International police agency INTERPOL issued a global threat warning today originating from Pakistan of the strong possibility of violent retribution if a Florida pastor proceeds with his plans to burn copies of the Koran on the anniversary of 9/11.
INTERPOL issued the global alert to its 188 member countries today, after receiving a request from Pakistan's Minister of the Interior Rehman Malik, who contacted Secretary General Ronald K. Noble to warn law enforcement of the increased terrorist threat.
The Rev. Terry Jones, pastor of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., and author of "Islam is of the Devil," has said his "Burn a Koran Day" is meant to send a message to the Muslim world.
"Sept. 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 Sept. 11 from a day of remembrance, to one of recruitment for terrorists and others inspired to attack the U.S. and other western targets," according to 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 the agency's General Secretariat headquarters immediately.
"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," Noble added.
In addition to circulating any related information to NCBs, staff at the agency's 24-hour command and coordination center 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.
"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," added Noble.