Countries should step up border checks following the capture in Belgium of suspected Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam, Interpol said Saturday.
The arrest “may encourage any accomplices to attempt to flee Europe, or elsewhere,” the Lyon, France-based world police organization said in a statement. It urged member countries to cross-check the documents of people crossing borders against a database of those that have been lost and stolen.
Interpol said the database has details of about 250,000 stolen and lost Syrian and Iraqi passports, most of which were blank when they were reported missing. Among these was a Syrian passport found at the scene of one of the assaults in Paris on Nov. 13.
“Anyone linked to Abdeslam will be concerned that their location could be revealed and attempt to run to try and avoid detection,” Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock said in the statement.
Abdeslam, 26, and an accomplice were detained during a police raid in the Molenbeek district of Brussels Friday, the scene of earlier police raids in the aftermath of the November assaults in the French capital that left 130 dead.