AFGHANISTAN – As a result of a shocking failure in U.S. planning, the Taliban have dispatched a special squad using biometrics identification systems and scanners left behind by U.S. forces to hunt down Afghans who aided NATO allies during the war.
“one of the brigade commanders over the Al Isha unit, bragged in an interview with Zenger News that his unit is using US-made hand-held scanners to tap into a massive US-built biometric database and positively identify any person who helped the NATO allieshttps://t.co/gkO7HAC0CO
— JD (@JDtweets4u) August 27, 2021
In the rush to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by an August 31 deadline, the Biden administration allowed the Taliban to seize large amounts of American equipment and weapons.
The equipment left behind included an operational database recording biometric data identifying almost every Afghan who aided U.S. forces, NATO allies, and Indian intelligence.
The Taliban’s special squad, called Al Isha, has been tasked with using upwards of 7,000 scanners left behind to use the database to identify any person who worked for the allies through iris scans, fingerprints, and other biometrical data.
The scanners make it almost impossible for an Afghan to deny their role in the war.
Nawazuddin Haqqani, an Al Isha brigade commander, discussed the hunt in an interview with Zenger News:
“Now that Kabul is taken, operational work has taken a back seat and we’ve turned our focus on counterintelligence.
“While most of the brigade is now resting in different madrassas (Islamic religious schools), the Al Isha group is now the principal agency handling this (biometric) data project.”
The Taliban has formed a special unit called Al Isha to track down Afghans who assisted US and allied forces, and it is using US equipment and data to do so.https://t.co/ssz4VilIJm pic.twitter.com/bJ8X8mqWZk
— NewsSteady (@news_steady) August 27, 2021
Haqqani said that despite having the enormous database, his group has not targeted a single foreign journalist, but the same is not true for “American puppets”:
“We’re in control of the Interior Ministry and the national biometric database they kept. We have everyone’s data with us now — including journalists and so-called human rights people. We haven’t killed a single foreign journalist, have we? We aren’t arresting the families of these people (who are on the blacklist) either.
“But American, NDS (Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security) and RAW’s (India’s Research and Analysis Wing) puppets won’t be let off. They will always be watched by Al Isha. Those who were barking about having US dollars in their pockets till a few days back — they won’t be spared. They can’t be spared, can they?”
According to a 2011 FBI news release:
“The centerpiece of the program is the Afghan Automated Biometric Identification System (AABIS), administered by about 50 Afghans at the Ministry of Interior in Kabul.”
Nawazuddin Haqqani, one of the brigade commanders over the Al Isha unit, bragged in an interview with Zenger News that his unit is using US-made hand-held scanners to tap into a massive US-built biometric database and positively identify any person who helped the NATO allies" https://t.co/mFB6XmX4Hz
— KJ🇺🇸 (@Kristin75635031) August 27, 2021
The database was originally set up by American intelligence to identify and track Taliban insurgents but evolved into a system to track interpreters and other Afghans helping with the war effort.
Reportedly, the U.S. collected and stored biometric data for 12 years on every Afghan who worked for the Afghan government or U.S. military, including drivers, nurses, and secretaries.
The United States originally planned to enter data on 300,000 Afghans, but U.S. officials planned to compile biometric data on as many as 25 million Afghans, roughly 80 percent of the population, Annie Jacobsen, author of “First Platoon: A Story of Modern War in the Age of Identity Dominance,” told National Public Radio last year.
In another bizarre move, the United States provided the Taliban with a list of American citizens and Afghans it wanted to evacuate from the country. One defense official described the move as “just (putting) all those Afghans on a kill list.”
Haqqani said Al Isha does not have to work to collect data on Afghans:
“We are not collecting new data — we already have it. The group (Al Isha) just keeps an eye that if someone has worked for America or the National Directorate of Security (the former Afghan government’s intelligence agency).”
Haqqani told Zenger News that Al Isha has grown from 500 members to almost 1,100 in just the last month. He also did not deny reports that Pakistani intelligence operators were supervising the Al Isha’s use of the scanners:
“You are not that naive — you know the answer to that.
“But what I can say is, it’s not necessary to train everyone in Pakistan. The Emirs (local Taliban chieftains) are quite capable of training the foot soldiers to handle the equipment.”
Pakistan's reputation in West to plummet after Taliban takeover of Afghanistan – Times of India https://t.co/yXNcwsg34f
— Umair (@akbarth3great) August 27, 2021
A 26-year-old former Afghan National Army Corps commander reached by phone just after the August 16 takeover by the Taliban said that Al Isha was incapable of using the scanners without the aid of Pakistani intelligence officers:
“Well, I have reached home safely and am with my parents, wife, and child,” he said. “But I don’t think I will be here for long. They’re going door to door and scanning everyone with biometric scanners, and they’ll knock on my doors anytime now.
“The Afghan Taliban are incapable of handling the biometric equipment or the database. Every search party is overseen by a Pakistani officer or a member of the Haqqani Network.”
If the reports are true, that would mean that Pakistani intelligence could strike out against Indian intelligence officers operating in Afghanistan.
Since his telephone conversation, the former Afghan commander’s phone has gone dead.
