Law enforcement receives training in dealing with violent extremism

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The Anti-Defamation League (“ADL”), U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Delaware Valley Intelligence Center held a training session for law enforcement last week on extremism.

The agencies brought together more 350 federal, state and local law enforcement professionals from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware for a half-day summit entitled“Hate Wave: Countering Violent Extremism from Orlando to Charlottesville.”

Attendees were briefed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s lead investigator in the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting, a National Counterterrorism Center analyst on homegrown violent extremism, and ADL experts on right-wing extremism.

“Every day, law enforcement professionals confront the worst forms of bigotry facing our citizens – extremism, terrorism and hate crime,” said Nancy K. Baron-Baer, ADL regional director. “As the largest non-governmental trainer of law enforcement in the nation, ADL is deeply committed to helping law enforcement more effectively combat extremist violence. We were thrilled to partner with USAO and DVIC to bring this critically important training to law enforcement professionals in our region.”

“When we first conceived of this conference with ADL and DVIC, the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting was the deadliest mass shooting in American history; sadly, this month’s shooting in Las Vegas has earned that dubious distinction,” said Louis Lappen, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. “The recent events in Las Vegas and Charlottesville underscore the need for law enforcement to share best practices to combat extremist-motivated violence.”

“Clearly, these are unsettled times, and as a nation, we face real challenges at home and abroad,” said Stacy Irving, DVIC Senior Advisor. “From hate crimes to terrorist attacks, there has never been a more crucial time for law enforcement agencies to join together to develop strategies and to collaborate with neighborhoods, civic associations and private sector partners.”

Topics presented at the summit included: the current landscape of the right-wing extremist movement, including Neo-Nazis, racist skinheads, Klan groups, white supremacist prison gangs, and Christian Identity extremists; the Alt-Right movement, one of the fastest-growing white supremacist movements in America today; the evolving threat of homegrown violent extremists, often inspired by ISIS, Al Qaeda and other Islamic extremist groups; and the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting, including lessons learned for law enforcement in responding to violent extremist acts.

“Law enforcement and communities across the country are working hard to counter the possibility of a hate-related attack,” said Dennis Wilson, Deputy Commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department, who delivered the opening remarks.“The Philadelphia Police Department is committed to countering extremism, terrorism and hate crimes and to insure the safety and security of our people”.

“Hate Wave: Countering Violent Extremism from Orlando to Charlottesville” was sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League, SugarHouse Casino, Pennsylvania Department of Homeland Security, Allied Universal, Liberty Property Trust and the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

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