Bomber manhunt to force e-border check review
Concerns over border security following the manhunt for the London bombing suspects could lead to proposals for a new computer-based checking system being rushed in.
The government's e-borders system will identify people who have boarded transport destined for the UK and check them automatically against intelligence databases of individuals who pose a security risk. It will also enable authorities to record people leaving the UK and help identify illegal immigrants who have overstayed a visa.
But growing concern over the ease with which one of the suspected London bombers boarded a Eurostar train to Paris before fleeing to Rome is now causing ministers to rethink the timetable for the system, according to The Observer.
The newspaper quoted a government source saying e-borders is now considered "crucial" as a weapon against terrorism, and that waiting until 2008 is not an option.
A £15m trial of the e-borders system, called Project Semaphore, which will check six million passengers on selected international air routes to and from the UK, is currently being run by IBM.