The Jordanian doctor who killed seven CIA employees in a suicide attack in Afghanistan said in a video broadcast posthumously today that all jihadists must attack U.S. targets to avenge the death of Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud.
The video showed Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal Balawi — whom the CIA had cultivated as an asset against Al Qaeda — sitting with Mehsud’s successor in an undisclosed location. It essentially confirmed the Pakistani Taliban’s claim of responsibility for one of the worst attacks in CIA history, though analysts said Al Qaeda and Afghan militants likely played roles, too.
Speaking in Arabic in the video shown on Al Jazeera, the Arabic network, and Aaj, a Pakistani channel, Balawi noted that the Pakistani Taliban had given shelter to “emigrants” — Muslim fighters from abroad.
Mehsud, the group’s longtime leader, was killed in August by a CIA missile strike. [continued…]
Editor’s Comment — As the CIA’s director, Leon Panetta no doubt sees it as his duty to try and lift morale in the agency, yet in an op-ed for tomorrow’s Washington Post he says this:
This was not a question of trusting a potential intelligence asset, even one who had provided information that we could verify independently. It is never that simple, and no one ignored the hazards. The individual was about to be searched by our security officers — a distance away from other intelligence personnel — when he set off his explosives.
Say what? What’s “a distance away from other intelligence personnel” supposed to mean? Outside the doorway of a conference room? What’s the point of trying to search someone after they’ve already reached a location where they can cause carnage? Panetta’s goal appears to be to snuff out the notion that the CIA is getting sloppy with its security procedures. He accomplishes the opposite.