Patterico's Pontifications

1/4/2010

Jordanian Suicide Bomber Responsible for CIA Deaths in Afghanistan

Filed under: War — DRJ @ 1:06 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

The suicide bomber responsible for the explosion that killed 8 CIA agents and security personnel in Afghanistan was a Jordanian informant:

“[A] former senior intelligence official confirmed an NBC News report Monday that the bomber was Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a 36-year old doctor from Zarqa, Jordan. He was arrested over a year ago by Jordanian intelligence, and was thought to have been flipped to support U.S. and Jordanian efforts against al-Qaida.”

— DRJ

84 Responses to “Jordanian Suicide Bomber Responsible for CIA Deaths in Afghanistan”

  1. That’s just incompetence.

    But on top of that Jordan isn’t even on the list of countries what are getting tighter security measures.

    The U.S. State Department lists Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism. The other countries whose passengers will face enhanced screening include Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen.*

    So, that would be more incompetence.

    Our little country is not in good hands.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  2. hmmm… well I guess “include” might could mean Jordan just wasn’t mentioned.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  3. But when you can walk up and suicide bomb the CIA, we’re not getting our money’s worth out of these losers.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  4. oh. In fact that article actually says this now:

    In Jordan, a key U.S. ally, security was beefed up at Amman’s main international airport since the Christmas Day bombing attempt. An official at Queen Alia International Airport said “enhanced techniques” were being applied, especially in screening passengers bound for the United States. He declined to elaborate.

    I don’t think that was there when I first saw that.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  5. Another one of those “crushed by poverty” jihadis…

    GeneralMalaise (68a574)

  6. It is interesting that the Pakistani Pashtun who shot up the cars waiting to enter the CIA HQ in Langley VA back in ’93, was the son of someone who had been a CIA informant too – an informant executed by the Soviets in Afghanistan in ’89.

    AD - RtR/OS! (d74691)

  7. Given that he showed his true allegiance when he blew himself up, I would question the value of any information this ‘informant’ offered up over the years.

    and this should (but probably won’t) make people think twice about the success – or lack thereof – in ‘converting’ terrorists back into society.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  8. It should not surprise anyone that if you force someone to be a traitor, whether by threats against him or against his family, he might want to kill you, even if he himself dies in the attempt.

    nk (df76d4)

  9. happyfeet, unless you have been a secret operative yourself, where do you get the information to pass judgement?

    All I can say is, after watching “Three Days of the Condor” and “The Recruit”, I’m glad my life doesn’t immediately depend on my ability to decide who is “really on my side” and who is not. Perhaps they did make a foolish mistake, perhaps the perpetrator did a really good job of infiltrating. I imagine in spy wars, as in direct, when your opponent does not have a “and get out alive” motivation, things get much tougher.

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  10. Because you’re not supposed to be able to walk into a room of ten or so CIA officers and blow them up… these people are very expensive.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  11. perhaps the perpetrator did a really good job of infiltrating

    I’m guessing he’s pretty pleased wif hisself.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  12. Can someone be a “traitor” to Islam? I read a the intro to Sci-Fi book decades ago about a global war waged by a religion against unbelievers. I didn’t buy it at the time. It seemed to preposterous to be any good.

    tyree (9d7ff3)

  13. The CIA needs to stick to writing reports about how Iran is not dissimilar to a new puppy. That’s what they’re good at.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  14. happyfeet,

    The CIA leadership might be losers, but the men who were in this base were not. They gave their lives for you.

    Some of them were at odds with higher up bureaucrats. In fact, if we had done what they wanted, the WTC would probably be standing and Osama would be dead and relatively unknown.

    The CIA has gotten many major intel issues dead wrong, but that’s not the fault of the actual spies. Also, when they die, it’s because what they are doing is deadly and extremely tough. They took a huge risk dealing with this infiltrator. Probably a major difficulty was accommodating some of the politicians privy to this work.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  15. This is a different situation from cops turning minor criminals into snitches. And even from the Cold War, turning Eastern agents into Western double agents. The jihadis believe.

    nk (df76d4)

  16. Good to know the Associated Press is there to document how tough it is for the President to get in a game of golf.

    Between golf outings, he phoned his homeland security secretary and counterterrorism adviser for regular updates.

