Haredi gun and drug trafficking network busted
A major drugs trade network run by haredi men and centered in the radical ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem and Ramat Beit Shemesh has been revealed and broken by an undercover police officer in the Jerusalem Police Force.Now what are the chances those twosome were fully welcome in the neighborhood by the very extremists who were already plying the same trade? I think it's very likely they were. Extremists like Neturei Karta go hand in glove with jihadists.
News of the drugs ring was revealed by the police on Tuesday.
The investigation involved many months of undercover work by the agent involved and led to the arrest by police, detectives and border police forces in the early hours of Tuesday morning of 45 suspects in Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, the central region and Judea and Samaria, who bought and sold drugs and weapons to the police agent who worked among them. Two minors between the ages of 15 and 17 were among those arrested.
Following information collected by the Jerusalem police about drug trade activity in Mea Shearim two years ago, it was decided to send an undercover police agent to pose as a haredi man and to assimilate within haredi society and penetrate the criminal underworld that had been established.
The investigative and intelligence unit of the Jerusalem Police then identified an appropriate religious individual to carry out the role, and after several months of training, including guidance in criminal slang, concepts with the criminal world, required behavior, body language, and speech, the agent began work in Mea Shearim.
From what he experienced, the agent said he quickly discerned that there was “a Mea Shearim of the day and a Mea Shearim of the night,” and that with nightfall came an active trade in drugs in the many kiosks and narrow alleys of the famously austere and pious haredi neighborhood.
The agent successfully integrated into the haredi society in Mea Shearim, and under police supervision, began to buy different types of drugs, including marijuana, hashish, ecstasy, and Cocaine.
He was also able to buy a stolen vehicle along with various firearms from two Arabs working in the neighborhood from Hebron working in Jerusalem without permits.
If this report is correct, the police agent was a Haredi himself:
The agent, himself a member of a Haredi family from Jerusalem, was recruited to the Jerusalem District’s undercover agent unit two years ago. He studied in a Jerusalem yeshiva.Don't be surprised if plenty of those weapons were sold to jihadists. This is a most alarming discovery, proving that isolationist enclaves like Mea Shearim and Ramat Beit Shemesh are dangerous places. The police agent did the right thing to help put a stop to those vile criminals.
According to police, he infiltrated the Mea Shearim community, and after gaining the trust of felons there procured drugs, including marijuana, hashish, hydrocodone, ecstasy and cocaine. He also managed to buy a stolen car from the criminal network.
Besides the Haredi network, two Palestinians who worked illegally in businesses in the neighborhood offered to sell him unregistered guns.
The agent was then transferred to Ramat Beit Shemesh, an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Beit Shemesh, where he began to fear the traffickers he was following would discover he was working for the police.
In Ramat Beit Shemesh he succeeded in procuring even larger amounts of drugs, including “dozens of kilograms” of controlled substances at a cost of hundreds of thousands of shekels, police said. He also bought a stolen car, two Karl Gustav machine guns, an M-16 assault rifle likely stolen from an IDF base, and ammunition for the firearms.
[...] He described his work there as “a highly complex operation, in territories which are suspicious of police.” Many of the residents of the small Jerusalem neighborhood are anti-Zionist and avoid dealings with official Israeli institutions, including the police.