Jordanian Suicide Bomber, in Pre-Attack Video, Vows to Avenge Taliban Chief
Ravi Khanna | Washington 11 January 2010
The suicide bomber who killed 7 CIA employees on a US base in eastern Afghanistan was seen, on Saturday, in a pre-attack video alongside Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud. In the video, Humam Khalil Abu Mulal al-Balawi, a Jordanian, says he will avenge the murder of Baitullah Mehsud, the father of Hakumullah Mehsud. Baitullah Mehsud died in a US drone attack in August. Media reports say al-Balawi had been recruited by the US and Jordan to infiltrate al-Qaida. But in the tape, al-Balawi says he went to the "mujahadeen" and told them about the plan to infiltrate al-Qaida. Experts say the December 30 suicide bombing shows the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaida are working more closely together than before. Ravi Khanna has a report.
The Jordanian doctor Humam Khalil Abu Mulal al-Balawi, whose suicide bomb killed seven CIA employees in Afghanistan last month, appeared in a video aired on Al-Jazeera and a Pakistani channel.
In the video, recorded before the attack, al-Balawi says he will avenge the murder of Baitullah Mehsud, the Pakistani Taiban leader. Mehsud was killed in a US drone attack in August.
The man sitting next to al-Balawi is Hakimullah Mehsud, the new leader of the Taliban in Pakistan.
Al-Balawi says he was offered millions of dollars by Jordanian and American intelligence to spy on the Taliban and al-Qaida. But he says he told the militants about the attempt to infiltrate them.
"I came to the mujahedeen and told them everything and we arranged together this attack," said Humam Khalil Abu Mulal al-Balawi.
The authenticity of the video has not been confirmed.
The CIA has been attacking al-Qaida and the Pakistani Taliban with unmanned drones. Since the bombing of the CIA's forward base in Khost, the agency has stepped up those attacks.
Al-Qaida specialist Jarret Brachman says the suicide bombing shows that al-Qaida is working with the Pakistani Taliban more closely than before.
"They [al Qaida] have really moved into a facilitating role in this region," said Jarret Brachman. "So I think as al-Qaida roots itself deeper in Pakistan, we will see more al-Qaida and Pakistani Taliban related attacks."
Media reports say Jordanian intelligence believed the doctor had been persuaded to support US operations against al-Qaida. The reports say al-Balawi was recruited to help capture or kill Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaida's number two.
Al-Balawi's widow Defne Bayrak, is Turkish. She told journalists in Istanbul that her husband could not have worked for the Americans.
" think it's impossible that he was an American agent," said Defne Bayrak. "He was too much of an enemy to work for America. He only could have used America and Jordan to reach his goals."
In the U.S., family members have been saying good bye to loved ones who were killed in the attack on the CIA base in eastern Afghanistan.
The funerals of CIA agents have rarely been public.
In Boston, services were held for CIA agent Harold Brown.
"He was by all accounts an American hero," said Brown's widow. "He proudly and bravely wore his army uniform for nearly two decades."
In Washington state, services were held for CIA contractor, Dane Clark Paresi.
"To my husband Dane, my world, I cannot say enough about my wonderful and fulfilling life with you," said Paresi's widow. "You were a gift from God, and I ask that you wait for me until my time."
CIA contractor Jeremy Wise was also killed in the attack. A memorial page has been established for him on the social networking site Facebook, with friends and relatives leaving comments.
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