Terrorism risks at a critical point: INTERPOL chief

Published: Tuesday, 12 January 2016 09:52

The combination of shifts in travel patterns, attacks far from conflict zones, online communications and fraudulent travel documents have led to a ‘decisive stage’ in the fight against terrorism, INTERPOL Secretary General J├╝rgen Stock has warned.

Addressing the Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF) working groups of the Global Counterterrorism Forum and anti-ISIL coalition meeting, Secretary General Stock said the continued resolve of the international community would be required to address the evolution of the terrorist threat.

Mr Stock said with Da’esh (ISIS) drawing allegiance from around the globe, the need for coordinated action was essential, not just in identifying and interdicting individuals, but in stopping the funding for their terrorist activities as underlined in the recent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2253.

In addition to encouraging member states to provide all necessary information towards the publication of INTERPOL-United Nations Security Council Special Notices for individuals and entities, UNSC Resolution 2253 also called for increased use of INTERPOL’s Stolen and Lost Travel Document (SLTD) database.

“Access to information from abroad is essential if we are to strengthen the security net to prevent the terrorists from moving freely and constrict their support networks,” said Secretary General Stock.

“Ensuring direct access to INTERPOL’s global databases means that instant checks can be conducted against nearly 55 million travel documents, some 200,000 nominal identifiers and more than 40,000 notices of suspected and wanted criminals and terrorists.

“As a global, neutral platform, INTERPOL is ideally placed to share data from our 190 member countries to support them in ensuring this information is where it needs to be,” added Mr Stock.

Among the documents in INTERPOL’s unique global SLTD database are nearly 30,000 Syrian passports, of which some 4,000 were reported stolen as blank.