Interpol warns on Qu'ran burning

2010-09-09 19:53

Lyon - The global police agency Interpol warned on Thursday that if a US church group makes good on a threat to burn copies of the Qu'ran it will probably trigger terrorist attacks around the world.

Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble said he had warned member states that "if the proposed Qu'ran burning... goes ahead as planned, there is a strong likelihood that violent attacks on innocent people would follow.

"Although there are currently no specific details as to what forms of terror attacks would follow, what is clear is - if the Qu'ran burning goes ahead as planned - there will be tragic consequences," he said in a statement.

A small church group in the US state of Florida is planning to mark the September 11 anniversary of the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington by burning copies of the Qu'ran, Islam's holy book.

The threat has received worldwide condemnation and provoked warnings from the group's own US government and experts around the world that the insult to Islam could provoke bloodshed.

Interpol has forwarded its 188 member states a warning from Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik of likely reprisals, and said it had expressed its own concern while asking police forces to pool information.

"September 11 is a day when the world should come together to redouble our efforts to prevent and fight terrorism," Noble said.

He warned any burning would "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".

The agency said its 24-hour command centre in the central French city of Lyon would be "on alert... to treat with urgency any information related to potential criminal conduct linked to the burning of the Qu'ran".