September 21, 2005

Interpol joins hunt for U.N. Qaeda-linked suspects

BERLIN (Reuters) - Interpol will start issuing a new type
of international alert notice to help police intercept people
with alleged terrorist links who appear on a United Nations
sanctions list, a top official said on Wednesday.

Ulrich Kersten, the world police body's special
representative at the United Nations, said the new alert would
make it easier to detect suspects, for example when trying to
cross international borders.

He said it would not automatically oblige authorities to
arrest a listed person, but it could prompt them to refuse
entry to a country and seize weapons or cash.

"If a (listed) person is found to have 20,000 dollars in
their luggage, checks can then be made to see if this can be
seized on the basis of court orders," he told a news conference
at Interpol's annual conference in Germany.

A total of 328 individuals and 119 entities are currently
named on the U.N. sanctions list as participating in financing,
planning, facilitating or carrying out activities linked to al
Qaeda or the Afghan Taliban.

Under a U.N. resolution passed in July, countries are now
obliged to provide detailed information on suspects to Interpol
when they submit names to be added to the list.

Interpol had raised concerns in the past that it was
hampered in its investigations because it was not receiving
this data. The 184-nation police body has its own database of
some 8,000 terrorist suspects, including details such as
passport numbers, credit card details and phone numbers.

U.N. official Guillermo Kendall said more than $90 million
worth of assets had so far been seized from individuals
appearing on the U.N. sanctions list.