Interpol issues global security alert after Iraq, Libya, Pakistan jailbreaks

Published: August 3, 2013
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As many as 248 prisoners escaped from the DI Khan jail after the TTP mounted an attack on July 31. PHOTO: REUTERS

As many as 248 prisoners escaped from the DI Khan jail after the TTP mounted an attack on July 31. PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS: Interpol issued a global security alert on Saturday advising its members to increase their vigilance against attacks after a series of prison breaks in Iraq, Libya and Pakistan that the agency is investigating to determine if they were linked.

The Lyon, France-based Interpol said given that al Qaeda was suspected to be involved in some of the incidents, it was asking its 190 member countries to watch out for information connected to the prison breaks, with an aim to determine whether they were coordinated and also locate the escaped prisoners.

On Friday, the United States issued a worldwide travel alert warning Americans that al Qaeda may be planning attacks in August, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa.

The State Department travel alert was based on the same intelligence that prompted it to close 21 US embassies and consulates on Sunday, August 4, chiefly those in the Muslim world, a US official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Britain said it would close its embassy in Yemen on Sunday and Monday. “We are particularly concerned about the security situation in the final days of Ramadan and into Eid,” the Foreign Office said in a statement, referring to the Muslim holy month which ends on Wednesday.

France also plans to close its embassy in Yemen on Sunday, a spokesperson for the foreign ministry said.

Prison breaks took place in Pakistan on July 31 in a Taliban-led operation, and in Iraq at the Abu Ghraib prison overnight on July 22. Some 500 convicts, among them senior al Qaeda operatives, escaped from Abu Ghraib.

More than 1,100 inmates broke out of a prison on the outskirts of Benghazi on July 27.

Interpol also noted that August was the anniversary of several violent attacks over the past years, including in Mumbai and Nairobi.

“Staff at INTERPOL’s 24-hour Command and Coordination Centre and other specialized units are … prioritising all information and intelligence in relation to the breakouts or terrorist plots in order to immediately inform relevant member countries of any updates,” the agency in a statement.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Ashkenazi
    Aug 3, 2013 - 8:38PM

    False flag coming soon. Yankee Jihadis will be liberating oil fields for Uncle Sham.

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  • Naya Pakistan
    Aug 3, 2013 - 8:41PM

    Pakistan at the center of it again. Nothing will happen,no matter how many Umra our leaders do at our poor people’s expense. Neither will the rulers of the middle east assist in controlling this menace. Au contraire .

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  • khan
    Aug 3, 2013 - 8:47PM

    ah muslims

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  • csmann
    Aug 3, 2013 - 8:58PM

    Is there any doubt that they are related.And the alert is not a false alarm. Indian embassy has been attacked in Afghanistan,besides the thwarted attack on the Pakistani airport and all the jail breaks.The terrorists are becoming stronger, bolder and more vicious by the day.Can’t anticipate good days for Afghanistan and Pakistan (possibly India too).Unfortunately the brunt of the terror is likely to be on Pakistan.

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  • Aug 4, 2013 - 10:37AM

    Haaahh!!! The simplest definition of terrorism is a four syllable word, “AMERICA.” It has an acronym, which is “U.S.A.,” and a moniker, “States.”
    Ever since the start and end of the Second World War, has there been any peace in the world? Inescapably, the first finger to be pointed is always aimed at America. Salams

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