Police chiefs head to US to meet with FBI in aftermath of Boston bombings

War on terror, increasing cooperation between the two countries, high on the agenda

Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino, June 2012. (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino, June 2012. (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel Police chief Yohanan Danino and other senior police officers left Israel late Tuesday night, heading to the US to meet with FBI officials and other law enforcement officials in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Discussions will center on the Boston bombings and deepening professional cooperation between the law enforcement agencies of both countries, Maariv reported.

At least three other senior officers are accompanying the police chief, in what the paper described as the highest-ranking police delegation Israel sends overseas. The trip had been planned before the Boston blasts, but was refocused in the light of the bombings, the report said, without elaboration.

On the day of the bombings, a top emergency medicine doctor at the Boston hospital where many of the wounded were being treated credited Israel with training the hospital’s first-response team and readying it to deal with mass-casualty incidents.

While briefing media hours after the devastating attack Monday that killed three people and wounded over 100 others near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Dr. Alasdair Conn said that the scene of the carnage and the horrific injuries sustained by the victims were reminiscent of “a bomb explosion that we hear about in the news in Baghdad or Israel, or some other tragic place in the world.”

He added, “About two years ago, in actual fact, we asked the Israelis to come across, and they helped us set up our disaster team so that we could respond in this kind of manner.”

President Shimon Peres on Tuesday sent his condolences to those hurt in the Boston bombings, and warned foreign diplomats about the ongoing danger posed by terrorism.

Speaking at his residence to the Foreign Diplomatic Corps toward the end of Israel’s 65th Independence Day, Peres expressed the country’s “solidarity with the bereaved families in Boston today. Three people lost their lives, 140 were wounded and I want to send, on behalf of all of us, our condolences to all the families and wish a speedy recovery to all the injured.”

“When it comes to events like this, all of us are one family. We feel a part of the people who paid such a high price. God bless them,” the president said. While conventional wars between countries used to be the main danger, things have changed, Peres stated. “Today the real problem is terror, and terror is not an extension of policy: Their policy is terror, their policy is to threaten. Terrorists divide people, they kill innocent people.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in his address to the diplomats, also focused on the attack. ”Yesterday, a day of enjoyment in Boston was turned into a day of terror. We send our condolences to President Obama, the American people and the bereaved families,” he said.

Netanyahu spoke about the bond between the countries, saying that every day “Israel stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the American people. We are partners in freedom and in seeking a better future for all humanity.”

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