    Hope that didn’t mess up his score — that would have been a travesty.

    Rather than restaurant recommendations, the president was handed thrice-daily updates from the White House Situation Room.

    Poor guy.

    And an attack that killed seven U.S. intelligence officers put him on the phone with the CIA director before heading to the island’s North Shore for a party with high school friends.

    Glad he could still make the party — hope he had a great time.

    Our poor President, all these attacks and deaths distractions are killing his leisure time.

    Pons Asinorum (a34731)

  17. They work for a cowardly and anti-American organization, Dustin. They can all blow me.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  18. worked I mean

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  19. Are you nuts, happyfeet?

    nk (df76d4)

  20. The organization that cowardly said nothing nothing nothing at all while the NIE on Iran was trumpeted by NPR and various other dirty socialist tools including our little president man, them ones is is nuts I think, nk.

    The CIA is corrupt and gay. And inept.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  21. This CIA is the same loser collective what considers “global warming” a national security threat, no?

    lol

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  22. lol with sprinkles

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  23. Sigh. I would not call these agents inept. They were juggling a rattlesnake thinking it was a cobra, maybe. This is a new kind of war.

    nk (df76d4)

  24. It doesn’t instill confidence, nk. It just doesn’t. Did you read this at the Hot Air place?

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  25. You can bet the CIA is berating themselves I think. I’m of a mind to help.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  26. Our allies fear we won’t help defend them and our enemies (and some of our allies, truth be told) laugh at our preening, narcissistic leader.

    God help us.

    GeneralMalaise (68a574)

  27. That was way harsh, feets, would you have said the same of Beirut in 1983

    ian cormac (cd6b99)

  28. “Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a 36-year old doctor from Zarqa, Jordan.”

    He knew there was no future in doctoring after oboma care became active.

    “He was arrested over a year ago by Jordanian intelligence, and was thought to have been flipped to support U.S. and Jordanian efforts against al-Qaida.””

    He was for al-qaida before he was against al-qaida then flopped his formerly flipped position. Sounds like Democrat! :)

    ********

    Tough job over there for all. I wish them the best of luck and strength to persevere.

    TC (0b9ca4)

  29. “I’m guessing he’s pretty pleased wif hisself.”

    feets – I dunno. I seen some of those muslim virgins and I think there’s a good reason some of them are in full body bags. I’m sayin’ not even with your d*ck if you know what I mean.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  30. I wouldn’t have said the same about Beirut in 1983. The CIA has worked very, very hard to earn my contempt, ian.

    Don’t take that away from them.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  31. There seems to be a common element with Zarquawi, Hassan (I know he was born here, but his family was from that neck of the woods)

    ian cormac (cd6b99)

  32. That might could be true daley but Persian girls are beautiful. I live right next to Sherman Oaks. Persian girls do a lot of shopping. They live at home until they’re married so they always have money. They like BMWs and yogurt shops and they’re never ever alone.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  33. “The CIA has worked very, very hard to earn my contempt, ian.”

    feets – They can never take away sooper spy Valerie Plame from your memories. Her candle burns bright as does that of Scary Larry Johnson.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  34. “That might could be true daley but Persian girls are beautiful.”

    feets – So the ones you see in public are not fully bagged and do not have better mustaches than Geraldo Rivera? There might be a reason for that. Let me think on it.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  35. no they can’t. Valerie and the Iran NIE and the multitude of bush kneecappings are very defining. The CIA of all people should understand that actions have consequences, and they do.

    They just don’t care.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  36. Egyptian girls can be very pretty too. And smart. Like they could be doctors.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  37. feets is a Valley-Guy….that explains a lot.

