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31 May 2013

US Ambassador Jenkins visit to INTERPOL focuses on cooperation in global threat reduction

LYON, France – Identifying areas for closer cooperation between the US and INTERPOL in combating the threat of weapons of mass destruction was the focus of a visit by Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins to the world police body’s General Secretariat headquarters.

Ambassador Jenkins, the US State Department Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs, met with INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble and was updated on the work of INTERPOL’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) Terrorism Prevention Programme.

With the US Cooperative Threat Reduction Program addressing issues including biological and chemical security; enhancing border security; interdicting illicit trafficking; and preventing nuclear and radiological terrorism, INTERPOL’s global tools and international law enforcement network were highlighted as key elements which could support these efforts.

“INTERPOL brings together the global law enforcement community and given the global nature of the threats posed by weapons of mass destruction there is a clear interest in identifying ways in which we can collaborate,” said Ambassador Jenkins who is also the Department of State lead on the Nuclear Security Summit, which in its 2012 Seoul Communiqué encouraged  greater information-sharing with INTERPOL to combat illicit trafficking in nuclear material.

One of the projects highlighted during the visit was INTERPOL’s Operation Fail Safe which provides a new capability to police around the world to track individuals involved in the trafficking of radioactive or nuclear material, primarily using INTERPOL’s system of notices.

“As the world’s largest police organization, INTERPOL is ideally placed to assist its member countries in their efforts to address the threat of nuclear and radiological terrorism which has transnational consequences,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Noble.

“The visit by Ambassador Jenkins and her team is recognition of our ongoing efforts and we look forward to working closely with the US and all member countries,” added the INTERPOL Chief.

Under Fail Safe, law enforcement officers at border crossings or other key locations will be able to instantly query INTERPOL’s databases to verify if an individual is the subject of a Green Notice. Green Notices are issued in order to warn member countries about a person's criminal activities if that person is considered to be a possible threat to public safety.

A match will trigger an alert containing details of the country location and identity of the individual at INTERPOL’s 24-hour Command and Coordination Centre (CCC) at INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France which will then notify the CBRNE Programme.

This alert and notification process, coordinated by the INTERPOL CBRNE Programme as part of its ongoing outreach and development efforts, will allow law enforcement agencies to detect the movements of known individuals and better cooperate and coordinate their actions for combating nuclear smuggling worldwide.