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Interpol chief slams UK on terror database cooperation

Too much toothpaste panic, not enough checks on suspects

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The boss of Interpol has slammed Britain's procedures for monitoring suspected international terrorists.

In a newspaper interview at the weekend, secretary general Ronald Noble charged that UK authorities do not check immigrants against Interpol's database of 11,000 suspects.

He told The Sunday Telegraph: "The UK Government really needs to catch up and realise that unless it consults global databases for passports, names and photographs then it risks letting dangerous people roam free."

According to to the BBC, the Home Office insists border officials are "aware" of the list. Interpol's figures record about 50 immigration checks against its list per month, compared to 700,000 by French authorities.

The UK does not share its own watch-list through Interpol. British security services rely mostly on country-by-country bilateral intelligence agreements, rather than international databases.

"The guys detained last week could be wanted, arrested or convicted anywhere in the world and the UK would not know," Noble said, referring to the suspects in the failed car bombings in London and Glasgow.

Noble's comments to the press come on the back of his open letter last week, which he used to question the emphasis on baggage checks at airports. He noted: "Few, if any, of the thousands of non-nationals arrested and jailed worldwide have their fingerprints checked against global databases to ascertain their true identity or to verify if they are wanted or known by other countries.

"But try to carry a bottle of spring water onto a plane and you will be stopped in your tracks."®

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