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02 mayo 2008

Moroccan police capture fugitive terrorist subject of INTERPOL global alert

Moroccan police have confirmed the arrest of an escaped terrorist who became the subject of an INTERPOL global security alert after he broke out of a prison where he was serving 20 years for his involvement in the Casablanca suicide bombings in May 2003 which killed 45 people.

The fugitive, Mohammed Chatbi, aged 34, was one of nine prisoners who escaped from the jail near Rabat on 7 April, against all of whom an urgent worldwide security alert, or Orange Notice, was issued by INTERPOL following a request from Moroccan authorities. The other eight men remain at large.

'The Moroccan authorities are to be commended for the arrest of this dangerous terrorist whose actions were responsible for the violent deaths of dozens of innocent people,' said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

Following the group’s escape last month, thanks to the combined swift action of Moroccan authorities and INTERPOL’s Command and Co-ordination Centre, the alert was issued in all of INTERPOL’s official languages within hours of the request being made.

'Through close co-operation, Morocco and INTERPOL were able to quickly alert police and border control officers, as well as the general public, about the threat posed by these escaped terrorists,' said Mr Noble. 'It has long been established that the police and the public need to be warned when dangerous criminals are on the loose, as this both protects citizens and raises the probability of capture, as happened in this case.'

INTERPOL’s Orange Notice – sent to each of its 186 National Central Bureaus (NCBs) – includes the names and photographs of the convicted terrorists and other essential elements to help law enforcement officers worldwide in their search and eventual verification of their identity when located and arrested.

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.