SINGAPORE: An officer from the Singapore Police Force (SPF) will lead Interpol’s new Regional Counter-Terrorism Node (RCTN), and will work with police units in the Asia-Pacific region to encourage the transfer of intelligence concerning terrorist activities.
The officer’s identity and rank was not revealed.
Interpol’s executive director of police services Tim Morris told the media yesterday on the sidelines of the Interpol World Conference that these regional nodes are important.
“The police officers from the region know the region best.
“Interpol needs to use their expertise, knowledge and experience, not only to help the fight against terrorism within the region, but also (to find out) how it impacts other regions around the world, whether it be Europe, West or East Africa, or even Latin America,” he said.
Interpol has established similar counter-terrorism nodes in East Africa and West Africa.
Morris said Singapore was chosen as the site of the Asia-Pacific RCTN because it is an important security hub in the region, adding that the agency and the Singapore government have invested “substantial capital” to set up the Interpol Global Complex for Innovation.
The complex provides Interpol with the infrastructure to allow it to execute its functions.
The Asia-Pacific team will start with an initial six officers, which includes the SPF officer. Each officer is skilled in various aspects of fighting terrorism.
The team will have access to the 18 Interpol databases that provide, for example, information on foreign terrorist fighters, the social media platforms that terrorists use, and their travel patterns and mode of transport.
“Interpol believes such a network is important if police forces around the world are going to be connected in an effective way to fight terrorism,” said Morris.
The three-day Interpol World Conference is being held at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre at Marina Bay Sands. — The Straits Times/Asia New Network