The Taliban Have Seized U.S. Military Biometrics Devices
The Taliban have seized U.S. military biometrics devices that could aid in the identification of Afghans who assisted coalition forces, current and former military officials have told The Intercept.
The devices, known as HIIDE, for Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment, were seized last week during the Taliban’s offensive, according to a Joint Special Operations Command official and three former U.S. military personnel, all of whom worried that sensitive data they contain could be used by the Taliban. HIIDE devices contain identifying biometric data such as iris scans and fingerprints, as well as biographical information, and are used to access large centralized databases.
The U.S. military has long used HIIDE devices in the global war on terror and used biometrics to help identify Osama bin Laden during the 2011 raid on his Pakistani hideout. According to investigative reporter Annie Jacobsen, the Pentagon had a goal to gather biometric data on 80 percent of the Afghan population to locate terrorists and criminals.