By Anthony Kimery

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Intelligence and Analysis has launched a pilot program called Identity Intelligence Biometrics (I2B) which is intended to apply an automated face and fingerprint biometric identification system to help identify known and suspected terrorists and “Special Interest Aliens” (SIAs) apprehended illegally crossing the borders into the US.

SIAs are individuals who pose special attention because they come from countries known to sponsor or harbor terrorists, or are nations where there’s significant jihadist presence.

Data exclusively obtained from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shows hundreds of illegal aliens from countries known to support and sponsor terrorism are apprehended by US Border Patrol agents each year on the southern border. Of the nearly 7,000 SIAs who were apprehended between southern border ports of entry from 1999 through 2012, for instance, nearly 3,000 were identified as citizens of Muslim nations where Al Qaeda and other jihadist terrorist organizations are active, or are state supporters of terrorism.

Several years ago, the distinctive fingerprints of an apprehended SIA were “red-flagged” as those of an Al Qaeda bomb-maker whose prints had been found on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Afghanistan and entered into the Defense Department’s Biometrics Enabled Watch List (BEWL), which contains the fingerprints of “high-threat persons of interest” and is linked to other national terrorist watchlists. The system’s integration into CBP’s Automated Biometric Fingerprint Identification System (IDENT) was undergoing testing at the time.

“They’d definitely tied the man to terrorism,” explained the former military intelligence officer whose company helped develop the biometric intelligence Program.

According to the DHS report on the I2B pilot program, it will use “non-US person biometric records held by US government agencies [to] assist DHS with determining whether” existing face and fingerprint biometrics “can augment existing biometric screenings for Syrian refugee applicants and also identify a threat-nexus for a subset of non-US persons who attempt illegal entry.”

Read the full article at HSToday.

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