    AD - RtR/OS! (d74691)

  38. happyfeet,

    there’s a big difference between these dead CIA guys, guys who begged us to take out Bin Laden in the 1990s, guys who beg their leaders to deal with Iran’s obvious nuke program, guys who flew SR-71s or F-117s and were forgotten if shot down, guys who spend years on assignments to learn what threats we face…

    and the douche-bags who take their labors and turn them into chips to play in a political game.

    And I do not think that any of the bad weasels at the CIA were out in Afghanistan, freezing their asses off, hunting terrorists. They were in Italy or the USA or somewhere very pretty like that. Make the distinction.

    A lot of these people were simply US Air Force or Army asked to take greater risks.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  39. You can give them the benefit of the doubt but at some point the “good” CIA needs to… sack up I think.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  40. I remember when Kos said “screw-em”. Happyfeet takes it to the next level. I know a lot of people love his clever aloof style, and I think he’s pretty funny sometimes, but come on. There’s a difference between an organization’s leadership + its bad seeds and the people who do the good work.

    Of course the best folks never get credit in the CIA… that’s the nature of the beast. They can take it because that’s what our country needs. The CIA needs drastic overhaul and has many problems. But basically it needs more of this Afghanistan effort and less Plame/Armitage horseshit in Vanity Fair. These guys weren’t what’s wrong… they represent what’s left of what was right.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  41. I’m a Texan. Like my father before me.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  42. As said before and elsewhere by others, a more responsible administration and press may not be so quick to broadcast when we had covert agents killed. My guess is that more have died over the years than we have seen on the front page of the NYT.

    And at the same time (thanks, Pons, for the info), I would think they would have the sense not to broadcast what the one is doing on the golf course. They would put GWB up to ridicule for sitting on the front porch of his ranch, let alone play golf. I would think they would just let the one quietly take his vacation and hope no one is looking.

    They must REALLY be tone-deaf.

    I bet he is not a very good golfer, or they would have printed his scores. I wondered if Rush crossed paths with him on the course to provoke the indigestion.

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  43. lol at some [person] on Patterico’s comment threads telling CIA commandos who have braved terrorists trying to kill them for 20 years to “sack up” because one of the bad guys scored a hit.

    Yeah, they need to sack up… what a bunch of pussies. Macho internet toughguys like us could teach those guys whatfor.

    You know, they are STILL there in Afghanistan, right now, trying to do their job. This isn’t the first CIA agent killed in the GWOT by a long-shot, either. More will die, too. I hope they follow nk’s advice and take whatever measures they can to handle these true believer lunatics while pumping out whatever info they can get. Like it or not, someone has to interface with scummy jihadists, even trust them somewhat, to get information and stop them. It’s an ugly job that is soooooooo easy to criticize because something will always go wrong.

    I don’t even disagree with happyfeet on the general problem at the CIA… they have been leaking our secrets to score cheap political petty points for an eon. I guess I just have clearer vision on this.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  44. “I’m a Texan. Like my father before me.”

    and like his father before him, he took a rebel stand.

    GeneralMalaise (68a574)

  45. He was just 18, proud and gay
    and a yankee laid him down that day

    GeneralMalaise (68a574)

  46. I swear by the mud below my feet
    you can’t raise a gay man up, when he’s happyfeet

    GeneralMalaise (68a574)

  47. Sorry… just feeling very lyrical this eve…

    GeneralMalaise (68a574)

  48. It seems a bit of piling on, FOB Chapman, is not an easy post, think Ft. Apache, the chief of the unit
    had been on the Bin Laden hunt for the better part
    of a decade, according to Scheur, Brennan countermanded an operation to nab Bin Laden at that time, so Brennan is much more worth your contempt. He was CIA station chief in Riyadh, when AQ was on it’s training wheels. Bob Baer doesn’t name him, but
    the description of him, in his memoir shows his contempt

    ian cormac (cd6b99)

  49. General – Don’t give up your day job.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  50. “think Ft. Apache”

    ian – I had an audit client in Ft. Apache, the Bronx, in 1979. That was tough duty, let me tell you. Employees got mugged on their way to their cars in the parking lot. Very tough neighborhood.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  51. Sorry. I was unclear. I think the “good” CIA needs to sack up and take some pro-active measures to restore the agency’s good name, Mr. Dustin. That would be a big service to our little country, if they would sack up and do that.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  52. I’m gonna go ahead and not hold my breath though.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  53. Michael Scheuer? He’s a big NPR fave cause of how he thinks Israel is the suck.

