Biometrics will be used to screen Syrian rebels for U.S. training

December 1, 2014 - 

The U.S. military will use biometrics to screen Syrian rebels for military training, according to a report in the Washington Post.

Military officials note that the screening program will including cross-checking trainees’ names through U.S. and foreign intelligence databases, collecting biometric data and, when possible, seeking intelligence about the fighters themselves.

Screening protocols will also include physiological and stress testing to ensure that fighters are competent to fight both Syrian troops and Islamic State terrorists. According to the Washington Post report, military officials want to employ these screening protocols to lessen the risk that U.S.-trained fighters will turn against the United States and its allies.

As Biometrics Research Group, the publisher of reported in a previous special report on Biometrics and National Security, U.S. combat units in the field collect biometrics data for a variety of purposes.

These purposes include controlling access to bases in order to protect personnel; and identification and verification of non-U.S. persons that combat units encounter. According to the report, the use of biometrics by U.S. forces will now expand to help verify the trustworthiness of Syrian rebel combatants.

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About Rawlson King

Rawlson O’Neil King is a contributing editor at and is an experienced communications professional, management consultant, trade journalist and author who recently published a book about control and electronic networks and who has written numerous articles in trade publications and academic journals about smart home and building technologies. Follow him @rawlsonking2.