LYON, France – A delegation led by the INTERPOL Secretary General is heading to India to meet with senior law enforcement officials following the series of co-ordinated terror attacks across Mumbai in which more than 100 people were killed and hundreds more injured.
The mission to India follows a declaration by India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the orchestrated attacks probably had ‘external linkages’ and that India would ‘take the strongest possible measures to ensure that there is no repetition of such terrorist acts’.
“When such co-ordinated and planned terrorist attacks are carried out against international targets and when a country’s Head of Government states there are suspected ‘external linkages’, the police in the country concerned require international assistance,” said INTERPOL’s Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.
“There is only one way to thoroughly investigate suspected terrorist linkages internationally. The investigating law enforcement authorities must compare the names, fingerprints and DNA of the suspected terrorists killed, arrested or at large against global databases via INTERPOL,” added Mr Noble.
With more than 30 terrorist attacks resulting in hundreds of deaths carried out across the country in 2008 alone, India has the resources and experience to fully and capably deal with a national terrorist investigation. However, as these attacks involved nationals of several countries, no one country alone could carry out a full investigation without utilizing global databases and services.
Mumbai police’s emergency operations centre has requested the deployment of an INTERPOL Incident Response Team (IRT) to ensure close international co-operation. Since the deployment of its first IRT to Bali following the bombings in 2002, INTERPOL has sent more than 40 teams around the world providing specialist on-site assistance for man-made or natural disasters. A request for support by the General Secretariat has already resulted in a number of member countries offering to deploy specialist officers.
In addition to providing direct support in Mumbai, INTERPOL’s delegation travelling to New Delhi will meet with the Head of India’s Central Bureau of Investigation and the INTERPOL National Central Bureau located in New Delhi to determine what additional resources may be required. Staff from its 24-hour Command and Co-ordination Centre (CCC) at the General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon have been tasked to treat all messages relating to the attacks as a priority and are on standby to provide support with co-ordinating the international aspects of India’s response to this terrorist incident.
“On behalf of the international law enforcement community, I would like to offer my deepest condolences to the friends and family of all the innocent victims and pay tribute to those police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty; INTERPOL will do its best to provide our Indian colleagues with whatever support they might request,” concluded the Secretary General.