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INTERPOL emphasizes need for more biometric data sharing to tackle terrorism

INTERPOL emphasizes need for more biometric data sharing to tackle terrorism

Interior and Security Ministers of the G7 group of nations have agreed on the need for increased provision of biometric data to INTERPOL’s database in a bid to better tackle the wave of global criminality.

This was one of the topics discussed during a recent meeting when they met to review the situation in Afghanistan as well as other issues such as the fight against child abuse and international corruption, according to a press statement.

Citing a case in September 2020 in which someone described as an irregular migrant was arrested at the Schengen border after checks revealed a fingerprint match in INTERPOL’s biometric database related to terrorist incident in Afghanistan, the G7 ministers agreed that the sharing of biometric data such as DNA and fingerprint information will help the global police better check the movement of criminals.

In the case of Afghanistan, they Ministers recognized the importance of such information sharing in the identification of potential terrorists moving in or out of the country, the release notes. INTERPOL is said to have more than 4,200 alerts on subjects with direct or indirect links with Afghanistan.

There have also been concerns lately in Afghanistan about the Taliban taking over biometric databases in the country left by the American armed forces who have quit the country.

“We can do more, and with the right support we will do more, because the global threat requires it. Intelligence flows should mirror an increasingly interconnected world, which is why we must avoid creating regional silos or duplication of processes which prevent global information fusion. A fully integrated global security architecture supported by INTERPOL can help more effectively address crime threats such as terrorists attempting to cross borders, child abusers exploiting their victims, or ransomware attacks against critical infrastructure,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock.

The meeting, per the release, among other things, also highlighted the need to coordinate funding for INTERPOL’s activities related to identification of child abuse victims through the promotion and use of the International Child Sexual Exploitation (ICSE) database, as well as the tackling of money laundering and illicit financial flows.

The use of biometrics to tackle terrorism is not new to INTERPOL. It is doing so in the Sahel region of Africa where a coalition known as the G5 is also fighting jihadist insurgency.

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