JERUSALEM, Israel – The Israeli Security Agency known as the Shin Bet reports that it prevented 250 major terror attacks since the beginning of the year.
At the first International Homeland Security Forum in Jerusalem, Israel shared its expertise with security leaders from around the world, teaching them how to prepare and prevent these attacks.
On the last day of the forum, ministers from some 20 countries witnessed a counter-terrorism demonstration at Israel's National Police Academy.
At a colorful simulated outdoor market complete with fake fruit, café tables and mannequins on one side and actors at a street festival on the other side, participants watched as a truck rammed the crowed street (on the side with the mannequins) and terrorists jumped out and began shooting at the revelers.
Counter-Terrorism Demonstration at Israel's National Police Academy, Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff
A police officer narrated as Israeli commandos took charge.
"The warriors [are] in a firefight with the terrorists," he said. "It's a sad event, but we train [the policemen] day and night [so] that when we need them we can use them.
"Because this happened in mass attack is not our imagination, it [has] happened in Israel, it [has] the world and this is our job as a counter-terrorism unit to save and protect," he said.
For Israel, terrorism has been a reality for more than 70 years.
In a January 2017 attack modeled in the simulation, a terrorist in a truck ran up over the curb into a park and plowed into a group of soldiers, killing four. Later, Israel installed cement pillars in the area to prevent such attacks in the future.
Israel Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff
"We're sharing intelligence strategies, how we deal with preventing those attacks, what are the global threats that exist here in Israel, which, of course, are global threats that exist in Europe and other countries around the world," Israel Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told CBN News. "[We're focusing on] how we can improve transferring intelligence – because when you have strong intelligence, you can prevent a terrorist attack from taking place."
Israeli Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan organized the event.
Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff
"The goal we've set before us – enhancing our cooperation in fighting terror, incitement, radicalization and cyber threats – is extremely, extremely complex," he explained.
According to Erdan, two defining characteristics make up the current terror wave in Israel: online incitement and radicalization combined with easily accessible weapons.
Erdan calls it, "hi-tech communications and low-tech operations."
US Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Neilson said defeating terrorism will require international teamwork.
Israeli Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan and US Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Neilson, Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff
"What this means is that a terrorist in your country is virtually in mine. And we have to really think about what that means as this threat evolves. So your risk is very much my risk. My risk is yours," Neilson said.
Other government ministers who attended the event said they wanted to see the cooperation that began at the forum continue, and other such events planned for the future.
"If we prepare individually, we will fail collectively," she added.
Erdan said he doesn't believe that democracies are doomed to suffer from terrorism forever. By working together countries can meet the challenges to protect their citizens and make their countries safe, he said.