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In new video, CIA bomber says he lured targets with doctored intelligence

Posted by The Agonist on March 1st, 2010

From our partners at The Agonist

Joby Warrick | Mar 1

WaPo – The suicide bomber behind the Dec. 30 attack on a CIA base in eastern Afghanistan claims in a posthumously released recording that he lured U.S. and Jordanian intelligence officers into a trap by sending them misleading information about terrorist targets as well as videotapes he made of senior al-Qaeda leaders.

The bomber, a Jordanian physician named Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, also claims that he intended to kidnap only a single Jordanian intelligence officer, but then stumbled on an unexpected opportunity to attack a large group of Americans and their Jordanian allies at once.

“It wasn’t planned this way,” Balawi says in an undated, 44-minute videotape released Sunday by as-Sahab, the media arm of al-Qaeda. He attributes the change to “the stupidity of Jordanian intelligence and the stupidity of American intelligence” services that invited him to Afghanistan to help set up a strike against al-Qaeda targets.

The video, if authentic, would be the second recorded statement to surface in which Balawi talks of his plan to penetrate Forward Operating Base Chapman, a highly secure CIA base in eastern Afghanistan’s Khost province. A Taliban group in January released a taped message in which Balawi says he was avenging the death of Baitullah Mehsud, a Taliban commander killed last year in a CIA missile strike. U.S. officials have acknowledged that Balawi was a double agent who provided valuable intelligence over several months before being allowed to meet with U.S. operatives at Chapman. Six Americans and three others were killed in the deadliest attack on the U.S. intelligence agency’s staff in a quarter-century.

In the new video, the 32-year-old Balawi gives an animated account of his journey from doctor to suicide bomber, at one point brandishing what he says is a block of C4 military explosive that he intended to use in the attack. Wearing military garb and holding a rifle in his lap, he mocks his Jordanian handlers for thinking that he could be lured into spying on al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

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