    Me personally I think the bin Laden is dead.

    The CIA has my contempt generally, not these ones specifically. But I think what they did was a Fail. It would be one thing if we could afford Fail but we have a commander in chief what loves to capitalize on Fail, and if Afghanistan becomes Fail, we’ll be a different little country for it.

    But whatever we do over there, we’ve already stopped fighting for freedom. I think that’s very sad.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  54. Notice I didn’t say, the Bronx, what happens feets and I have a little experience with the country I was born in, the PMs, the Jack Bauer/Mitch Rapp types do the tough work, and the suits back at Langley, well you’ve seen ’24, leave them hanging.

    ian cormac (cd6b99)

  55. Scheur’s an odd character, well he was one of Ron Paul’s foreign policy advisors, that says alot. One gets the impression that he and John Brennan don’t get along, just like with Richard Clarke, Let’s not sugarcoat this is a gold plated disaster, for the mission that we need to win

    ian cormac (cd6b99)

  56. “I’m gonna go ahead and not hold my breath though.”

    Texas will bite ya… sting ya… or kick yer a$$.

    I know Texas and you ain’t from Texas, happyfeet… unless yer related to the late Molly Ivins or Jim Hightower.

    GeneralMalaise (68a574)

  57. oh. I’m not related to either of them ones. Maybe I’m not from Texas after all.

    That’s disconcerting.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  58. Yep… bothersome, too.

    GeneralMalaise (68a574)

  59. No, Molly was a banker’s daughter from Dallas, with degrees from Wellesley and the Sorbonne, so she had
    to dial up the cornpone, Hightower, I can’t rationally explain, he’s the closest thing to a Commie Texan.

    ian cormac (cd6b99)

  60. “he’s the closest thing to a Commie Texan.”

    This side of Lee Harvey… who also hated the CIA, come to think of it. happyfeet… you got some ‘splainin’ to do…

    GeneralMalaise (68a574)

  61. They really need to cut back on these internet handles

    war and piece in the time of crime and punishment (cd6b99)

  62. 51 Happyfeet

    Or is a campaign of patently false articles being planted to undermine an agency that has been under fire from democrats since the bay of pigs?

    Like I believe the good doctor story – its way to pat and tidy and the region is anything but that

    EricPWJohnson (9b7688)

  63. but just cause Democrats don’t like the CIA doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. Democrats hate head lice too.

    Mostly though the CIA is a neurotic and pouty little thing I think.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  64. Right, considering the contempt that the media has for the CIA, and the mission in Afghanistan (previously reserved for Iraq) it seems somewhat
    convenient

    ian cormac (cd6b99)

  65. The media’s a lot able to shelve it’s contempt when CIA douchebags want to feed it. They don’t ask questions.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  66. *its*

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  67. Joyfulsoles

    interesting sweep of the brush

    EricPWJohnson (9b7688)

  68. I just don’t understand why perceptions of the CIA are so immutable in the eyes of the right. The CIA is not your friend.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  69. Gladdenpodiatrist

    Really? Anything concrete to establish this basis or is this just another I know its true cause i read it on the internet?

    EricPWJohnson (9b7688)

  70. Some are, some aren’t, usually the higher you get to headquarters and away from the field, for the latter.

    ian cormac (cd6b99)

  71. Democrats hate head lice too.
    Comment by happyfeet

    Are you sure??

