(NewsNation Now) — There is growing fear that sensitive biometric information the United States collected on allies in Afghanistan may be used to track them down in the wake of the U.S. departure.
Since 2007, U.S. forces have been collecting biometric data including fingerprints, retinal scans and other identifiers of every Afghan working with the U.S. and allied nations. Every member of the Afghan military, every member of the Afghan police and civilian workers handed over the same information.
While the U.S. military had time to disable helicopters and the airplanes they left behind, those biometric devices may still be working — and so may the databases that house the information.
Connor Powell, a reporter who spent time in Afghanistan, says he saw the information being collected first-hand when he was there and was enrolled in one of the collections.
“Afghanistan is a country that we often describe as being war-torn or primitive, backward, developing. But this was actually probably the most state-of-the-art system in the world,” he told NewsNation’s “Banfield.” “And it was doing a lot to actually reduce corruption and fraud and a lot of the other problems that had really plagued the country.”
Powell said it’s a terrifying prospect that this information could fall into the Taliban’s hands.
“This is one of the many concerns of any Afghan who worked with the coalition who lean toward the Western world as opposed to lean towards that the Taliban. This is one of many ways in which the Taliban can essentially track you down.”