Cybercrime, returnee terrorists key focus at INTERPOL regional conference

Addressing the increased risk of foreign terrorist fighters returning from conflict zones will be a key area for discussion during INTERPOL’s European Regional Conference.

Following the ‘WannaCry’ global ransomware cyber-attack which affected many countries in Europe, specialists from the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation will provide updates on the actions being taken to coordinate a global response.

(TOP: Delegates at the INTERPOL’s European Regional Conference. Key issues at the meeting are cybercrime, border security, terrorism and organized crime. Photo: INTERPOL).

More than 170 senior police officials from 50 countries and specialists from regional and international organizations attending the three-day (May 16 – 18, 2017) conference will also be updated on the lessons learned from the recent terrorist attacks in London and Brussels.

The results which can be achieved when frontline officers have direct access to INTERPOL’s databases to carry out instant checks and receive alerts about suspected terrorists and criminals will also be highlighted.

Currently more than 12 million checks are made against INTERPOL’s global databases every day.

Just 48 hours after Austrian police linked its national network to INTERPOL’s global information system, they identified and arrested an international fugitive wanted by Croatia after a routine check of his passport.

Addressing the delegates, Austria’s Director General of Public Security Konrad Kogler said: “The most effective weapon against transnational crime and terrorism is the constant exchange of information by the police.”

INTERPOL President Meng Hongwei said no one law enforcement agency has the resources to meet today’s diffuse threat spectrum, where the market for crime has never been stronger.

“As we approach the 100th anniversary of the Organization, INTERPOL faces an historic opportunity and an historic challenge,” said President Meng.

“Facing the global security challenges of today, and the years to come, we have a shared responsibility to take a new leap for INTERPOL’s next 100 years, by strengthening law enforcement capacity in all member countries, reinforcing their operational capability, expanding our global relevance and exerting a stronger leadership in global security governance,” added President Meng.

INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock said the unprecedented complexity of today’s criminal and terrorist threat landscape presents significant challenges to law enforcement.

“The recent global ransomware attack once again demonstrated the competing demands on law enforcement, and the limited resources with which they must meet these challenges,” said Mr Stock.

“We need to fully embrace the advantages that technology offers us and here, cooperation with the private sector is also vital. Sharing information via existing global policing networks means countries can cast a wider security net by empowering frontline officers, whether on the streets or behind a desk, to help them identify a potential threat both on and offline,” added Jürgen.

With illicit firearms linked to different types of crime, including terrorist attacks, delegates will be updated on INTERPOL’s recent Operation Trigger II.

Some 320 firearms – including a rocket launcher and a machine gun – and almost 20,000 pieces of ammunition, along with grenades and explosives, were seized in just 48 hours during the operation which involved more than 7,840 police officers across 23 countries.

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