INTERPOL is deploying a team to Sri Lanka to assist the national authorities investigating the series of bomb attacks at churches and hotels which left nearly 300 dead and some 500 injured.
Checks are already being made against the organization’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents and nominal databases in order to identify potential investigative leads and international connections.
Deployed at the request of the Sri Lankan authorities, the Incident Response Team (IRT) will include specialists with expertise in crime scene examination, explosives, counter-terrorism, disaster victim identification and analysis.
If required, additional expertise in digital forensics, biometrics, as well as photo and video analysis will also be added to the team on the ground.
Jürgen Stock, INTERPOL Secretary General said information to help identify individuals linked to these attacks could come from anywhere in the world.
“The families and friends of the victims of these bombings, as with every terrorist attack, require and deserve the full support of the global law enforcement community,” added the INTERPOL Chief.
In addition to the IRT, support is also being provided through the 24-hour Command and Coordination Centre (CCC) at INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France, as well as in Singapore and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
To assist with the identification of foreign nationals among the victims, the CCC can also act as a liaison to the INTERPOL National Central Bureaus of the involved countries to ensure any data is exchanged as quickly as possible.
INTERPOL has deployed IRTs globally in response to large scale disasters and serious crimes. Following the terror attack at the Riverside Hotel complex in Nairobi on 15 January 2019, the Kenyan authorities requested that INTERPOL deploy an IRT to support their investigation.
Within 36 hours, an IRT was deployed to Nairobi. The team included experts in explosives, disaster victim identification and biometrics, digital forensics, and operational data analysis.
The IRT assisted local investigators in Nairobi with crime scene management, victim and attacker identification, forensic extractions and analysis of data from seized electronic devices. All data collected was immediately checked against INTERPOL databases and analysed, helping authorities establish connections with potential suspects.