Unmasking fake uniforms: DNA vs. a deadly terror ploy
Applied DNA Sciences has fielded a technology that can blunt one of the deadliest terror tactics: fake uniforms. A recent series of horrific attacks from Mexico to Iraq have put the problem front and center. And it once again puts anti-counterfeiting on the front lines of social safety.
Applied DNA Sciences has provided a unique DNA taggant to the main Mexican uniform supplier Prestigio en Moda for use in marking textiles to assist in the authentication of their products. This taggant is specific to Prestigio en Moda and cannot be copied or otherwise used by any other entity. Prestigio is a major uniform manufacturer in Mexico, calling on government and federal agencies, including security groups and police departments.
As the primary uniform manufacturer in Mexico, using the highest level of security, it is important for Prestigio and its clientele to have "gold standard" counterfeit detection. For this reason, Prestigio was looking for an uncopyable, definitive technology to protect and authenticate their products - SigNature® DNA taggant.
Applied DNA Sciences has developed patents and amassed commercial experience related to the marking of fabrics with SigNature DNA and adducts of DNA markers with optical reporters, which allows for instant detection in the field.
In one of the boldest recent incidents, gangsters in a convoy of seven phony police vehicles kidnapped a mayor from his home near Monterrey in northern Mexico, last August. The mayor’s body, blindfolded and hands bound, was found two days later, on a rural road. The alleged assassins were municipal police wearing federal police uniforms. (see NDTV video on this page)
The threat of more clone attacks has grown so serious that the Mexican military has changed the design of its uniforms, trading camouflage for more counterfeit-proof patterns, according to Enrique Torres, a spokesman for military and police operations in the northern state of Chihuahua (Washington Post 8-30-2010).
Iraq has recently targeted tailors who make and sell counterfeit police and military uniforms, after attackers disguised as security forces carried out suicide bombings in Baghdad.
Recently in the UK, a bogus policeman in fake uniform crashed a meeting of top cops attended by Britain’s Home Secretary.
“Impersonating a law enforcement asset is ingenious and disturbing. It's the tactic of hiding in plain sight. Cops don't want to stop other cops.”
Fred Burton, VP of Stratfor, and counterterrorism adviser for the Texas Public Safety Department
(Washington Post, Aug 30, 2010)
APDN sells patented DNA security solutions that provide anti-counterfeit protection, as well as protecting brands and intellectual property from counterfeiting and diversion. SigNature DNA is a botanical mark used for product authentication in a unique manner that essentially cannot be copied. When used in conjunction with other law enforcement technologies, SigNature DNA can provide a forensic chain of evidence that has been used successfully in more than 15 convictions. To learn more, go to www.adnas.com where APDN routinely posts all press releases.
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James Hayward, APDN President and CEO