Exclusive: Interpol chief – close EU border loophole or risk attack

FOCUS News Agency on December 30, 2011 released the following:

“London. A glaring failure by almost all European countries to check passports against an international database of lost and stolen travel documents is leaving the Continent vulnerable to a terrorist attack on the scale of the Madrid train bombings, the head of Interpol has warned, Independent reported.
In what he said he hoped would not be his “last interview”, Interpol’s Secretary General, Ronald Noble, told The Independent that nearly all EU members are failing to make crucial checks against the agency’s database of 15 million suspicious passports – allowing potential terrorists to enter Europe and cross multiple borders undetected.
“So many basic steps aren’t being taken, which could lead to another September 11, another July 7 [the 2005 London Underground bombings], another March 11 in Madrid,” Mr Noble said.
Speaking almost two decades after a terrorist used a stolen Iraqi passport to enter the US and bomb the World Trade Centre, killing six people and injuring 1,042, he added: “The lesson that should have been learnt… is that people carrying stolen travel documents, if they are not stopped, can enter your country and mastermind a horrible attack.”
The former head of the US Secret Service also revealed that last year 500 million flights were not screened against the Interpol database. “My hope is that it won’t take another September 11, July 7 or March 11, where someone enters one of these countries carrying a stolen passport and masterminds a terrorist attack, before all countries begin systematically screening passports,” he said.”


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