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  72. If the CIA can kneecap President Bush and America and abet Iranian nuclear ambitions and ruin Mr. Libby’s life without even the consequence of incurring a tainted reputation then that’s scary. I’ll be over here doing a spot of futile tainting thank you very much.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  73. Sillyputty

    1st Libby and anyone else in government and in civilian life should lie to federal investigators

    Especially the chief of staff of the Vice President

    EricPWJohnson (9b7688)

  74. that should NEVER lie to federal invesitgators or play cute obtuse games on the stand – pissess juries off

    EricPWJohnson (9b7688)

  75. I think most people agree with you on that, it’s just that extending this opinion to a group of operatives on the field risking their lives is a jump that most of us feel is unwarranted.

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  76. pressuring the concept of a material lie into non-existence is not America I don’t think

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  77. I’m not trying to say screw em I just don’t think it should be lost that this was a Fail. And it speaks to competence and perhaps even to hubris.

    happyfeet (e9e587)

  78. You know feets, you sound a little like Malcolm Reynolds of Fire Fly, phrases like ‘ someone tries
    to kill you, you kill them right back”

    Now considering that inquiry was convened into looking for the leaker, and they knew for months before they sent Judy miller to the hoosegow,
    that it was Richard Armitage, who leaked the name, but he was Powell’s best pals. In addition, the NIE came from analystd seconded from State, as was Joe Wilson, business partners with some of the same Saudi businessmen that chipped into Hillary’s campaign

    ian cormac (cd6b99)

  79. “I just don’t think it should be lost that this was a Fail. And it speaks to competence”

    That’s very reasonable. Yes, this is a huge failure. At some point, the wrong decisions were made. I am not sure we’ll ever know who. For all we know, these CIA agents were overruled in some way that led to this disaster. Or they made a mistake.

    It speaks to their competence… but one failure, every now and then, in war, is hardly incompetent and doesn’t say a thing about hubris. This is a hard fight that requires risk taking. They took a risk here and it got good people killed… obviously most of them are not at fault… probably not even one of them. They were told to use this asset a certain way, and that’s what they did.

    Look at all the tools these people have lost to our lawyers. They have to get intel somehow. What was their best way to do that? Obviously, a way that doesn’t get them killed, but in a war, mistakes are made and people get killed, even when the people killed are hypercompetent.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  80. “If the CIA can kneecap President Bush and America and abet Iranian nuclear ambitions and ruin Mr. Libby’s life without even the consequence of incurring a tainted reputation then that’s scary.”

    It’s hard not to agree. This is the opposite of that the CIA was built to do. We pay them a lot of money to support the president and not invent schemes to screw with politics in our nation. This was a coup attempt that didn’t aim very high, and people should hang for it. Those pricks that decided to leak this and that and undermine our war effort should be executed, plain and simple. And if we can’t make this shit stop, obviously the CIA needs to go… though I think it’s simply the bureaucrats that need to be fixed.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  81. “Me personally I think the bin Laden is dead.”

    sorry to triple post, but I think Happyfeet is obviously right about this as well. There’s just no way this guy wouldn’t have stuck his head up at some point. After Tora Bora, nothing. But several CIA and other personnel had plans and recommended we take out Bin Laden in the 1990s. No real use pointing fingers anymore, but we could have taken care of this in time, if we had wanted to and listened to the right voices.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  82. I only wish that “Wild Bill” Donovan were around to tell us what he thinks of what’s happened to the agency he originated. The OSS was a far cry from what the CIA has become, but since Casey was cut somewhat from Donovan’s mold, perhaps he’d approve.

    Dmac (a964d5)

  83. Donovan and Casey would be fine at the policy end, but for the heavy lifting I’d like to see William Harvey, Ted Shackley, and David Morales on the job, with Hemming, Hargraves, and Sturgis under contract.

    ropelight (706b29)

  84. If it hasn’t been mentioned yet: “…the bomber was Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a 36-year old doctor from Zarqa, Jordan.”

    That’s the same hometown as the terrorist known in Iraq as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. His real name was Amed Fadeel al-Nazal al-Khalayleh.

    Coincidence or design?

    ropelight (706b29)


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