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Rep. John Katko keynotes BORDERPOL International Security meeting


Yesterday, Rep. John Katko (R-NY), gave the keynote address at the BORDERPOL International Security Meeting in Washington, DC.

The BORDERPOL event, which continues today, is examining means to curtail terrorist travel, in conjunction with border government representatives from around the world, along with the private sector and major international organizations. BiometricUpdate.com is the premier media partner for the event.

BORDERPOL bills itself as the only international nonprofit organization whose mission is to support and engage governments and international organizations worldwide to actively promote the facilitation of safe and secure legitimate international travel of people across air, land and sea borders while curtailing terrorists and organized crime, including human and sex trafficking.

The tenets of BORDERPOL’s mission are grounded in the humane treatment of persons, regional and international cooperation, law and criminal justice, minimum international border control and security standards, information-sharing and secure communication with appropriate data protection.

Rep. Katko, who sits on the House Homeland Security Committee and chairs its current task force for combating terrorist and foreign fighter travel, is a former federal organized crime prosecutor, who noted that biometric technology will be the wave of the future. He noted that some analysts believe that within 10 years, biometric screening might replace airline ticketing.

During his keynote address, he emphasized some of the challenges facing homeland security in the United States, including the fact that non-secure portion of airports such as entrance mezzanines are at risk and that approximately 900,000 airport employees are not properly screened everyday when they report for work.

He also outlined the international political and security situation, including the challenges posed by Islamic State, the radical Sunni Islamist militant group that has seized large swathes of territory in eastern Syria and across northern and western Iraq.

Rep. Katko argued in his address that terrorists could infiltrate the West during the current migrant crisis. He noted that European Union citizens are not screen against terror watch lists and European member states do not have material support legislation that allows for the prosecution of persons who travel abroad to assist terrorists in Iraq and Syria. Further, he notes that an information sharing problem exists in Europe, as illustrated by the recent European train terror incident, where the terrorist involved was known to one, but not all, European intelligence agencies. As a consequence, the freshman congressman has labeled Europe a “jihadi superhighway”.

Katko said he believes border security issues must be addressed through greater international cooperation, and greater investment in security by governments to completely secure borders, along with working in conjunction with private sector partners to implement innovative technologies. He said he is committed to supporting high value knowledge solutions developed by the private sector, such as computer algorithms that assist with traveler behavior analysis.

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