Officials had nothing to identify suspect: police

2nd August 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 1 (AFP) - British and French police working at the London train station through which the July 21 bombing suspect Hamdi Issac fled the country had nothing to identify him with, a French border police official said Monday.

PARIS, Aug 1 (AFP) - British and French police working at the London train station through which the July 21 bombing suspect Hamdi Issac fled the country had nothing to identify him with, a French border police official said Monday.

"The French police didn't have anything, no usable photograph or the identity of the man, who wasn't listed in any European files," a senior official in France's border police told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Hamdi Issac, alias Osman Hussain, was arrested Friday in Rome after British authorities tipped off their Italian colleagues.

But the fact Issac managed to get by border police at London's Waterloo station and board a Eurostar train despite closed-circuit television photos of the four suspected bombers being widely distributed has raised concerns.

Passengers pass by both British and French border police before boarding.

The French border police official said that both the British and French border guards had only small reproductions, about double the size of postage stamps, of the CCTV photos of the four men.

The size and the quality of the photos "made any identification impossible, even by an attentive officer," he said.

Police received information about Issac's identity only after he was arrested in Italy.

He said there were no ill feelings between British and French police over Issac's escape from Britain.

But French Transport Minister Dominique Perben said Monday that France was looking at stepping up surveillance at its borders after Issac managed to traverse the country despite a Europe-wide alert for him.

"That a man leaves Great Britain, goes across France and makes it to Italy by getting around all our system of checks requires us to think about our border surveillance system. This is what the French government is working on," Perben said.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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