December 8, 2023

Taliban had accessed massive biometric data of persons who helped the US and their NATO allies or worked with Indian intelligence. This crucial data landed into their hands courtesy of the US, who left the embassy amid a chaotic evacuation.

These reports come only days after it was found that US officials in Afghanistan had “naively” handed over a “kill list” comprising names of American citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies to the Taliban so they could be allowed to enter the Taliban-controlled perimeter around the Hamid Karzai International Airport.

The US had started collecting and collating data from some 3,00000 Afghans , mainly prisoners and Afghan soldiers. Then a biometrics centre. US officials aimed to compile information on as many as 25 million Afghans that would allow them to spot Taliban infiltrators. But it evolved into a way to identify Afghans hired or visited by the US forces.

Everyone who worked with the Afghan government or the US military including interpreters, drivers, nurses, and secretaries was fingerprinted and scanned for the biometric database over the past 12 years.

The Afghan Automated Biometric Identification System (AABIS), administered by about 50 Afghans at the Interior Affairs ministry in Kabbul, registered fingerprints, iris scans, and other biographical data. The data were registered using hand-held scanners. Report has it that the US forces had 7,00 pieces of equipment.

After news broke about the security lapse, US officials have not confirmed how many of the 7,000 scanners were left behind or whether the biometric database can be remotely deleted.

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