Tom Ridge: We must use new technology to beat the terrorists

From a speech given at the LSE by the outgoing US Secretary for Homeland Security
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The scourge of global terrorism requires the strength of a global response.In the span of several years, we have witnessed first-hand the progress that can be gained when we bring the full force of our collective strength to bear on the challenges at hand.

And yet, we cannot now grow complacent with what we have already accomplished. There is still much that we can and must do to ensure the security of our citizens. Relationships have to get stronger. Information sharing must become more swift and transparent. Public communication must be improved. Emergency response protocols must be honed. And the latest science and most advanced technologies must continue to be sought out and utilised.

To that end, common international standards of biometrics must be developed, the sooner the better. Biometrics is a tremendous technological tool that can not only accurately identify and cross-check travellers - and potential terrorists - before they enter our countries, but also provide increased travel document security and important identity protections.

We must also remain aware of other agendas beyond homeland security that need to be addressed. Dismantling the terrorist threat is not possible unless we make the necessary investments to root out terrorism at the source, and through the seizure of terrorist assets, disruption of cells, and a continuation of the arrests in which the European community has been so active.

In addition, understanding terrorist enemies is the key to their defeat. We must come to know, how do terrorist groups form and operate? How do they grow and sustain themselves? In the end, the struggle against terror is not a test of military strength, but a test of will ... a test of fortitude.