Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Michael Downing said this week that Israeli organized crime was on the rise in Los Angeles and he mentioned the Oct. 30 North Hollywood synagogue shooting as "a stern warning linked to a criminal organization."
The LAPD's counter-terrorism honcho made his comments to The Jerusalem Post this week while he was in Tel Aviv to attend a Safe City Solutions Conference. He described the synagogue attack, which wounded two men and panicked the city about possible antisemitic terrorism, as "a targeted, surgical strike" in which "the two victims had been kneecapped."
Downing called Israeli organized crime in the city ""a little bit worse" lately, and said rings were involved in real estate fraud, money laundering and narcotics trade. Israeli crews have long been know for trafficking the club drug ecstasy.
"It's a really complex problem," Downing said.
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And he added, in what could be seen as a bit of irony, that Israeli crime figures have at least some synergy with terrorists: "From what we're seeing, there's been a little bit of convergence between terrorism and organized crime. They take advantage of each other's resources, logistics and trade routes."