Blunkett calls for pooling of European terror intelligence

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A European database containing intelligence on terror suspects has been proposed by David Blunkett. The Home Secretary suggests it should include DNA, fingerprint and other forensic material on convicted and suspected terrorists.

A European database containing intelligence on terror suspects has been proposed by David Blunkett. The Home Secretary suggests it should include DNA, fingerprint and other forensic material on convicted and suspected terrorists.

The database - which would aim to help police identify terrorists at an earlier stage and to catch suspects on the run - was one of several counter- terrorism measures discussed yesterday by Mr Blunkett and his counterparts from France, Germany, Italy and Spain at a conference in Sheffield.

The Home Secretary told the ministers that allowing other countries access to DNA and biometric records could play a crucial role in preventing further attacks such as the al-Qa'ida train bombings in Madrid.

A Home Office spokesman said: "It includes looking at ways of linking up national databases containing terror- related forensic intelligence.

"It is a scoping discussion. We think it is worth while pursing. It is something the Home Secretary is keen to talk about."

Other ideas being discussed are proposals for better European co-operation to combat forged documentation, such as passports and identification papers, which can be used by terrorists.

The ministers are also considering methods of tightening border controls and using Europol, the European police agency, to concentrate on the financing of terrorism.

If the five countries can agree on the counter-terrorism proposals there is a good chance they will be fast-tracked and become European law.

Mr Blunkett said: "Co-operation between European member states is a powerful tool in the fight against terrorism and organised crime."

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