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08 June 2014

Fight against terrorism and piracy focus of INTERPOL Chief meeting with Yemeni President

SANAA, Yemen – With Yemen on the frontline against terrorism and maritime piracy, during his meeting with Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble pledged the world police body’s full support in their ongoing fight.

During his first mission to Yemen, Secretary General Noble’s discussions with President Hadi also addressed additional areas where assistance can be provided to national law enforcement officers.

Key among these is biometric support in order for prisoners to be properly documented, enabling basic data such as photos and fingerprints, as well as more sophisticated iris scans, to be gathered in order to properly identify the individuals and also any potential links with criminal investigations.

The INTERPOL Chief’s visit comes just one week after 62 people - 60 from Ethiopia and Somalia and two Yemeni crew - perished while trying to cross the Red Sea from the Horn of Africa to Yemen in what the UN described as the worst sinking incident in the region this year.

“Yemen needs critical support from the international community to control its maritime environment and to combat terrorism,” said Secretary General Noble pointing to the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in the port of Aden in which 17 sailors were killed, and the 2002 attack on the French tanker Limburg.

Ahmed Mohammed Ali Al Badawi, who had been sentenced by a Yemeni court to 15 years for organizing the terror attack on the USS Cole, escaped from a military prison in Yemen in 2006. He is now wanted via an INTERPOL Red Notice, or international wanted persons alert which was issued at the request of US authorities. He remains at large.
Yemen is also one of seven countries taking part in INTERPOL’s European Union-funded Critical Maritime Routes – Law Enforcement (CRIMLEA) programme. It has successfully prosecuted more than 120 Somali pirates, and hosts one of the four regional information centres to combat maritime piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Western Indian Ocean.

“The crimes which Yemen tackles on a daily basis, such as terrorism and maritime piracy have a global dimension and it is essential that they are provided the assistance they need, whether it is advanced technology or basics such as generators to keep their police stations open,” said Mr Noble.

“The international community must continue to support Yemen in its efforts to prevent and turn back crime in all its forms,” concluded the INTERPOL Chief.

As well as meetings with President Hadi and Minister of the Interior Abdo Hussein Mohsen Al-Tarb, Secretary General Noble also visited the INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) in Sanaa and met with the head of the NCB Brigadier General Ali Mansoor Ashamiri and his staff who act as the central point of contact between law enforcement in Yemen and INTERPOL’s other 189 member countries.

Yemen is also one of 72 countries which has officially recognized the INTERPOL Travel Document, ensuring that any required international police support from INTERPOL could be deployed immediately.