Taliban soldiers stand in front of protesters during a demonstration in Kabul, Afghanistan, September 7, 2021, via Reuters
Following the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban have reportedly seized biometrics devices left behind by the US military. Over the past 20 years, these devices collected information on Afghan citizens who assisted the US military, which was then sent to a Department of Defense (DOD) database. One of the devices, known as Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment (HIIDE), was deployed in 2016 to collect iris scans and fingerprints to enable quick identification of Afghan citizens and expand the aforementioned database of their information. The DOD also built a highly classified Automated Biometrics Identification System (ABIS), which hosted information from HIIDE and other data-collection devices.