Speaking at the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock emphasized that international law enforcement is the most important line of defense in the struggle against nuclear terrorism.
The 2016 NSS took place from last week in Washington, D.C. It served as the final summit in a series of international summits that began in Washington in 2010.
In light of the events in Brussels and Paris and with reports emerging that terrorist elements were allegedly targeting staff from a Belgian nuclear power plant, the importance of countering nuclear terrorism has never been higher.
“Any gap in our response represents an opportunity for criminals and terrorists to purchase, smuggle or deploy the materials needed for a weapon of mass destruction,” Stock said. “This is why our response must be global, and leverage global networks – a strictly local or regional approach presents security gaps we cannot afford. The terrorist threat of today remains indivisible from the threat of nuclear terrorism tomorrow. Targeting criminals and terrorists, and curbing their potential to pursue their goal requires proactive, systematic sharing of and access to information as a key part of our collective security mandate.”
INTERPOL has played a critical role in preventing nuclear terrorism. Since 2003, its Operation Fail Safe has had a hand in apprehending 11 individuals convicted of involvement in highly enriched uranium trafficking cases around the world.