Kabul, Afghanistan – The United States Congress probes President Biden administration following a disclosure about biometric data abandoned during a hasty troops withdrawal from Afghanistan, which is reported being used by the Taliban government to target American allies still in the country, according to reports.
United States republican congress members believe the Islamic Emirate is using the data to target former security forces and local Afghan allies of US and NATO forces stranded in Afghanistan, according to a report by the Washington Free Beacon.
While the Ministry of Interior Affairs denied such reports on left biometric data, at least eight republican members of the senate committee – let by Sen. Marsha Blackburn – are demanding the State and Defense Departments to turn over any information related to the evacuation of US troops in Afghanistan.
“The Taliban is using this personal information to increase targeted killings, torture, and forced disappearances of Afghans who helped the United States,” the senators wrote, according to a copy of the letter obtained exclusively by the Washington Free Beacon.
“These systems, which were abandoned when the US military withdrew from Afghanistan, contained iris scans, fingerprints, photographs, occupational data, home addresses, and names of relatives,” the letter read.
In addition to leaving behind $7 billion worth of military hardware, the Afghan Ministry of Interior Affairs confirmed is has access to the “sensitive data, including biometric data,” the United States abandoned while the country was collapsing last August.
But the ministry repeatedly denied reports suggesting these data are being used by the Taliban ruler to target those who supported the United States’ 20-year war in Afghanistan.
“We have denied this claim many times–that the Islamic Emirate targets or threatens the former security forces through this. We deny it,” said Abul Nafay Takor, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, as TOLOnew reported.
Meanwhile, local military veterans express concern over reports that depicts direct threats to their lives, saying the government is responsible for protecting secret information, as is responsible to not let such “secret” data leak outside the country.
“The biometric system should not be provided to the neighboring countries or others,” said Hekmatullah Hekmat, a military veteran. “The government is responsible for maintaining the secret and important national data.”
“This can cause risks for the Afghanistan security system even for their (Islamic Emirate) government because if some of the groups under their command stand against them, they could use the data against the Taliban,” said Asadullah Nadim, another military veteran.
The probe against Bidon Administration comes weeks after Human Rights Watch released a report detailing the Taliban is using abandoned biometric data to eradicate local armies who have worked and fought alongside the United States troops in past two decades.
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Since the takeover last August, though the Islamic Emirate government has repeatedly claimed victory and assured peace and stability in Afghanistan, string of bombings across multiple cities proves otherwise – suggesting a dim future that lies ahead of roughly 40 million citizens.
The current government has condemned recent attacks, including the ones in capital Kabul and other central provinces, and have repeatedly pledged to counter the group’s activities and other terrorist groups in Afghanistan.
But recent spike in terrorism-related incidents have prompted questions about Taliban claims, rising concern among residents, as well as regional countries and the global community at large about the resurgence of terror threat in Afghanistan.