The former official said that the fact that militants could carry out a successful attack using a double agent showed their strength even after a steady barrage of missile strikes fired by C.I.A. drone aircraft.
“Double agent operations are really complex,” he said. “The fact that they can pull this off shows that they are not really on the run. They have the ability to kick back and think about these things.”
The death of the Jordanian intelligence officer, Capt. Sharif Ali bin Zeid, was reported in recent days by Jordanian officials, but they did not confirm exactly where he was killed or what he was doing in Afghanistan.
Jordanian intelligence officials were deeply embarrassed by the attacks because they had taken the informant to the Americans, said one American government official briefed on the events.
The official said that the Jordanians had such a good reputation with American intelligence officials that the informant was not screened before entering the compound.
Jarret Brachman, author of “Global Jihadism: Theory and Practice” and a consultant to the United States government about terrorism, said in a telephone interview that Mr. Mohammed had used the online persona Abu Dujana al-Khorasani and was an influential jihadi voice on the Web.
“He’s one of the most revered authors on the jihadists’ forums,” Mr. Brachman said.
“He’s in the top five jihadists. He’s one of the biggest guns out there.” [continued…]
He ran a blog, http://abudujanakharasani.maktoobblog.com/, on which he posted calls for jihad — holy war — and martyrdom, that the Jordanian authorities presumably regarded as cover for the role of double agent.
The blog was still available on Monday but was inaccessible on Tuesday.
“He spent months travelling between Afghanistan and Pakistan and fed the Americans the information that the Mujahedeen (jihadists) wanted them to receive,” the Ana Muslim (“I am a Muslim” in Arabic) website boasted.
“Every time that the reports which he gave proved accurate, their confidence in Abu Dujana rose.”
Balawi was taken to the CIA base in Khost because he claimed to have urgent information about Zawahiri, the website said.
He was not searched as he went in because a CIA agent boasted: “He is our man, so there is no need,” the website claimed.
The bomber then pretended to detail plans for a mooted operation on a piece of paper and asked the intelligence agents to gather round to look before blowing himself up, the website said. [continued…]