One of the organizations that organize and sponsor these trainings is the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA). JINSA is a think tank that advocates for US-Israeli security cooperation, increased domestic military spending, and military aid to Israel, and has board members with close ties to US defense contractors. JINSA launched its Law Enforcement Exchange Program (LEEP) shortly after 9/11, and since 2002 has run annual trips to Israel for US federal, state, and local law enforcement. Over 11,000 additional American law enforcement officials have attended LEEP conferences nationwide, which bring in Israeli security officials as experts.
The State Police of Maryland is among the departments that have sent delegates to Israel. Maryland State Police attended an ADL training as delegates of the Advanced Training School in Washington D.C., where they learned about Israels best practices and lessons learned in fighting terrorism from the Chief Superintendent of the Israel Police. Col. Hutchins served as Superintendent of the Maryland State Police between 2004 and 2007. Superintendent Hutchins attended a training in Israel with JINSA as a delegate of the LEEP program. Superintendent Hutchins was appointed as the Homeland Security Advisor to the Maryland Governor in 2015.
When he served as Superintendent, Col. Hutchins advised cabinet agencies on how to respond to riots in Baltimore City during April 2015. According to the governor’s website, Hutchins held several influential positions throughout the State of Maryland related to policing. Superintendent Hutchins maintained a list of non-violent protesters on a database that tracks suspected terrorists:
In 2008 it was revealed that the Maryland State Police had included 53 names of non-violent protesters in several databases that track suspected terrorists, despite the lack of any evidence of crimes being committed. This action was taken under authorization from Mr. Hutchins who at the time was serving as the state police superintendent.
Maryland State Police is also one of the departments that uses Israeli private-sector technology. Private Israeli security firms have contracts with both public and private security sectors. One of the private security companies that transfer technology to US police departments is the Israel-based Cellebrite. Cellebrite is a “mobile forensics” firm that manufactures data extraction, transfer and analysis devices for cellular phones and mobile devices for law enforcement, military and intelligence, and corporate customers.
Maryland State Police spent $11,193.88 to crack into phones using Israeli tech firm Cellebrite, according to public record requests by Motherboard. Maryland State Police uses Cellebrite’s technology to bypass phone passwords and security mechanisms to retrieve call logs, text messages, and in some cases even deleted data.
In addition, Israel-based tactical training was offered by Masada Tactical to many law enforcement departments, including Maryland State Police. Masada Tactical was formed in 2007 by graduates of the Israeli military and security forces. It has since leveraged the collective experience of Israeli military and security forces in Palestine to establish itself as a premier training organization for many law enforcement, military, and security forces worldwide. According to their own website:
“[Masada Tactical]…combines proven Israeli tactics with American tactical disciplines to create an adaptive and realistic skill-set now utilized by tier-one units all around the world. Masada Tactical principals are all graduates of Special Operations units within the IDF with vast operational experience. In addition, our principals are sworn officers with American law enforcement agencies, and hold leadership and command roles within their agencies tactical components (SWAT).”