INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock advocated for biometric security measures at a recent Project Kalkan meeting in Tajikistan. Founded in 2004, Project Kalkan is a 15-country initiative that seeks to reduce the threat of terrorism in central Asia.
The members of Project Kalkan share information about terrorist individuals and organizations, and coordinate their anti-terrorism operations accordingly. Stock argued that biometric profiles will help catch terrorists moving across national boarders, and should therefore be included in the information that those countries exchange with one another.
“This is especially relevant for individuals suspected of terrorist activity, including those serving currently in prison and ahead of their release,” said Stock. “Going forward, this information will help strengthen INTERPOL’s role as a global early warning system to help countries detect and interdict suspects as they attempt to cross borders.”
“We have seen significant results from Project Kalkan in strengthening our united efforts to counter terrorism,” added Tajikistan Minister of Internal Affairs Rahimzoda Ramazon Hamro.
“This project is an example of what can be achieved through regional and global cooperation.”
INTERPOL has been promoting the security benefits of biometric technology for several years, and has previously pushed biometric data sharing as an effective anti-terrorism tool on more than one occasion. INTERPOL regularly partners with private companies to improve its biometric capabilities, and has conducted document training with IDEMIA and fraud detection training with Onfido over the course of the past twelve months.
The law enforcement organization has also created an international voice biometrics database. Dubbed the Speaker Identification Integrated Project, the database was developed through a partnership with the voice recognition specialist Verint.
The 15 members of Project Kalkan include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Georgia, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan.
November 4, 2019 – by Eric Weiss