Home Morocco Morocco Joins Interpol-Led Counter-Terrorism Operation ‘Neptune’

Morocco Joins Interpol-Led Counter-Terrorism Operation ‘Neptune’

Morocco Joins Interpol-Led Counter-Terrorism Operation ‘Neptune’

Rabat- Interpol announced Friday it has deployed agents in Mediterranean seaports in eight countries, including Morocco, to apprehend suspected terrorists during the summer tourist season.

Codenamed “Neptune,” the counter-terrorism operation aims to assist local authorities to identify foreign terrorists using Mediterranean maritime routes between North Africa and southern Europe. The operation also addresses threats from firearms, drugs, and human traffickers, Interpol stated.

The “Neptune” operation is led by Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Spain, Italy, and France, with the support of the World Customs Organization and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (FRONTEX).

According to Interpol, 4 suspected foreign terrorists and a missing person were found in the first week of the Neptune operation, after 350,000 searches were made in Interpol databases.

Interpol’s Counter Terrorism Director Patrick Stevens said, “While much of the world’s focus on border security has been on air and land borders, potential security threats from the sea receive less attention.”

“The issue of traveling foreign terrorist fighters is of concern to all INTERPOL member countries who continue to monitor the departure and return of their nationals to fight in various conflict zones : regional and global police cooperation has never been more essential against terrorism and transnational organized crime, which is why Operation Neptune is so important.”

DGSN’s statement

A source at the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) explained that normally “Interpol has no operational agents” and that the Neptune operation would actually be “a technical assistance on sea border crossings,” reported news outlet Telquel.

“Interpol staffing acts as observers and the work is done by the national border police,”the official added. “The Moroccan ports concerned are Tangier Med and Tangier City, and Nador port.”

Interpol also provides its databases which enable authorities to track down jihadists coming back from conflict zones, especially Iraq and Syria.

The Neptune operation is taking place in 18 ports of eight countries.

Morocco is strongly involved in the operation since it hosted a good part of the preparations, including training sessions and coordination meetings. The most recent training session hosted by Morocco was held in February in Casablanca, the official concluded.

Interpol announced Friday it has deployed agents in Mediterranean seaports in eight countries, including Morocco, to apprehend suspected terrorists during the summer tourist season.

Codenamed “Neptune,” the counter-terrorism operation aims to assist local authorities to identify foreign terrorists using Mediterranean maritime routes between North Africa and southern Europe. The operation also addresses threats from firearms, drugs, and human traffickers, Interpol stated.

The “Neptune” operation is led by Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Spain, Italy, and France, with the support of the World Customs Organization and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (FRONTEX).

According to Interpol, 4 suspected foreign terrorists and a missing person were found in the first week of the Neptune operation, after 350,000 searches were made in Interpol databases.

Interpol’s Counter Terrorism Director Patrick Stevens said, “While much of the world’s focus on border security has been on air and land borders, potential security threats from the sea receive less attention.”

“The issue of traveling foreign terrorist fighters is of concern to all INTERPOL member countries who continue to monitor the departure and return of their nationals to fight in various conflict zones : regional and global police cooperation has never been more essential against terrorism and transnational organized crime, which is why Operation Neptune is so important.”

DGSN’s statement

A source at the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) explained that normally “Interpol has no operational agents” and that the Neptune operation would actually be “a technical assistance on sea border crossings,” reported news outlet Telquel.

“Interpol staffing acts as observers and the work is done by the national border police,”the official added. “The Moroccan ports concerned are Tangier Med and Tangier City, and Nador port.”

Interpol also provides its databases which enable authorities to track down jihadists coming back from conflict zones, especially Iraq and Syria.

The Neptune operation is taking place in 18 ports of eight countries.

Morocco is strongly involved in the operation since it hosted a good part of the preparations, including training sessions and coordination meetings. The most recent training session hosted by Morocco was held in February in Casablanca, the official concluded.

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