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Kamala Harris responds by laughing when press asks her about Americans trapped in Afghanistan
August 24, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As appears to be her habit, Kamala Harris has once again met questions on a serious subject with silly, wide-mouthed laughter.
On Friday, August 20, Harris was approached by reporters asking about the chaotic situation in Afghanistan after the country was taken over by Taliban fighters.
The exchange between Harris and reporters can be seen in the Twitter post below.
WATCH: Kamala Harris laughs when a reporter starts to ask her about Americans trapped in Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/7863Seq36C
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 22, 2021
As Harris, smiling widely, approaches the press pool, one member of the press can be heard to say,
“What is your response to Americans – “
A grinning Harris is seen to cut the reporter off, saying, “Hold on, hold on — slow down, everybody,” before bursting into laughter, shoulders shaking.
After apparently regaining her composure, Harris did issue a statement with a straight face, promising that a “one of our highest if not our highest priority right now” is to “safely ensure that we evacuate American citizens, Afghans who work with us, Afghans at risk, including women and children.”
This apparent joking matter comes at a time when Harris has already fallen under criticism for not facing the circumstances in Afghanistan.
The vice president virtually disappeared from public view, and from Joe Biden’s side, for several days after the Taliban overran Afghanistan.
According to the New York Post, she did not appear in public, for interviews or other events, for at least six days, and could only be seen in still photos.
In addition, Harris did not join Joe Biden on camera during his speech on Afghanistan. According to Breitbart, she watched the president’s speech from the green room.
In fact, the laughing interview footage was taken as Harris was preparing to leave on a trip to Singapore and Vietnam, arguably a priority that pales in comparison to the current foreign policy debacle her administration is facing.
The New York Post quotes a “senior Biden administration official” as explaining:
“Vietnam today is an increasing partner of the United States.
“And that’s why the vice president is going.”
VP Kamala Harris laughs when asked about tragedy in Afghanistan https://t.co/aNUCkeIxa1 pic.twitter.com/kYVPbLEgM1
— New York Post (@nypost) August 23, 2021
The official added:
“We are all confident that she can do this trip and pursue all of these important interests while staying engaged on the subject of Afghanistan.”
Although publicly ‘engaging’ thus far has been accompanied by laughter, this is certainly not the first time the vice president has cackled in response to a serious question on a serious subject.
For example, in June of 2021, NBC’s Lester Holt asked Harris, who had been placed in charge of the border in March, if she was going to travel to the border.
Cringe. Kamala Harris doesn't get it.
Holt: "Do you have any plans to visit the border?"
Harris: "We've been to the border. We've been the border."
Holt: "YOU haven't been to the border."
Harris: "…..and I haven't been to Europe. I don't understand the point you're making." pic.twitter.com/fFXMf8X0b6
— Andrew Clark (@AndrewHClark) June 8, 2021
A smiling Harris repeatedly insisted that “we” had been to the border, at which point Holt pressed:
“YOU haven’t been to the border.”
“And I haven’t been to Europe.”
She immediately followed this statement with laughter, and added,
“I don’t understand the point that you’re making.”
Another instance of strangely-timed laughter occurred in October of 2020 when CBS’s Norah O’Donnell asked Harris if she had a “socialist or progressive perspective.”
Sen. Kamala Harris busts out laughing at Norah O'Donnell's question if she presents a 'Socialist or Progressive perspective.' pic.twitter.com/LtNnrAIXng
— Colby Hall (@colbyhall) October 26, 2020
Harris burst out laughing, and, while answering the question, burst into laughter again.
More inappropriate laughter from Harris occurred during a January 2020 press conference on the impeachment hearings.
In the Twitter video below, Harris appears to be joking around with colleague Sherrod Brown during this very serious event, apparently prompting Chuck Schumer to silence them with a hand wave.
Chuck Schumer is not having it when Kamala Harris and Sherrod Brown mess around during his impeachment press conference.
Reminder: impeachment is supposed to be sad and somber. pic.twitter.com/B19hUIQGgr
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) January 31, 2020
Also, on Tuesday, August 10, 2021, Harris burst into inexplicable laughter during a speech on health insurance and expanding Medicaid.
She told listeners:
“We also must work together to call on Congress to advance other components of our build back agenda.
“To expand Medicaid in every state. To expand Medicaid in every state.”
“People live in every state. That’s the logic.”
At this point she burst into loud laughter.
In yet another example, Harris drew criticism in April, 2021, when she laughed loudly at a question about remote learning for children in the San Diego Unified School District.
Laughing throughout her words, Harris declared:
“More parents are seeing the value of educators when they have to -“
Harris’ remaining words were obscured by her cackling over them.
She continued with a gasp for air, followed by:
“And say we’re not paying them nearly enough, hahahaha.”
Katie Pavlich, editor of Townhall.com, had some pointed criticism for Harris’ behavior in the face of this serious subject, saying:
“Has nobody sat down with the vice president and said, ‘You have to stop laughing when you are asked serious questions’?
“It makes you look out of touch. It makes you look incompetent.
“That’s a basic thing that they should have fixed by now.”
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