Interpol on Wednesday slammed the international community's "shocking" failure to properly train Afghan police and said a mass Taliban jailbreak had revealed an "unacceptable gap in global security".
The police agency's secretary general, Ronald Noble, attacked the "ongoing failure to train and equip Afghan authorities to collect store and share basic law enforcement information such as photographs, fingerprints and DNA."
Some 488 prisoners, many of them Taliban militants, tunnelled out of a jail in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar late Sunday and early Monday, three years after a previous escape from the same jail saw 900 go on the run.
"It is simply shocking that three years after the largest jail break in Afghanistan history, including of convicted terrorists, there is no data to be shared with law enforcement, regionally and globally," Noble said.
"Until this glaring and serious void in the world's anti-terror efforts is filled, no country can consider itself secure from criminals and terrorists who are essentially being given an opportunity to travel internationally."
The NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan is in charge of training and equipping Afghan forces and Noble -- while not attacking the alliance by name -- made it clear that Interpol feels the internationally community had failed.
"Any country which fails to take appropriate measures at the national level when dangerous prisoners escape would be harshly criticized and accused of malpractice," he said, according to the statement.
"And there is no reason why this should be any different at the international level," he warned, adding that the escaped prisoners may now be able to "elude detection and engage in future terrorist activity."
Afghan President Hamid Karzai's office has suggested that the embarrassing jailbreak -- in which inmates spent five months digging a tunnel equipped with temporary lighting -- might have been an inside job.
Around 65 of more than 500 who escaped have been recaptured, but the bulk of the tunnellers have been able to scatter around the Kandahar region, the heartland of the Taliban insurgency against NATO and Karzai's regime.© ANP/AFP