Italy and the US will share database of terrorists' fingerprints
20 October 2017 13:51 GMT

Senior officials from Italy and the US have signed an agreement that allows for the fingerprints of suspected terrorists to be shared.

Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti and Elaine Duke, acting US Homeland Security Secretary inked the deal at a G7 interior ministers meeting in Italy.

The agreement is a "technical understanding", which updates a serious crime accord from 2009.

The focus of the meeting was to address fears that foreign fighters will return to Europe after the fall of IS stronghold Raqa in Syria, hidden among genuine refugees.

Rome and Washington will be able "to access data contained in the national identification fingerprint systems" in a move "to create a network to verify the identity of migrants, asylum seekers or refugees".

The aim was "to ascertain whether they are noted criminal suspects or terrorists", Italy's interior ministry said in a statement.

Thousands of citizens of Western countries travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight for IS between 2014 and 2016, including some who then returned and staged attacks that claimed dozens of lives.