Forensic Document Examination is the forensic science discipline concerned with the examination and analysis of documents of all kinds, and their component materials, to answer questions in response to investigations or legal proceedings. Traditional FDE may answer questions such as who wrote the handwriting or signature appearing on a particular document, when was a document created, or was it created on the date purported by that document, was a particular machine (for example, a specific printer or typewriter) used to create a document, or if security documents such as passports and currency are genuine or not. We conduct analyses to determine if documents have been altered, or recover information from obliterated text, including from charred or fluid-soaked documents. ForensInk can also conduct advanced chemical analyses to determine the relative age of a document, or if the component materials were available when the document was purportedly created.
ForensInk produces reports of analytical findings for court. Scientific advice is also available to clients throughout the forensic process. Our findings have been used to resolve cases at all levels of Canadian court, in international trade tribunals, and directly to the judiciary.
With over sixty years of experience in forensic science, our FDE have provided testimony across Canada in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Expert testimony has also been given in Wisconsin, before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington (D.C.), and before the Canadian International Trade Tribunal in Ottawa (Ontario).
ForensInk has extensive experience training to competency in forensic document examination. We have developed and implemented training plans for new forensic laboratories in Canada and in the Middle East, provided specialized training sessions in the Middle East and in South Africa, and have developed and implemented proficiency testing schemes in Latin America. We are routinely invited to lecture on select topics in FDE: in particular, on the analysis of inks, the applications of advanced technologies to FDE and in forensic intelligence. We provide short awareness sessions to clients and other stakeholders about the application of FDE to advance investigations.
Samiah Ibrahim graduated with a B.A. (1984) in political science and a B.Sc. (1989) in biology from Carleton University. She received her training in forensic document examination at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service between 1994-1997, after spending several years working as an intelligence officer. Ms. Ibrahim continued her career with the Forensic Sciences Division of the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency before moving to the Science & Engineering Directorate of the Canada Border Services Agency. Here, Ms. Ibrahim now manages a team of forensic document examiners, chemists, and other forensic experts. Her private practice in forensic document examination was launched in 2012. In addition to conducting forensic casework, Ms. Ibrahim includes training and international capacity development in the services offered through ForensInk. She has supported United Nations capacity development projects in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.
Ms. Ibrahim currently serves as the President of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners (ASQDE), and is a member of the Canadian Society of Forensic Sciences, the Chartered Society of Forensic Scientists (England), and the American Academy of Forensic Scientists (AAFS). She serves as the Questioned Documents Section Liaison to the International Affairs Committee of the AAFS and an associate editor of the Journal of Forensic Sciences. Most recently, Ms. Ibrahim has been named to the organizing committee of the INTERPOL Forensic Science Manager’s Symposium.