What frustrates me, as secretary general and this is relevant in light of what happened in Dubai in the case of the individuals accused of having assassinated a Hamas leader—is that in 2009 there were over 500 million international air arrivals where passports were not checked against Interpol’s database, which contains records on over 11 million stolen passports and 9 million other identity documents.
At the same time, if you or I are traveling internationally via the United States or Europe, we are required to take off our shoes and belts, give up our bags and our computers, and sacrifice whatever liquids we might not have consumed before passing through security. We do that for everyone.
But each year, there are 500 million international air arrivals whose passports aren’t screened against Interpol’s database. And we have the technology to identify false passports being used by war criminals, terrorists, assassins, drug traffickers, and fraudsters. That’s what is most shocking and frustrating to me.
7 May 2010
Bureaucratic or effective?
The secretary of Interpol talks [pdf] about terrorism and security: