Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, supported the implementation of the Neptune 2 sea border operation coordinated by INTERPOL that resulted in the detection of more than a dozen suspected foreign terrorist fighters travelling across the Mediterranean.
Frontex provided two experts to assist in border control at two sea border crossings in Italy and France. Operation Neptune 2 (24 July – 8 September) focused on the threats posed by suspected foreign terrorist fighters potentially using maritime routes between North Africa and Southern Europe during the busy summer tourist season.
The operation, which also included the participation of the World Customs Organization (WCO), highlighted the role of international, regional and national inter-agency cooperation in enhancing security. Officials at seven seaports in the six participating countries – Algeria, France, Italy, Morocco, Spain and Tunisia – carried out more than 1.2 million searches across INTERPOL’s databases for stolen and lost travel documents, nominal data and stolen vehicles.
These resulted in 31 active investigative leads, with more than 12 of these linked to the movement of terror suspects.