Interpol: Use biometric data to find extremist fighters

AP News
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Posted: Nov 22, 2016 1:59 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Interpol is urging countries to obtain biometric data from fighters for the Islamic State and other extremist groups to help law enforcement track them down, especially when they return home.

Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock said in an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press that the international police organization only has such identifying data — fingerprints, DNA or facial recognition such as iris scans — for about 10 percent of the 9,000 "foreign terrorist fighters" in its database.

Stock said Interpol is supporting countries to develop biometric technology not only to help identify fighters for extremist groups but criminals as well, to prevent them from using different identities to avoid arrest.

He said an estimated 15,000 fighters from over 100 countries remain mainly in Syria and Iraq.