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DNA Testing on Terrorists

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Guantanamo Bay has been the centre of controversy questioning as to whether suspects are being held legitimately, would DNA testing help? Identification of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay has been an ongoing issue. Concern has been expressed by Human Rights lawyers that prisoners have been held without having been able to have access to a fair trial. In 2002, the US authorities carried out DNA testing to obtain DNA samples from detainees in an effort to correctly identify them.

DNA Testing On Prisoners In Afghanistan

DNA testing was also used on prisoners in Afghanistan to uncover their identities. The director of the FBI, Robert Mueller said in 2002 at Camp X-Ray that some identities of prisoners were simply unknown. This raised major concerns for human rights campaigners who were worried that innocent suspects were being held captive in conditions that were inhumane. Interrogations in the camp have led to much controversy how the American and British troops treated the inmates. DNA testing is one way of identifying the suspects who were hard to classify because  a lot of the prisoners knew each other only by their aliases.

DNA Testing - Tracking Terrorists

DNA testing just by taking a simple swab from the suspects is one way of identifying detainees and helping to keep track of suspects involved in future acts of terrorism. The military has also used DNA testing extensively to identify and confirm deaths of Al Qaeda suspects targeted in Afghanistan. In past years there have been reports that deaths of suspects in Afghanistan could in fact have been Osama Bin Laden. The US has been seeking to take DNA samples from the family of the terror suspect for many years. DNA testing could be the key in confirming whether any dead suspects could in fact be indentified as Bin Laden.

DNA Database and Civil Liberties

The US proposed the forming of a DNA database of terrorism suspects back in 2002, but this proposal is controversial amongst some civil liberty groups. In the UK it is illegal to take DNA samples for DNA testing without consent. However in July 2007,  the  British Home Office released proposals for new anti-terror measures. These included new data-sharing powers between the police and the intelligence agencies, and included a statutory basis for the police counter-terrorist DNA database. DNA testing is a major tool in forensic crime and considered by many to be central in the fight against terrorism.


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