The US Department of Homeland Security has launched a pilot programme at border points which can help identify known and suspected terrorists and “Special Interest Aliens” (SIAs) who were apprehended illegally crossing the borders into the US.Known as the Identity Intelligence Biometrics (I2B) and being implemented by the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, the programme uses an automated face and fingerprint biometric identification system, reports Homeland Security Today.A DHS report on the I2B pilot programme writes that it will use “non-US person biometric records held by US government agencies [to] assist DHS with determining whether” existing face and fingerprint biometrics “can augment existing biometric screenings for Syrian refugee applicants and also identify a threat-nexus for a subset of non-US persons who attempt illegal entry.””Currently, DHS and the Intelligence Community (IC) lack an integrated, interagency biometric system capability to support biometric and identity intelligence analytical tasks using unclassified and classified biometric data sources,” the DHS report stated, noting, “This presents a systemic challenge to DHS efforts to identify, screen and vet individuals who have been apprehended or who are applying for benefits. The purpose of DHS's participation in this pilot is to develop new biometric matching capabilities for immediate counterterrorism mission needs.”The I2B pilot is expected to “evaluate identification of basic biometric capabilities and requirements for the pilot; standardize biometric records to permit ingestion and matching within IC Information Technology Enterprise (IC ITE); test ingestion and integration of biometric records in IC ITE and the applications to be used on the data within IC ITE; and, conduct mission user testing and documentation of results.” The report said, “Although the primary intent of this pilot is to determine functional and technical requirements for a multi-modal biometrics capability (e.g., the images can be standardized and ingested successfully; the algorithms are effective), other benefits include identification of previously unidentifiable individuals related to known or suspected terrorists attempting to gain refugee status; provision of actionable intelligence on individuals attempting to illegally enter the United States without valid identification; and informing DHS on the effectiveness of IC-owned biometric technology.”