Faces in Crowds: Identity as a Counterterrorism Tool

Famous author and humorist Mark Twain apocryphally said, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” Today, he might have added that if your words don’t speak the truth, then your biometrics will. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) demonstrated this in February 2018, when it arrested a Saudi citizen living in Oklahoma and charged him with visa fraud and making false statements to the FBI. Fingerprints recovered from documents found in Afghanistan placed the man, Naif Abdulaziz M. Alfallaj, at an Al Qaeda training camp in 2000. Alfallaj allegedly omitted this phase of his life when petitioning for a U.S. visa.