By Marine Cpl. Frances L. GochJune 30, 2008
According to the National Science and Technology Council and Committee on Homeland and National Security, fingerprinting is one of the most reliable and convenient methods used to identify people because of the uniqueness of fingerprints and the ease of obtaining them.
Today coalition forces are using fingerprints, iris scans, and facial pictures, or biometrics, to identify insurgents.
Multi-National Corps - Iraq biometrics office hosted an Iraq Theater of Operations Biometrics Conference at Camp Victory, Baghdad, Iraq, to bring the biometrics community together.
The conference gave the members of the biometrics community a chance to network, and share tactics, techniques and procedures, said Lt Col Robert Huckabee, MNC-I biometrics staff officer.
"Insurgents don't wear uniforms or name tags, so how do you identify them'" he asked.
According to Huckabee biometrics is the key. Databases are formed by collecting fingerprints, iris and facial scans at collection checkpoints. With this database, if an improvised explosive device is recovered and a fingerprint is found, then Coforces can compare that fingerprint to the ones in the database. If there is a match, then has a name and face so it can find, arrest and prosecute the maker of the IED and take him off the street.
"That is how you do it in a world where the bad guys look like everyone else; when they hide in plain sight," said Huckabee.
So far the system has proven to be a valuable tool.
"Biometric capabilities are now being used to aggressively fight terrorism, and they offer the single most effective tool for identifying and tracking enemies," said Dr. Myra Gray, Department of the Army, biometrics task force director. "Leveraging the full range of multimodal biometrics - finger and palm prints, iris patterns, facial geometry, voice patterns, and even DNA - we now have the ability to uncover suspects that hide in plain view, access forensic evidence linking suspects to past attacks, and track and neutralize terrorists before they strike."
Biometrics is not only beneficial to Coalition forces and coalition forces, it helps protect the Iraqi people. By identifying, locating and capturing insurgents and criminals it removes them from the towns and neighborhoods and the Iraqi people do not have to fear being threatened or harmed by insurgents and criminals and can go about their everyday lives.
Gen. David Petraeus, Multi-National Forces - Iraq, commanding general, spoke of the impact of biometrics.
"Your systems and databases and the dedicated people who run them are helping to eliminate the ability of insurgents and criminals to remain anonymous, hidden amongst an otherwise law-abiding, peace-desiring population," said Petraeus.