The Israeli national police International Crimes Squad has worked with the FBI at its Washington headquarters and other sites in the U.S. and abroad..A U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation team was in Israel last week seeking Israeli law enforcement help for the prosecution of suspected Islamic Jihad supporters in the southern United States.

The discussions here focused on the Islamic Jihad infrastructure, particularly how charity groups raising money in the American South are funneling funds to terrorist groups in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, to finance suicide operations.

The FBI hopes to submit a number of indictments in the coming weeks, in part based on intelligence information provided by Israel. The cases will involve charity association figures who will be accused of aiding and abetting terrorism in which U.S. citizens were killed in Israel and the territories.

During their visit, the FBI agents, including field agents working directly on the cases in the United States, met with police, Shin Bet and Military Intelligence officials.

The FBI liaison is the Israeli national police International Crimes squad. Some of its members have spent time in the United States working with the FBI on their cases.

In the past the FBI sent investigators to Israel to follow investigations of terror attacks in which Americans were killed. Most recently the bureau sent agents to track the inquiry into the Sbarro restaurant bombing in Jerusalem in 2001 and the Mt. Scopus cafeteria bombing at Hebrew University this year. Both attacks were committed by the Hamas.

The American interest in Islamic Jihad connections in the United States arose in the wake of the case of Dr. Ramadan Shalah, a lecturer at the University of Tampa in Florida, who became a key Islamic Jihad leader after the 1995 Malta assassination of Fathi Shikaki, attributed by foreign reports to Israel. Since then, Shalah has been considered one of the world’s leading terrorists. But while still in Florida, he was allegedly involved behind the scenes in raising money for the Islamic Jihad.