Forensics and Biometrics: Emerging Technologies in Identity Operations

Armed fighters in indigenous garb attack a squad of military police on a patrol. After the initial skirmish, the fighters surrender their arms and are detained by U.S. military forces, and a search of the subjects’ possessions reveals falsified identification documents from various countries.

Biometric samples are collected from each of the detainees, transmitted to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) biometric database, and compared against samples from all prior encounters. The system produced a positive match on two of the individuals, linking the subjects to a prior sample collected at a location containing bomb-making materials. After the analysis of the available biometric and associated information, the subjects are nominated and approved as known or suspected terrorists (KST) by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). DoD provides the biometric samples to NCTC, which integrates the new biometric information with the already-known biometric and biographic information. NCTC then sends the files to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) for inclusion to the National Terrorist Watchlist. TSC subsequently provides the biometric data to the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for inclusion in their biometric databases. Eventually, the detainees are released to a foreign government for adjudication and repatriation.