Criminal justice agencies in Israel are reporting a rise in advanced explosive attacks being carried out by organized crime groups. The groups are conducting assassinations and attacks with the use of explosives and other materials stolen from security forces.
All men in Israel must serve in the military. Thus, organized crime members are well versed in handling explosives. Due to their expertise, many of the hits placed by the syndicates are well made and leave no fingerprints. The bomb makers are able to create targeted explosions and precise detonators that are able to kill their target.
The materials for the bombs are collected from various sources. Some are stolen from military depots, while other are home made. According to reports, there are many grenades for sale on the black market in Israel for $287 (1,000 Israeli Shekels).
In addition to the explosive skills, many crime groups also use their training in surveillance and intelligence collection. A raid on a safe house by police in February 2014 found that the criminals were tracking rivals through the use of advanced cellphone tracking software. The rivals location was being displayed on high-resolution monitors, with additional screens dedicated to street level surveillance conducted by gang members.
In 2013, police forces arrested about 500 members of major Israeli organized crime groups.
Source: Jeff Moskowitz, “Israel’s Nightmare: Mobsters Trained by Country’s Own Military,” NBC News, April 24, 2014.