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08 April 2008

Morocco asks INTERPOL to issue global alert following escape of convicted terrorists

An urgent worldwide security alert, or Orange Notice, has been issued by INTERPOL at the request of Moroccan authorities following the escape from a prison near the Moroccan capital on Monday of nine people convicted of involvement with suicide bombings in Casablanca in 2003, which left 45 people dead.

Thanks to the combined swift action of Moroccan authorities and INTERPOL’s Command and Coordination Centre (CCC), INTERPOL was able to issue a global alert in all of INTERPOL’s official languages within hours of the request being made. Its Orange Notice – sent to each of INTERPOL’s 186 National Central Bureaus (NCBs) – includes the names and photographs of the convicted terrorists, all essential elements to help law enforcement officers worldwide in their search and eventual verification of their identity when located and arrested.

“By acting so quickly, Morocco and INTERPOL have been able to alert police and border control officers, as well as the general public, about the threat posed by these escaped terrorists. It has long been established that both the police and the public need to be alerted when dangerous criminals are on the loose,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble. “A failure to warn presents an unacceptable danger to public safety, while a swift warning increases the likelihood of identification and apprehension.”

The Orange Notice was originally created to warn police, public entities and other international organizations of potential threats related to disguised weapons, explosives and other dangerous materials. It can also be issued by INTERPOL’s General Secretariat in Lyon, France, for any act or event which poses a risk to the safety and security of citizens around the world.