CIA Afghanistan suicide bomber 'was Jordanian al-Qaeda double agent'
Published 05/01/2010 | 11:39
The suicide bomber who killed eight CIA agents in Afghanistan was a Jordanian doctor acting as a double agent for al-Qaeda, according to US reports.
The bomber, Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, was a 36-year old doctor from Zarqa, Jordan, the home town of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the late head of al-Qaeda in Iraq, accordign to a report on NBC News.
Balawi was arrested over a year ago by Jordanian intelligence for suspected terror activities, but was thought to have been turned to support US and Jordanian efforts against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
He detonated a suicide bomb that killed the seven CIA employees - four officers and three contracted security guards - and a Jordanian intelligence officer, Ali bin Zaid, who was a member of the country's royal family.
Some of the officers had flown in to Camp Chapman near Khost from Kabul for what was billed as an important meeting that could yield information on the whereabouts of Ayman al-Zawahiri, deputy to Osama bin Laden.
The base coordinates CIA operations and intelligence gathering in Khost, a hotbed of insurgent activity that borders Pakistan's lawless tribal areas, former CIA officials said.
NBC said the head of the CIA operation in Khost was among the dead. It was one of the darkest days in the agency's 62-year history. In April 1983, eight CIA personnel were killed when the US embassy in Beirut was hit by a Hizbollah suicide bomb.