INTERPOL released a statement today warning that if the Quran burning goes as planned on Saturday, the global terror threat will increase.
The international organization says there are no specific details of threats, but that the Koran burning would lead to "tragic consequences." That could include "the lives of many innocent people," according to INTERPOL Secretary-General Ronald K. Noble.
Read the full text of its statement below:
LYON, France - INTERPOL has today issued a global alert to its 188 member countries following the request of Pakistan's Minister of the Interior, and its own determination, that if the proposed Koran burning by a pastor in the US goes ahead as planned, there is a strong likelihood that violent attacks on innocent people would follow.
Minister Rehman Malik personally contacted INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble to engage the world police body's assistance in warning law enforcement of the increased terrorist threat if plans reported by the media to burn the holy book were carried out on Saturday's anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
"One of INTERPOL's primary functions is to prevent crime, and given that we have been made aware of a significant threat to public safety - an assessment which we share - it is our duty to ensure that we pass this information on to law enforcement agencies around the globe so that they can take appropriate measures," said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.
"Although there are currently no specific details as to what forms of terror attacks would follow, what is clear is if the Koran burning goes ahead as planned, there will be tragic consequences, ones which may well claim the lives of many innocent people," added Mr Noble.
INTERPOL has circulated Pakistan's warning and its own alert to all National Central Bureaus around the world, and also has requested that any country receiving information about a potential threat to public safety contact INTERPOL's General Secretariat headquarters immediately.
"September 11 is a day when the world should come together to redouble our efforts to prevent and fight terrorism, not a day when any individual, especially an American, should engage in provocative acts that will give terrorists propaganda intended to convert September 11 from a day of remembrance, to one of recruitment for terrorists and others inspired to attack the US and other western targets," stressed Secretary General Noble.
"Pakistan's actions in contacting INTERPOL to ensure that potentially vital information in helping police identify and prevent any form of terror attack is circulated worldwide are to be commended, and the reaction of INTERPOL and others around the world in response to this planned hateful act should be seen by the Muslim community as strong evidence that this man and his small congregation stand alone," concluded Secretary General Noble.
In addition to circulating any related information to NCBs, staff at INTERPOL's 24-hour Command and Co-ordination Centre at the General Secretariat Headquarters will be placed on alert and be asked to treat with urgency any information related to potential criminal conduct linked to the burning of the Koran.