An Interpol Red Notice is the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant in use today. Interpol (the International Criminal Police Organization) circulates notices to member countries listing persons who are wanted for extradition. The names of persons listed in the notices are placed on lookout lists (e.g., NCIC or its foreign counterpart). When a person whose name is listed comes to the attention of the police abroad, the country that sought the listing is notified through Interpol and can request either his provisional arrest (if there is urgency) or can file a formal request for extradition.
Please be aware that if a Red Notice is issued, the prosecutor's office is obligated to do whatever work is required to produce the necessary extradition documents within the time limits prescribed by the controlling extradition treaty whenever and wherever the fugitive is arrested. Further, the prosecutor's office is obliged to pay the expenses pursuant to the controlling treaty. Those expenses, which can be quite high, will typically include the costs of translating the extradition documents and may include the costs of hiring local counsel to represent the United States. Further, these obligations, which remain until the fugitive is arrested or the Red Notice is withdrawn, may result in prosecutors who have succeeded the Assistant United States Attorney who originally requested the Red Notice having to prepare the documents and arrange for payment of hefty fees years after the fugitive originally fled from the United States. Therefore, it is important for prosecutors to make certain that the case is significant enough to warrant placing their offices under such a burden in deciding whether or not to request issuance of a Red Notice.
[cited in JM 9-15.635]