What is HIDE? US Allies in Afghanistan Face Threat of Execution by Taliban

According to media reports, the Taliban have seized the US military's key biometric devices carrying important data of the US Army and the local Afghans who had played vital roles in helping the army during the war.

The officials are concerned as the sensitive data can be exploited and misused by the terrorists for targeting innocent locals, reports said.

What is HIDE?

According to a report by The Intercept, Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment, also knows as HIDE, are biometric devices that have crucial information about the U.S. troops and their allies. The device stores data such as iris scans, fingerprints, and biological information.

Three former US military officials and a Joint Special Operations Command official have shared their confirmation on the update. Officials said that the data can be used to access a larger database and there is no such clarification of how much data has been captured by the militants.

Since the device carries information of the local Afghans who have supported the U.S. government, terrorists can use it to target and execute them, officials said.

A rebel fighter stands with his weapon near a military vehicle on the outskirts of the northern Syrian town of al-Bab. Reuters

As per a U.S. military official's statement, thousands of locals were processed in a day, where they had to go through an identification process to look for any kind of malicious activities, weapons, suicide vests, etc. HIDE was used to identify those locals who were associated with the warlords.

It was believed that the Taliban have no intention to return the seized weapons and devices that were left behind by the American troops, Jake Sullivan, US National Security Advisor (NSA), said on Tuesday. Sullivan also said that a fair quantity of these weapons was given to the Afghan forces, which were later willingly or forcefully taken by the Taliban fighters.

Afghans in Kabul
Afghans in Kabul Wikimedia Commons

Taliban's Control

After the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghan soil, the Taliban group took control of Afghanistan after carrying out a vicious attack against the Afghan Army. Later, it seized the presidential palace in Kabul on Sunday.

It has been reported that the Taliban leaders are in Doha, for a discussion over future government plans. They are reportedly in regular touch with the international community and intra-Afghan parties to form a well-equipped government in Afghanistan.