US Military Left Behind Biometric Devices The Taliban Can Use To Identify Afghans Who Assisted US

The Talibans use of this equipment would put lives in danger

FILE PHOTO. An American ISAF solider from team Apache of Task Force Geronimo, 4th Platoon Delaware of the United States Army, collects biometric information from an Afghan villager in the village of Mans Kalay in Sabari, Khost district on August 4, 2012. © AFP / Jose CABEZAS


The Taliban has reportedly seized US military biometrics equipment that could expose Afghans who helped coalition forces – since they contain identifying data like iris scans and fingerprints as well as biographical information.

An unidentified Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) official told The Intercept that the Islamist group confiscated the Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment (HIIDE) devices during its offensive push last week. The report was backed up by three former US military personnel.

They told the news outlet that the portable devices could be used to access sensitive information from large, centralized military databases, but noted that it was still unclear how much of the biometric database collected on the Afghan population has been compromised.

According to a US Army Corps of Engineers presentation, HIIDE devices use the data collected to create a “portfolio” that can then be imported into Biometrics Automated Toolset (BAT) identification-processing software as a “digital dossier.”This can be scanned against official watch lists for threats.

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