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Biometrics-enabled intelligence (BEI)

Definition Biometrics-enabled intelligence (BEI) refers to the process of collecting, analyzing, and applying biometric data, such as fingerprints, facial recognition, and DNA, to support military and intelligence operations. This information is often used to identify individuals, track their movements, and evaluate potential risks or threats. Through the application of BEI, military forces can enhance their […]


Biometrics-enabled intelligence (BEI) refers to the process of collecting, analyzing, and applying biometric data, such as fingerprints, facial recognition, and DNA, to support military and intelligence operations. This information is often used to identify individuals, track their movements, and evaluate potential risks or threats. Through the application of BEI, military forces can enhance their situational awareness, improve security measures, and support decision making.

Key Takeaways

  1. Biometrics-enabled intelligence (BEI) refers to the use of biometric data, such as fingerprints, facial recognition, and iris scans, to gather and analyze information about individuals for military and security purposes.
  2. BEI enhances situational awareness and decision-making in military operations by providing accurate identification and authentication of individuals, enabling the detection of threats and supporting counter-terrorism efforts.
  3. While BEI offers many advantages in maintaining security and stability, it also raises concerns regarding individual privacy and potential misuse of the collected biometric data, emphasizing the importance of ethical and legal considerations in implementing such technology.


Biometrics-enabled intelligence (BEI) is crucial in modern military operations as it harnesses the power of advanced biometric technologies to enhance situational awareness, bolster security, and facilitate efficient decision-making.

By collecting, analyzing, and disseminating unique biological and behavioral data, such as fingerprints, facial recognition, and voice patterns, BEI enables a solid identification and verification process that can track and monitor individuals of interest, thereby minimizing threats and improving response capabilities.

Furthermore, this information contributes to developing a comprehensive intelligence picture that supports military strategists in adapting to the rapidly evolving battle spaces.

Overall, BEI enhances the effectiveness and precision of military operations while ensuring a reduced margin of error, ultimately contributing to the overarching goal of well-informed action and safeguarding national interests.


Biometrics-enabled intelligence (BEI) serves as a critical component in modern military operations, designed to enhance situational awareness and decision-making capabilities. The primary purpose of BEI is to enable a more accurate and streamlined method for tracking and identifying individuals based on unique biological and behavioral characteristics. Such traits include fingerprints, facial recognition, iris scans, and gait analysis, among others.

By utilizing a combination of these identifiers, BEI aids military personnel in distinguishing between friend and foe, tracking high-value targets, and managing detainee populations. In the context of multi-domain battlefields with complex operational environments, BEI assists in reducing uncertainties and mitigating risks associated with rapidly changing scenarios. BEI is utilized in a variety of applications, such as force protection, counter-terrorism, and reconnaissance missions.

In force protection scenarios, BEI systems at military installations can rapidly identify and verify personnel, ensuring unauthorized individuals are denied access to sensitive or restricted areas. In counter-terrorism operations, BEI facilitates the collection and analysis of biometric data, which may be used to confirm the identities of known or suspected terrorists, as well as uncover networks and support cells. Furthermore, in intelligence-driven missions, BEI can provide vital information that enhances the ability to track and apprehend high-value individuals based on their unique biometric signatures.

Overall, BEI capabilities have become an essential tool for modern military forces by providing increased accuracy, efficiency, and effectiveness in various mission types.

Examples of Biometrics-enabled intelligence (BEI)

The United States’ Biometric Automated Toolset (BAT): The BAT system, deployed by the U.S. Department of Defense, serves as a key component of BEI. It collects, processes, and matches biometric data such as fingerprints, iris scans, and facial recognition gathered during military operations. BAT has been used in Iraq and Afghanistan to identify and track combatants, build watch lists, and support local law enforcement efforts. For example, during a 2013 military operation in Afghanistan, the BAT system aided in the capture of a high-value militant.

India’s Aadhaar Biometric System in Counter-Terrorism Operations: India’s Aadhaar biometric system, operated by the Unique Identification Authority of India, is an extensive database containing biometric data for over

3 billion Indians. It has played an important role in supporting counter-terrorism efforts and national security operations. For instance, Indian security forces have used Aadhaar’s biometric data during investigations to verify individuals’ identities, track movements of suspected terrorists, and gather intelligence related to terrorism financing.

European Union’s Schengen Information System (SIS) II: The EU’s SIS II is a biometric-enabled intelligence system that facilitates information exchange among member countries’ law enforcement and border control agencies. It contains a vast amount of data, including fingerprints, facial images, and details of lost or stolen documents, allowing security forces to better identify criminals and terrorists. In 2016, for example, French police were able to apprehend a key suspect of the Paris attacks using biometric data stored in SIS II.

FAQ: Biometrics-enabled Intelligence (BEI)

What is Biometrics-enabled Intelligence (BEI)?

Biometrics-enabled Intelligence (BEI) is the process of collecting, storing, analyzing, and integrating biometric information with additional intelligence data to identify, track and assess individuals of interest. This biometric data is then used to enhance national security and military operations.

How is BEI used in military operations?

In military operations, BEI is used for various purposes such as screening personnel at checkpoints, validating identities, identifying and tracking high-value individuals, and forensics analysis. It enables military forces to make data-driven decisions, maintain accurate records, and perform identity-based operations effectively.

What types of biometric data are used in BEI?

Common types of biometric data used in BEI include fingerprints, facial images, iris scans, and even DNA samples. This data is collected using various biometric devices and then integrated with other relevant intelligence to produce comprehensive identity profiles.

What are the benefits of using BEI in military operations?

Some benefits of using BEI in military operations include increased situational awareness, the ability to accurately identify and track persons of interest, enhanced force protection, improved decision-making, and increased overall operational effectiveness.

Are there any concerns related to privacy and ethics in using BEI?

Yes, there are concerns related to privacy and ethics as biometric data contains sensitive personal information. It is essential to have proper policies and guidelines in place to protect individual privacy rights and ensure that the collection, storage, and use of biometric data are done responsibly, following local and international laws and regulations.

Related Military Operation Terms

  • Fingerprint Identification
  • Facial Recognition
  • Retinal Scanning
  • Biometric Data Collection
  • Biometric Security Measures

Sources for More Information

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