INTERPOL team deployed to assist Kenyan investigation into Westgate shopping centre terror attack
NAIROBI, Kenya – An INTERPOL Incident Response Team (IRT) has been deployed at the request of Kenyan authorities to provide on-site assistance to the Westgate shopping centre terror attack investigation.
Headed by INTERPOL’s Executive Director of Police Services Jean-Michel Louboutin the team includes Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) and data specialists who will carry out real-time comparisons against INTERPOL’s global databases on DNA and fingerprints and other evidence gathered from the crime scene.
The IRT, which arrived in Nairobi on Wednesday, will also ensure the swift dissemination of all forensic information, photographs of the suspected terrorists, details of arrested individuals and any other suspects linked to the deadly assault, to INTERPOL’s 190 member country network for comparison against national databases to identify any potential leads.
“INTERPOL’s role is to help coordinate the international response in support of the Kenyan authorities as they investigate this horrific incident, and to assist their actions at the regional and international levels,” said Mr Louboutin.
“Whether it be through comparison of information against INTERPOL’s global databases, or the issuance of a notice to identify a victim, locate a wanted person, or seek additional information about suspects, we will offer all necessary assistance to help bring those responsible to justice,” added Mr Louboutin.
In addition to the IRT deployment, support is also being provided to Kenya’s national authorities via INTERPOL’s Regional Bureau in Nairobi and the 24-hour Command and Coordination Centre (CCC) at its General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France.
The CCC will also act as a central liaison to the INTERPOL National Central Bureaus of all the involved countries to ensure any ante mortem data on those killed during the attack, both victims and suspected perpetrators, is received as quickly as possible by Kenyan authorities.
INTERPOL also stands ready to mobilize additional support from its global network of DVI and other experts, with officers from its Counter-terrorism and Criminal Analysis Units examining all INTERPOL databases to determine whether any links can be drawn between this terrorist act and other incidents around the world.