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16 July 2015

Increased information sharing to combat terrorism focus of German Interior Minister visit to INTERPOL

LYON, France – Identifying areas for enhanced sharing of operational information to more effectively combat terrorism in Europe and beyond was the focus of a meeting between Germany’s Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maizière and INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock.

Accompanied by the President of the German Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) Holger Münch, the Minister was briefed on INTERPOL’s capabilities in supporting member countries through intelligence sharing, analysis and training in border management techniques.

The delegation was also updated on INTERPOL’s ongoing cooperation with organizations including Europol to harmonize regional and international counter-terrorism efforts. Through its presence in North Africa and the Middle East, INTERPOL can play a significant role in safeguarding EU security outside its borders, particularly in addressing the issue of foreign fighter flows.

INTERPOL’s role in combating terrorism as a global platform for information exchange has been recognized by both the United Nations Security Council and the European Union. Its foreign terrorist fighter database currently contains some 4,500 profiles of individuals travelling to or from Syria and Iraq.

“The threat of international terrorism persists. This was once again demonstrated by the tragic incidents in France and, most recently, Tunisia,” said Minister de Maizière.

“To effectively counter terrorism, it is essential to share information in a comprehensive and trusting way at an international level. With its long-standing experience as a stakeholder of international cooperation and its contact points in 190 member countries, INTERPOL is of central importance in this context,” added Mr de Maizière.

The Minister underlined Germany’s commitment to international law enforcement with the decision to second additional officers to the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon.

Welcoming the Minister’s announcement, Secretary General Stock said: “In today’s increasingly borderless world, INTERPOL is uniquely placed to assist law enforcement in providing a coordinated and integrated response to transnational crime and terrorism, which are becoming more global in nature.

“Each country has a role to play in ensuring the safety and security of citizens at home and abroad, and Germany continues to demonstrate their support to the wider law enforcement community through its close cooperation with INTERPOL, as shown by the decision to second more officers,” concluded Mr Stock.

Germany is amongst the highest contributors and users of INTERPOL’s global databases, including for wanted persons, stolen and lost travel documents, stolen motor vehicles and fingerprints, generating possibilities for other member countries to identify fugitives attempting to evade justice.

BKA President Münch said the visit provided opportunities for even closer collaboration: “In view of crime developments there is no alternative to close international police cooperation, and INTERPOL plays a key role in this context.

“INTERPOL’s Secretary General, Jürgen Stock, who previously served as Vice President of the BKA for many years, is familiar with the efficiency of German police work. I am convinced that this will be another factor for strengthening our cooperation with INTERPOL in the upcoming years,” concluded Mr Münch.

The German delegation also visited INTERPOL’s Command and Coordination Centre which provides 24/7 support to each of the Organization’s 190 member countries, and was updated on the activities of the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore.