Friday, September 26, 2014

Global Impact: Tracking Islamic State Fighters Just Got a Bit Easier

According to The Associated Pressan international database of foreign fighters that started 18 months ago with little fanfare and had just three measly countries participating has suddenly gotten REAL popular.

Today, the database has grown to 33 countries and 1,300 names, thanks in part to INTERPOL's secretary-general Ronald Noble!

Admittedly, this may be global law enforcement's best toll in preventing jihadists from getting into the fight.

Here's how it works. Every country in the world that is a member of INTERPOL has access to the 1,300 names through their national director who is there "go-to" person to access the database.

COMMENT: If you are a local, state or federal law enforcement agency in the United States, you can access the INTERPOL contact point by going through the below website:

INTERPOL is also considering expanding access to its separate system of flagging lost and stolen passports--now available only to governments, border control officers and law enforcement--to banks, hotels, airlines and cruise lines, said the secretary-general.

A draft resolution expected to be adopted by the UN Security Council would require countries to prevent the recruitment and transport of would-be foreign fighters preparing to join terrorist groups such as IS. Noble described that as a starting point, and one that could bolster the database of foreign fighters.
"The question is how we can prevent that travel and disrupt that travel," he told THE ASSOCIATED PRESS on the sidelines of a speech in Paris. "INTERPOL's idea is to get airlines involved, hotels involved, banks involved, cruise lines involved--to make it more difficult for these terrorists to use stolen documents with different identifies in order to move from one country to the next."
AirAsia has been testing the system since May, and 43 people have been flagged with stolen travel documents, Noble said. In France, INTERPOL has a small pilot project to see how it could apply the database to the banking industry. 
Yet, Noble cautioned that slowing the flow of foreign fighters require that countries at the least use the systems in place. 
About 2,000 Europeans are estimated to have joined fighting in Iraq and Syria, but Noble said only a handful of the 26 European countries that have abolished controls at their common frontiers regularly check the INTERPOL database of stolen documents.

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