The Taliban Have Seized US Military Biometrics Devices

According to current and former military officials the Taliban have seized U.S. military biometrics devices that could aid in the identification of Afghans who assisted coalition forces.

The Taliban Have Seized US Military Biometrics Devices

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, as reported by The Intercept.

It’s unclear how much of the U.S. military’s biometric database on the Afghan population has been compromised.

While billed by the U.S. military as a means of tracking terrorists and other insurgents, biometric data on Afghans who assisted the U.S. was also widely collected and used in identification cards, sources said.

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“We processed thousands of locals a day, had to ID, sweep for suicide vests, weapons, intel gathering, etc.” a U.S. military contractor explained. “[HIIDE] was used as a biometric ID tool to help ID locals working for the coalition.”

An Army Special Operations veteran said it’s possible that the Taliban may need additional tools to process the HIIDE data but expressed concerns that Pakistan would assist with this.

“The Taliban doesn’t have the gear to use the data but the ISI do,” the former Special Operations official said, referring to Pakistan’s spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence. The ISI has been known to work closely with the Taliban.

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.

“I don’t think anyone ever thought about data privacy or what to do in the event the [HIIDE] system fell into the wrong hands,” said Welton Chang, chief technology officer for Human Rights First, himself a former Army intelligence officer.

“Moving forward, the U.S. military and diplomatic apparatus should think carefully about whether to deploy these systems again in situations as tenuous as Afghanistan.”

The Defense Department has also sought to share the biometrics data collected by HIIDE with other government agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security.

In 2011, the Government Accountability Office criticized the Pentagon for not doing enough to ensure these other surveillance agencies had easy access to the information, warning that the military “limits its federal partners’ ability to identify potential criminals or terrorists.”

But the U.S. didn’t only collect information about criminals and terrorists; the government appears to also have been collecting biometrics from Afghans assisting diplomatic efforts, in addition to those working with the military.

For example, a recent job posting by a State Department contractor sought to recruit a biometric technician with experience using HIIDE and other similar equipment to help vet personnel and enroll local Afghans seeking employment at U.S. embassies and consulates.

The federal government has collected biometric data from Afghans despite knowing the risks entailed by maintaining large databases of personal information, especially given recent cyberattacks on government agencies and private companies. These efforts are continuing to expand.

For example, a February 2020 article published by the Army indicated that the service was modernizing its 20-year-old biometric processing technology and had saved more than 1 million entries in the Pentagon’s Automated Biometrics Identification System, or ABIS, which hosts HIIDE and data collected by other devices as well.

“This updated database will make it more efficient for warfighters to collect, identify and neutralize the enemy,” wrote Col. Senodja Sundiata-Walker, project manager for the Pentagon’s biometrics program.

President Joe Biden’s proposed budget for the Army in fiscal year 2022 seeks more than $11 million to purchase 95 new biometric collection devices expanding upon those used in Afghanistan and Iraq.

With NATO forces out of Afghanistan, the Russians will largely provide security in the region and China will be exploring the possibility of restructuring Afghanistan’s supply and trade chains after twenty years of war.

Although several potential routes exist along the Wakhan Corridor and via Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, here is why China is planning to link CPEC to Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, after the humiliating exit of American troops, the US Treasury has frozen $9.4 billion of Afghanistan‘s Central Bank reserves.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Eric schmidt helped china with ” dragonfly” search engine and now he helps Pentagon……what could possibly go wrong for usa?

    “Ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt is still listed on the Defense Innovation Advisory Board while the tech giant he used to lead is accused of aiding the Chinese military.

    Pentagon Accuses Google of Aiding Chinese Military

    “If a U.S. company does business in China, they will automatically be required to have a cell of the Communist Party”

    US Joint Chiefs Chairman General Joe Dunford has been outspoken over a technological arms race with China, and last week he accused Google of directly aiding the Chinese military.

    https:  / /sociable.  co/technology/google-aiding-chinese-military-pentagon-advisory-board/

    The head of the World Health Organization’s origin investigation into COVID-19 has admitted that China secretly co-wrote their report and ordered them to downplay the lab leak theory.

    Now china is building subsidiary in Delaware.
    “Earlier this month, the town council of Middletown gave STA’s plan its preliminary approval, according to the Business Times. The next step comes on June 28 when the company faces the state Council on Development Finance. The meeting agenda shows that STA is seeking just over $19 million to “establish a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility” in Middletown.

    While the $19 million is a big ask, it matches the CDMO ambitions of STA and its parent company, WuXi AppTec of China. STA is focused on the development and manufacture of small molecule drugs, which are used worldwide to treat a variety of diseases.

    The Delaware location would be STA’s second site in America, joining another smaller site in San Diego. In February, STA made a move into Europe with the purchase of a Bristol Myers Squibb manufacturing plant in Switzerland. WuXi has four factories in China.

    https: / /www.   fiercepharma.     com/manufacturing/a-delaware-site-codenamed-project-dragonfly-wuxi-sta-plans-to-add-to-its-growing-cdmo

    **** Biden administration will never let coronavirus go or china advancement around the world.

    ******With NATO forces out of Afghanistan, the Russians will largely provide security in the region and China will be exploring the possibility of restructuring Afghanistan’s supply and trade chains after twenty years of war. Although several potential routes exist along the Wakhan Corridor and via Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, here is why China is planning to link CPEC to Afghanistan-GGI

    There are no coincidences just well laid out plans and a demented leader at helm for ruining america from inside out.

    Biden administration worst administration in history of america….now a subsidiary of great wall of china but no wall of texas.

    Biden needs to go by any means…..

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