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“By asking for INTERPOL's assistance, Saudi Arabia wishes to ensure that all INTERPOL member countries are made aware that these men are dangerous and that their activities represent a security concern not only for Saudi Arabia and the entire region but also for the world as a whole,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.
“Never before has INTERPOL been asked to alert the world about so many dangerous fugitives at one time; we know that we are approaching the 16th anniversary of the first World Trade Center bombing on 26 February 2009 and therefore must be especially vigilant of fugitive al Qaeda terrorists,” said Secretary General Noble.
Many terrorism experts are concerned that al Qaeda will strike again shortly, said former FBI Agent Brad Garrett, an ABC News consultant. He speculated that the record alert – which was requested by Saudi Arabia – is a possible effort by the country to look like a team player on the terrorist-fighting front, after long being criticized for its lax security and funding of extremist groups.
Garrett added: "There's a lot of internal unrest in Saudi Arabia, and I think the powers that be there obviously have some concerns about their own security internally. To reach out to the rest of the world to say we're with you, these are bad guys and we want you to help us catch them, I think for Saudi Arabia, that's a fairly big statement."