After Kabul fell at the hands of the Taliban, the British embassy was quick to evacuate its staff members. However, in a hurry, the Foreign Office left documents containing information about Afghans who worked for the British, reported The Times.
On Tuesday (August 24), the Times found documents of 7 Afghans lying on the floor of the British embassy, which was being patrolled by the Talibs. The papers contained the curriculum vitae (CV), addresses of applicants who had applied for the job as interpreters. One of the documents reportedly contained information of a leading member of the embassy staff. It must be mentioned that the British embassy was evacuated on August 15 after the Taliban laid siege on Kabul. During the evacuation process, the embassy staff did not adhere to security protocols such as destroying personal data and shredding confidential documents.
Following the controversy, the British Foreign Office claimed on Thursday (August 26), “During the drawdown of our embassy every effort was made to destroy sensitive material.” The Times had handed over the details of three Afghan allies and their 8 family members to the Foreign Office. However, the newspaper could not locate 2 job applicants who had applied for the post of interpreter and had been missing since the Taliban’s siege of Kabul. “Crucially we have now been able to get these three families to safety. The drawdown of our Embassy was done at pace as the situation in Kabul deteriorated. Every effort was made to destroy sensitive material,” an official spokesperson said.
Inquiry to be initiated regarding the security lapse
Conservative MP and ex-Afghan veteran Tom Tugendhat emphasised that the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Select Committee will conduct an inquiry into the matter. “How FCDOGovUK handled this crisis will be the subject of a coming CommonsForeign inquiry. The evidence is already coming in,” he had tweeted.
“This is what defeat looks like. Defeat is when you don’t control any of the processes anymore and if you are lucky you just about get out with your lives and a bit of your equipment and that’s what we are doing at the moment. We don’t have any control, we don’t have any say. It’s a defeat…The sun setting over some really pretty terrible decisions by the West over a number of years,” he told BBC Radio 4.
British Foreign Secretary refused to speak to his Afghan counterpart regarding the evacuation of Afghan interpreters
It has come to light that about 48 hours prior to the fall of Kabul, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab refused to speak to the Afghan Foreign Secretary to discuss plans of evacuating the Afghan allies. Taliban has a history of brutally killing those Afghans, who had sided with the NATO forces during the 20-year-long ‘war on terror.’ On Wednesday (August 25), he informed that ‘almost all’ Uk citizens had been evacuated from Afghanistan. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has assured to complete the evacuation of remaining stranded citizens, despite the terror attacks at the Hamid Karzai International airport in Kabul.
Not just weapons and helicopters, US also left biometric data in Afghanistan
Days after the Taliban took over the reins of Afghanistan, it has now come to light that the United States has also left itsallies in Afghanistan vulnerable to attack by the radical Islamist outfit. As per an exclusive report by Politico, the Biden administration had handed out a list of American citizens, Afghan allies, and green card holders to the Taliban so as to allow their evacuation from the Hamid Karzai International airport in Kabul. Despite being well aware that the Taliban has a history of killing US allies, the decision to provide specific names to the Islamist outfit by the Biden administration has put their life in jeopardy.
Not just the lists, the Taliban reportedly also have biometric data of all Afghans who had worked with US and NATO forces. After the capture of Afghanistan, a large number of biometric devices, along with weapons, vehicles, and ammunition left behind by American and fleeing Afghan forces were captured by the Taliban. With the US-built military devices, the Taliban now potentially have the access to the biometric database of Afghans. Some devices also store local copies for such databases, which will be easily accessible to the new tech-savvy Taliban. Politico also reported that The Taliban is now going door-to-door in search of Afghan interpreters and US allies, after the Biden administration ‘outsourced’ the security to the Taliban.