(MIRROR) Frontline British troops are compiling a DNA database across Afghanistan in a bid to hunt down Taliban bombers.
Specially-trained soldiers are taking saliva swabs from suspects during foot patrols to create an international file of foreign suspects.
Tens of thousands of files have been created and cross-referenced with those being collected by US special forces in Iraq.
Dna samples are also being taken from the bodies of Taliban, although these are rarely found as fellow insurgents try to remove them.
The DNA samples will reveal patterns of movement of hardcore al-Qaeda-loyal fighters between Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The US-led operation will mean the American CIA, British MI6, MI5 and Scotland Yard will have access to files. UK counter-terrorism detectives are comparing the profiles with samples stored on the National DNA Database to see if any bombers are British.
They suspect a handful could be among the thousands of British Muslims who have trained at Jihadi camps in Afghanistan over the last decade.
A military source said last night: “This database will do two things. It will reveal a pattern of movement of Taliban and al-Qaeda groups and over the years help us follow up the evidential trail.
“Every time we come across a body with an AK47 lying next to it we will know if this man has been fighting elsewhere. It will help us eliminate bomb teams and narrow investigations down to who is left and able to operate.”