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In the first two and a half months, how many suspects have been apprehended with the new system, Rasuli was asked.

Ministry of the Interior and its intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security, according to Mohammad Yaqub Rasuli, the head of the Kabul International Airport.

"The technology removes the mask of anonymity," said Capt. Kevin Aandahl of the Navy, a spokesman for the military's detainee operations, which include the biometrics program. Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security through interconnected databases. Embassy, as well as at the Afghan Nike Windrunner Black White

There have been some signs of Afghan sensitivities as well. A military financed program to gather biometric data in the city of Kandahar in 2010, during the push to control insurgency there, was so unpopular that President Hamid Karzai promised local elders to have it canceled, which it was, according to Zalmai Ayoubi, a spokesman for the governor in Kandahar province.

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KABUL, Afghanistan Afghanistan has many dubious distinctions on the international rankings front: 10th poorest, third most corrupt, worst place to be a child, longest at war. To that Nike Pullover No Hood

A sweeping effort to collect Afghans' biometric data

Rasuli acknowledges that the airport screening has had a rocky start. "We are happy with the system, but the airlines and the passengers are not that happy," he said.

The Commander's Guide to Biometrics in Afghanistan, however, encourages documenting as many Afghans as possible.

As with the military's biometric data, information on each person is fed into a computer to find those who are on terrorist watch lists, have outstanding criminal warrants or even are just businessmen under investigation.

"It is some sort of cultural deficiency," Rasuli said. "After six months, everyone will be happy with it." The next step will be a national identity card with biometric data on every citizen, he said. "A lot of our problems will be solved with this."

"To be honest, we've got more important problems to worry about," he said.

"Some of the embassies are quite exercised about it," one Western diplomat said. Such a program would be illegal if carried out in the home countries of most of the occupying coalition. The United States and Japan fingerprint all foreigners on arrival; South Korea plans to start doing so in January. Embassy declined to comment specifically on the program; a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security denied it had anything to do with it. military at all of Afghanistan's Nike Sweaters Womens

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The military wants to use biometrics to identify known or suspected insurgents, and to prevent infiltration of military bases and Afghan security forces.

And the Afghan government has yet to pass legislation providing for the biometric screening of the entire population that it has announced it plans to carry out for the national identity card.

"People are accepting it because they know it's making their country secure," Washington said.

A handful of other countries fingerprint arriving foreigners, but no country has ever sought to gather biometric data on everyone who comes and goes, whatever their nationality. military, which has already gathered biometric data on 2 million Afghans who have been encountered by soldiers on the battlefield, or who have just applied for jobs with the coalition military or its civilian contractors. Embassy. Americans, like all other travelers, are subject to it.

eight major border crossings, in a program that it plans to hand over to the Afghan government at the end of this month. So far, that program gathers only random samples at border crossings, because traffic is so heavy, but since it began in April it has already added 200,000 people to the military's biometrics database.

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The military has done somewhat better with its program, according to Col. Army's biometrics task force. military's two most serious classifications. In many cases, fingerprints found on bomb remains have identified the bomb maker, he said.

Reporters at the airport have on several occasions witnessed immigration officers just waving through some passengers as crowds backed up; others were allowed to skip their thumbprints to speed things along. One man had his hand fingerprinted upside down, with nails facing the scanner.

As a result, Nike Uptempo Unc the military has not conducted wholesale sweeps of communities to gather biometrics, Washington said, although in just the past year 12,000 soldiers have been trained to use the BAT the Biometric Automated Toolset. "We can't go door to door," he said.

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Civil liberties groups abroad are concerned. "The situation in Afghanistan is unprecedented, but I worry that we could move into that situation in the United States without even realizing we're doing it," said Jennifer Lynch, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco.

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Since September, Afghanistan has been the only country in the world to fingerprint and photograph all travelers who pass through Kabul International Airport, arriving and departing.

Delays of up to two hours have resulted from the screening, which takes at least three minutes per passenger. With six screening stations at most, the process becomes laborious, and so many travelers recently have been missing their flights that the airlines routinely delay takeoffs.

"None," he said.

may soon be added: most heavily fingerprinted.

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"Someone who is not used to this system, it can take 10 to 15 minutes each," said Mohammed Fawad, deputy director of immigration at the airport.

"Every person who lives within an operational area should be identified and fully biometrically enrolled with facial photos, iris scans, and all 10 fingerprints (if present)," the guide says. (That was apparently a reference to Afghanistan's many amputees.)

Mohammad Musa Mahmoodi, executive director of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, said, "Given the circumstances in Afghanistan, fighting terrorism and insurgency, government can take measures to protect its citizens."

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