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Biometrics part of screening process for Syrian refugees heading to UK


British Home Secretary Theresa May has reassured the UK that refugees scheduled to arrive from Syria will have undergone a comprehensive screening process, including biometric registration, to ensure that they are not terrorists, according to a report by STV News.

The first charter flight transporting individuals fleeing the war-ravaged country are expected to land in Glasgow, Scotland on Tuesday.

The flight will be the first of many in a UK-led effort to resettle 20,000 people from camps around Syria over the next five years.

May said there are multiple measures in place to check the identity of all individuals arriving in the UK.

Individuals will be double checked using fingerprints, mug shots and other biometric identifiers, according to a report by the Telegraph.

The move comes amid reports that at least two of the terrorists in Friday’s Paris attacks entered Europe through Greece under the guise of Syrian refugees.

“We have processes in place,” May told BBC1. “There are two levels of screening that take place. First of all, we are taking people directly from the camps. We are working with UNHCR – UNHCR take biometrics, they look at documents, they interview people, they do their own process of screening against issues like war crimes and serious criminality.

“Then there is a further check that is done once people are referred to the UK. The Home Office then undertakes further checks, further biometrics are taken. We are ensuring that we are checking people who are coming in to the UK. Of course we are taking people direct from camps and that means we are taking some of the most vulnerable people.”

Previously reported, the United Nations is using IrisGuard’s iris recognition technology as part of its humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees across the Middle East.

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