LYON, France – INTERPOL support to the police component of the G5 Sahel Joint Force was the focus of a high-level meeting with police leaders from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.
With the Sahel region central to the global fight against terrorism, discussions at the General Secretariat headquarters focused on three key areas where INTERPOL could provide assistance;
- Technical infrastructure – establishing a framework for access and information sharing between the G5 Sahel communication platform and I-24/7.
- Ensuring relevant criminal information generated by Joint Force operations and investigations can be cross checked and recorded in INTERPOL’s global databases
- Provision of specialized and operational support for maximum data exploitation and analysis.
Jean Bosco Kienou, Director General of the National Police (Burkina Faso), Kolsala Sirandi Ongtoin, Deputy Director General of the National Police (Chad), Moussa Ag Infahi, Director General of the National Police (Mali), Mohamed Lemine Addy, Deputy Director General of the National Police (Mauritania) and Souley Boubacar Director General of the National Police (Niger) led the discussions with INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock and other senior officials.
The heads of the INTERPOL National Central Bureaus (NCBs) of the five countries also took part in the meeting along with representatives from the UNODC, the G5 Sahel Joint Force, CIVIPOL and the European External Action Service.
Delegates were briefed on the ongoing support provided by INTERPOL as part of global counter-terrorism efforts, with biometric data a key area for the identification of foreign terrorist fighters.
In 2005, INTERPOL pioneered military-to-law enforcement information exchange with Project Vennlig in Iraq, and later in Afghanistan through Project Hamah.
Evidence and information from the battlefield is playing an increasingly significant role in enhancing security around the world.
Biometric data recovered from Improvised Explosive Devices in Iraq and the Gulf shared via INTERPOL has already resulted in the identification of suspects in Europe and Asia.
Under INTERPOL’s Project FIRST (Facial, Imaging, Recognition, Searching and Tracking) facial images, fingerprints and DNA taken from 178 prison inmates in Niger resulted in two hits against INTERPOL’s databases.
One of the hits identified an inmate arrested in a terrorist training camp as the same person who had been fingerprinted in a Malian prison in 2014.