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– HUMAN AL-BALAWI THE KHOST BOMBER

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The suicide bomber who killed seven CIA agents in, Khost, Afghanistan, on 12/30/2009 (see – Khost 12.30.09), was an Al Qaeda triple agent from Jordan – Doctor Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, USA media reports said.  

 Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi was born in Kuwait, on 12/25/1977, but his family returned to Jordan in 1991, after the Iraqi invasion to Kuwait, on 08/02/1990, and the first Gulf War which followed.

 Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a 36-year-old Al Qaeda sympathizer from Zarqa, Jordan, was a father of two daughters in the age of 7 and 5. He graduated as a medicine doctor in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2006, and married in Turkey with a Local journalist Defne Bayrak. When he returned to Jordan Dr. Humam al-Balawi worked in a clinic run by UNRWA in a Palestinian refugee camp in Amman. He also wrote a blog of his own in a Jihadi website under the name Abu-Dajana. In the blog Humam al-Balawi encouraged young Muslims to join the Global Jihad and expressed his wishes to be a martyr (Shahid) himself, which led the Jordanian intelligence to arrest him in early 2009.   

 Humam al-Balawi was then reportedly recruited by the Jordanians and CIA – who thought they had successfully turned him – and given a mission to find Al Qaeda’s leaders. In mid 2009 Humam al-Balawi flew to Pakistan and began to weave his relations with Al Qaeda and alike. He, probably, exposed himself from the very beginning in Pakistan as a CIA informant since he was provided with real and useful information about terror plots aimed to enhance his credibility among the CIA and his Jordanian handler – Captain Sharif Ali bin Zeid, who was killed by the bomber too. His wife returned, during that time, Back to Turkey. It is therefore that when Humam al-Balawi claimed he had operational information about no.2 in Al Qaeda – Ayman Al Zawahiri he was so trusted.    

Humam al-Balawi is believed to have been working undercover in Afghanistan for weeks before detonating a bomb at a CIA base. The attack at Forward Operating Base Chapman was the worst against US intelligence officials since the US embassy in Beirut was bombed in 1983.

The news about the bomber’s identity came as a report was published in which the top USA military intelligence officer in Afghanistan, Maj Gen Michael Flynn, sharply criticised the work of USA intelligence agencies there.

The report, which was published by a think tank, the Center for a New American Security, cites one officer’s remarks that the USA was “clueless” due to its lack of useful intelligence about the country (see- INFORMANTS. ).

The Washington Post quoted two former USA government officials as saying that the alleged attacker Humam al-Balawi had lured the CIA officers into a meeting with a promise of new information on Al Qaeda’s top leadership, especially Ayman Al Zawahiri. According to Western intelligence officials quoted in the reports, Humam al-Balawi called his handlers a week earlier to arrange a meeting at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost, where he said he would relay urgent information about Zawahiri. 

 

Once inside the base, the reports say, he blew himself up killing seven CIA employees and his handler, whom Jordanian media have named as Cap. Sharif Ali bin Zeid. Questions were raised after the bomb was detonated in the base’s gym last week about how the attacker could have managed to pass through security.

 The Washington Post says he was picked up in a car outside the base and driven in without being thoroughly searched. A US official, also a former CIA employee, told the Associated Press news agency that such people were often not required to go through full security checks, in order to help gain their trust.

A Taliban spokesman quoted on al-Jazeera’s website said Humam al-Balawi was a double agent who had misled Jordanian and US intelligence services for a year.

Forward Operating Base Chapman, a former Soviet military base, 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 USA UAV drone attacks on suspected militants in neighboring Pakistan.  

But the head of the base, reported to be a mother-of-three, was among those killed. The BBC’s Mark Mardell in Washington says the CIA will be deeply embarrassed that the bomber was able to work so closely with the agency and with such high level officials.  

* According to his wife in Amman, Jordan, on Friday 01/08/2010, Humam al-Balawi acted because of his deep resentment toward USA. She said she is proud of her husband. His elder brother, Sheikh Ayman al-Balawi, claimed Human became radicalized after OPERATION CAST LEAD in Gaza, in 12/2008 (although Humam al-Balawi was arrested for terror suspicions already few months earlier).

* The Pakistani TV channel Aaj showed, on Saturday 01/09/2010, a short footage in which Humam al-Balawi was seen talking in english with Tehrik-e-Taleban leader Hakimullah Mehsud (see – Balawis Footage ).  

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