How a Jordanian double agent murdered 7 CIA officers and a Jordanian asset
The Associated Press reports on how a Jordanian double agent penetrated a CIA forward base
on the Afghanistan - Pakistan border and murdered seven CIA officers and a Jordanian 'asset' who was working with them.
The bombing killed seven CIA employees - four officers and three contracted security guards - and a Jordanian intelligence officer, Ali bin Zaid, according to a second former US intelligence official. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the incident. Read the whole thing
The former senior intelligence official and the foreign official said the bomber was Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a 36-year old doctor from Zarqa, Jordan, who had been recruited by Jordanian intelligence. Zarqa is the hometown of slain al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. NBC News first reported the bomber's identity.
He was arrested more than a year ago by Jordanian intelligence and was thought to have been persuaded to support US and Jordanian efforts against al-Qaida, according to the NBC report. He was invited to Camp Chapman, a tightly secured CIA forward base in Khost province on the fractious Afghan-Pakistan frontier, because he was offering urgent information to track down Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden's right-hand man [pictured. CiJ].
The CIA declined to comment on the report.
Al-Balawi was not searched for bombs when he got onto Camp Chapman, according to both former officials and a current intelligence official.
He detonated the explosive shortly after his debriefing began, according to one of the former intelligence officials. In addition to the eight dead, there were at least six wounded, according to the CIA.
The former senior intelligence official said one of the big unanswered questions is why so many people were present for the debriefing - the interview of the source - when the explosive was detonated.
A half-dozen former CIA officers told The Associated Press that in most cases, only one or two agency officers would typically meet with a possible informant along with an interpreter. Such small meetings would normally be used to limit the danger and the possible exposure of the identities of both officers and informants.
. We will likely never know why this guy wasn't searched and why so many people were present at that meeting. And no one will ever raise the possibility that the other Jordanian was in on it. But I will. Think about it.