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25 March 2009 - Media release

Saudi Arabia and INTERPOL maintain pressure on 81 fugitive terrorists with largest ever issue of Red Notices

LYON, France – Saudi Arabia has requested INTERPOL to issue Red Notices, or international wanted persons notices, for 81 suspected terrorists who were the subject of a global alert published in February.

INTERPOL's General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon on Wednesday published the largest ever single issue of Red Notices at the request of INTERPOL's National Central Bureau (NCB) in Riyadh, following a global alert issued by INTERPOL in February against 85 individuals wanted on terrorism-related charges, including links to al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, as well as in Iraq and Afghanistan.

INTERPOL’s Red Notice, sent to all of its 187 member countries, includes identifying details of each of the terror suspects to help law enforcement officers worldwide in their search, arrest and eventual extradition.

The official spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Interior, Major General Mansoor Al-Turki, said that the fight against terrorism had to be waged both on the domestic and international levels, and that Saudi Arabia had asked INTERPOL’s General Secretariat to issue the Red Notices and circulate them through “INTERPOL’s global communications’ network for concerted international action in apprehending the fugitives with a view to their extradition to Saudi Arabia”.

With many INTERPOL member countries treating Red Notices as a legal basis for arrest or detention, INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble praised Saudi Arabia’s request for the Red Notices, saying it demonstrated to the world its seriousness about its anti-terrorist efforts by agreeing to seek the extradition of each and every one of the 81 terrorist fugitives sought for arrest by them.

"Saudi Arabia's two-step approach – first to alert all countries that dangerous terrorist fugitives might be in their midst so that those countries can take protective measures back home, and then to provide an international legal basis for arrest, detention and extradition – represents a powerful example to the international law enforcement community on how best to use INTERPOL police tools, especially in cases involving fugitive terrorists,” said Secretary General Noble.

“By asking for INTERPOL's assistance, Saudi Arabia has ensured that all INTERPOL member countries are made aware that these men are dangerous and that their activities represent a threat to public safety not only for Saudi Arabia but for the entire world,” Mr Noble concluded.

A Red Notice can be requested by any INTERPOL member country and is issued by INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters. It is placed in INTERPOL’s central database which can be queried by any member country, and can also be added to foreign law enforcement databases and border lookout systems. A Red Notice remains in effect until the wanted fugitive is extradited.