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13 May 2011 - Media release

INTERPOL confirms that fingerprints from April 2011 Minsk subway terror attack suspect match those of July 2008 Minsk terror bombing

MINSK, Belarus – INTERPOL has confirmed that two previously unlinked terrorist attacks in Minsk were perpetrated by the same person after a fingerprint match was established at INTERPOL's General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon after it received fingerprint specimens from law enforcement officials in Belarus.

Confirmation from INTERPOL's General Secretariat of the links between the Minsk terror attacks of 11 April 2011 and 4 July 2008 came during an official meeting in Minsk between INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble and Anotoliy Kuleshov, Minister of Internal Affairs for the Republic of Belarus.

On 5 July 2008, as part of its close international co-operation with INTERPOL, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, operating through INTERPOL's National Central Bureau (NCB) in Minsk, submitted to INTERPOL's General Secretariat fingerprints taken from a defused bomb found near the site of the 2008 terrorist attack. At the time, INTERPOL was unable to establish an identical match for those fingerprints when comparing them to tens of thousands of fingerprints on file.

However, on Thursday afternoon, 12 May, INTERPOL’s NCB in Minsk forwarded to the INTERPOL General Secretariat the fingerprints taken from the suspect charged with the 11 April 2011 Minsk terrorist subway bombing in which 14 Belarusian nationals were murdered and more than 100 injured. INTERPOL's experts were able to determine that four finger marks from the specimens sent in 2008 matched those of the suspect charged with the 11 April 2011 terrorist attack.

INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said that INTERPOL’s National Central Bureau in Minsk had demonstrated back in 2008 and again in 2011 the crucial importance of sharing information via INTERPOL to solve cases back home.

"If INTERPOL Minsk had not sent the fingerprint specimens from the terrorist attack of 2008 to INTERPOL, we never would have been able to link those two cases in 2011."

"This case demonstrates once again the essential need for all countries to share crime related intelligence with the wider international law enforcement community, even if countries have political differences. The actions taken by the authorities in Belarus to share information about the 2008 terrorist bombing with INTERPOL benefited all countries committed to fighting terrorism," added the Head of INTERPOL.

The main objective of the visit to Minsk (12-14 May) by the Head of INTERPOL was to discuss April’s subway terror attack and to determine how INTERPOL could provide law enforcement officials of Belarus with further assistance in the investigation.

During the visit the Belarusian authorities agreed to share additional DNA specimens found at the crime scene so that INTERPOL might help determine if other individuals might be linked to the 2008 or 2011 terrorist bombings.