Officials said the U.S. military has been training Iraqis to operate the
biometrics system, Middle East Newsline reported. They said seven U.S. contractors were mentoring 24 Iraqi
government employees to operate the system.
"It has been a tremendous success," said U.S. Army Lt. Col. John
Velliquette, who runs the fingerprint and retina scanning center in
Baghdad's International Zone.
"We increase the database by 4,000 to 5,000 each week," Velliquette
By the summer of 2008, Iraq would solely operate the system, linked to
Defense Department's Biometric Fusion Center, in Clarksburg, W. Va.
Officials said the system has helped secure Baghdad's International Zone,
which contains U.S. and Iraqi military and diplomatic headquarters.
Officials said the identification system has been used to identify
criminals. They said the system helps ensure that only authorized
individuals carry firearms.
The Iraqi government has issued identification cards to Iraqi police
vetted through the biometric program. Officials said Iraqi police officers
without a proper biometrics identification card were relieved of their
"The Iraqi people need to have confidence in their police," Velliquette