as well as senior police officers, to discuss bilateral cooperation on confronting terrorism. "Unfortunately, Israel is considered a world expert on dealing with terrorism. At the same time, we have an obligation to share information with our friends," Aharonovitch said during the meeting. Lute's visit comes as part of a major US-Israeli effort to increase cooperation on counter-terrorism efforts in order to help avert future attacks. The US is keen to learn about Israeli counter-terrorism experience, as well as how various Israeli law enforcement agencies work together and share information. The meeting was marked by a positive atmosphere, participants said. Later on Wednesday, Lute met with Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, where an agreement was reached on speeding up efforts to draft a joint defense memo. Last week, US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano delayed a planned visit to Israel by two weeks due to the ongoing investigation into the attempted terrorist attack on a US airliner over Detroit in December. Napolitano was originally scheduled to touch down and meet with officials from the Public Security Ministry, as well as elite Israel Police units.