Italy creates national DNA database to enhance anti-terror fight

Saturday, March 26, 2016

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ROME, Italy (Xinhua) – Italy on Friday approved the creation of a national DNA database to allow greater co-operation among states in the fight against terrorism, a step in the wake of the Brussels terror attacks that killed 31 people and injured around 300.

The database would store the DNA samples from different categories of people including those who are being held in custody or under house arrest, those who are arrested while committing a crime, the presumed authors of voluntary crimes and convicts with a definitive sentence.

Based on the new law, profiles can be retained for a maximum of 40 years while biological samples would be destroyed after 20 years.

Interior Minister Angelino Alfano hailed the database as a "formidable power tool from the IT point of view". He said the database will allow the authorities to store DNA information of fundamental importance both in the fight against terrorism, and against organised crime and irregular immigration.

The move came in the wake of the Brussels terror attacks. Local media said among the victims could also be an Italian national, Patricia Rizzo, an official for a European Commission agency who is presently listed among the missing people.

Justice Minister Andrea Orlando stressed that the DNA database will be crucial to increase the security level in Italy. He said the data collection will start soon in the coming days and will not only ease investigations but also help deal with cases that had been considered unresolved so far.

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