Report: Jihadis on cruise ships to Syria

Jamey Keaten
Associated Press

Monaco — Top Interpol officials tell The Associated Press that would-be jihadi fighters are booking tickets on cruise ships to join extremists in battle zones in Syria and Iraq, hoping to bypass efforts to thwart them in Turkey.

Pierre St. Hilaire, Interpol’s counterterror director, and outgoing Interpol chief Ronald Noble suggested the Turkish crackdown and increased monitoring of airports are forcing some would-be jihadis into alternative travel plans.

Noble said, “There are more and more reports that people are using cruise ships in order to get to launch pads, if you will — sort of closer to the conflict zones — of Syria and Iraq.”

The international police body is hoping to expand a pilot program that lets airlines bounce passenger information off its databases to include cruise lines, banks and hotels.