Pakistan receives INTERPOL mission to enhance regional and global anti-terrorism efforts

22 December 2008

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – The national law enforcement authorities in Pakistan have received an INTERPOL delegation headed by Secretary General Ronald K. Noble to enhance co-operation in the fight against terrorism in the wake of the 20 September suicide truck bombing at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, and to seek Pakistan’s agreement to work through INTERPOL to help identify terrorists worldwide, including those behind the deadly 26-29 November terrorist bombings in Mumbai, India which killed more than 170 people.

Pakistan’s Minister of Interior, Mr Rehman Malik, is also to receive Secretary General Noble on Tuesday, 23 December, 2008.

At the meeting, Pakistan’s authorities will consider INTERPOL’s offer to deploy early in 2009 its advanced technology to secure Pakistan’s borders. The system, known as MIND/FIND, enables immigration officials to carry out direct screening of passports and identity documents on a real-time basis against INTERPOL’s global database of more than 16 million stolen and lost travel documents. This border-control system will allow Pakistan’s law enforcement authorities to instantly identify anyone attempting to enter the country using fraudulent means.

During the meeting, as part of anti-terrorism strategy and the investigative support which INTERPOL can provide, a classified briefing will be held on the Marriott Hotel bombing which killed more than 40 people. The briefing will ascertain what additional intelligence about the suspects can be shared with all of INTERPOL’s other 186 member countries. Pakistan will also express its readiness and the means with which it can work together with INTERPOL in relation to the Mumbai bombings to enhance regional and global investigative efforts on the terrorist attacks.

The Minister and Secretary General Noble will further discuss the possibility of Pakistan seconding a Pakistani police officer to INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France so as to share expertise with the world police community.

“It is only the sharing of critical police information on terrorism through INTERPOL’s global tools and services, including its databases on wanted persons and lost or stolen travel documents, that can help countries to protect themselves from events such as the Marriott and Mumbai bombings in Pakistan and India respectively,” said Secretary General Noble after he met with the Director General of Pakistan’s Federal Investigative Agency (FIA), Mr Tariq Parvez, on 22 December.

Mr Noble said that the FIA had traditionally been very co-operative with INTERPOL, especially in helping INTERPOL member countries identify its 169 most wanted terrorists.

"When it comes to sharing highly sensitive information about terrorists via INTERPOL so that police in all of our 187 member countries can better protect their citizens and better investigate terrorist cases, the FIA and Pakistan are among the best contributors worldwide," Mr Noble said.

"With regard to the Mumbai terrorist attacks, we are proud that both Pakistan and India have recognized the importance of working through INTERPOL to keep their countries and the world safer from terrorism than they otherwise would be," Mr Noble added.

Mr Noble’s visit to Pakistan follows talks on 19 and 20 December in India where he met with India’s Union Minister of Home Affairs, Mr Palaniappan Chidambaram, to review INTERPOL’s investigative and counter-terrorism assistance following the Mumbai attacks.

It is INTERPOL’s practice to offer operational police support to any of its 187 member countries following a crisis, including a terrorist attack or natural disaster. Since 2002, INTERPOL has deployed 43 Incident Response Teams to 30 countries worldwide.