Bomber Who Killed C.I.A. Officers Appears in Video
Seven were US CIA agents and one was a Jordanian intelligence officer.The attack at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Afghanistan's Khost province was the deadliest against US intelligence officials since the US embassy in Beirut was bombed in 1983.Humam Balawi is said to have been a Jordanian doctor turned double agent, having originally been recruited by the Jordanians to spy on al-Qaeda.His father, Khalil Balawi, said that the man who appeared on the video was definitely his son.Speaking in Jordan, he blamed "American oppression against the Muslim world" for his son's act.
'Blood of our leader'
In the video clip shown on al-Jazeera, the man purported to be al-Balawi says he is sending a message to the "enemies of Islam", who he names as Jordan's intelligence services and the CIA.
Al-Balawi blew himself up at a CIA base in Khost province, Afghanistan
"We say that we will never forget the blood of our leader, Baitullah Mehsud," he says."What remains is to avenge him inside and outside America."The man in the clip, speaking in Arabic, says the Pakistani Taliban leader paid with his life for offering to shelter al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.The man appears to dismiss the idea he himself was in the service of the Jordanians or US, saying that a Muslim jihadist "will not sell his religion".The IntelCenter, a US-based group monitoring extremist sites, said the video had been released by the Pakistani branch of the Taliban.The bombing of the American base was an audacious attack which sent shockwaves through Western intelligence services, the BBC's Orla Guerin in Islamabad reports.So far there has been no comment from the authorities in Pakistan, she says, but the video is bound to increase pressure on them to crush militant groups on their soil who attack Western forces across the border in Afghanistan.
Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a US missile attack in the tribal region of South Waziristan, which borders Afghanistan, in August last year.Two months later, the Pakistani military launched a major offensive in the region.More than 600 people have died in militant attacks in Pakistan since then, most of them believed to be in reprisal for the army's campaign against the Taliban.Correspondents say Hakimullah Mehsud is thought to be in South Waziristan.Forward Operating Base Chapman, a former Soviet military base in Afghanistan, is used not only by the CIA but also by provincial reconstruction teams, which include both soldiers and civilians.The airfield is reportedly used for US drone attacks on suspected militants in neighbouring Pakistan.
The Pakistani television channel Aaj also broadcast a video, and identified the second man seen in it as Hakimullah Mehsud, the new leader of the Taliban in Pakistan.An eighth person killed in Mr. Balawi’s attack was a Jordanian intelligence officer and distant relative of King Abdullah II of Jordan named Capt. Sharif Ali bin Zeid. He is thought to have been Mr. Balawi’s Jordanian handler who was bringing Mr. Balawi to a meeting of American intelligence officials at the base, Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost, near the Pakistani border.Before he blew himself up, the bomber had been a popular jihadi writer on Internet Web sites and forums, under the pen name Abu Dujana al-Khorasani. In a statement consistent with comments by Mr. Balawi’s widow, Defne Bayrak, a Turkish journalist living in Istanbul, the man on the video said he would never work for the United States.“The jihadist who follows God’s way does not put his religion up for auction. And the Jihadist who follows God does not sell his religion, even if they put the sun to his right side and the moon to his left side,” he said.Of Baitullah Mehsud, who was killed in August 2009 by a C.I.A. drone airstrike, he said, “We shall take revenge for him in America and outside America. He is a trust on behalf of all refugees, who were sheltered by him.“We will not forget how Emir Baitullah Mehsud used to kiss the hands of the refugees, he used to kiss the hands of the refugees, and this shows how much love he had in his heart for them.”