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Israeli Organized Crime in L.A.

A Los Angeles Police patrol car is shown at the entrance of the Adat Yeshurun Valley Sephardic Orthodox synagogue where a gunman shot and wounded two men Thursday Oct. 29, 2009 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Al Seib, Pool)
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A story from the Jerusalem Post on Iraseli organized crime in Los Angeles was picked up all over yesterday. Michael P. Downing, deputy chief of the LAPD's Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau, told the Post that the crime has recently gotten "a little bit worse," with criminal activity taking place in real estate, fraud, money laundering and narcotics.

To the Post, Downing said that the October shooting of two people at a synagogue in North Hollywood was linked to the an organization. "The two victims had been kneecapped. That's not indicative of terrorism. It resembled a targeted, surgical strike," he explained. "Within a few hours we were able to say that this was in no way linked to terror. They were targeted as part of a stern warning linked to a criminal organization."

However, in a follow up interview with the LA Times, Downing downplays that link: "It is something we are looking at, but we have made no definitive conclusions."