Morocco, a major player in global counterterrorism, has contributed to a successful Interpol maritime border operation that helped to detect more than a dozen of suspected foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) travelling across the Mediterranean.
This international coordinated security operation was carried out July 24-Sept.8 in seaports of France, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.
The monitoring operation focused on the threats posed by suspected FTFs potentially using maritime routes between North Africa and Southern Europe during the busy summer tourist season.
Supported by an Interpol team on the ground, the intelligence-led operation also targeted criminal networks involved in human trafficking, people smuggling, firearms trafficking and the drugs trade.
Officials at seven seaports in the six participating countries carried out more than 1.2 million searches across Interpol’s databases for stolen and lost travel documents, nominal data and stolen vehicles via its I-24/7 secure global police communications network.
These resulted in 31 active investigative leads, with more than 12 of these linked to the movement of terror suspects.
According to UN Security Council Resolution 2178 (2014), sharing information through Interpol’s global systems is vital to better identify and prevent the travel of suspected foreign terrorist fighters.
The year’s maritime operation confirmed the role of international, regional and national inter-agency cooperation in enhancing security in the Mediterranean region and worldwide.