A Jordanian who blew himself up in Afghanistan, killing seven CIA agents and his Jordanian handler, has stated in a video broadcast the act he was planning was for revenge. "We tell our emir Baitullah Mehsud we will never forget his blood. It is up to us to avenge him in and outside America," Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi said about a Taliban leader killed in a US attack in August. "This is a message to the enemies of the (Muslim) nation - the CIA and Jordanian intelligence services," said the bearded man in military uniform, identified as Balawi.
The video, whose authenticity could not immediately be confirmed, was broadcast on Al-Jazeera television. Balawi blew himself up at a US military base in Khost, near the Pakistani border on December 30, killing seven CIA agents and his Jordanian handler, a top intelligence officer and member of the royal family. Jihadist websites have identified Balawi as a double agent who duped Western intelligence services for months before turning on his handlers.
But a senior Jordanian official told AFP on Wednesday that "Jordan has benefited since a year ago from anti-terrorist information provided by Humam Khalil al-Balawi and shared them with other (intelligence) services as part of the fight against terrorism. "God's combattant never exposes his religion to blackmail and never renounces it, even if he is offered the sun in one hand and the moon in the other," the man said, in reference to his claimed role as a double agent.
In the video the man is shown sitting alongside another individual wearing an Afghan headscarf with a banner bearing a Koranic verse in the background. "We will never forget that he (Mehsud) said Sheikh Osama bin Laden was not on our soil (Pakistan) but that if he should come we would protect him," the man said. "He kept his promise and paid for it with his life," he added about Mehsud, the Pakistan Taliban chief killed in US drone attacks last August.
On Thursday Islamist websites quoted the head of Al Qa'eda in Afghanistan, Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, as saying the bomber left a will saying the Khost attack was revenge for "our righteous martyrs" and named several top militants killed in drone attacks in Pakistan. Yazid described Balawi's mission as an "epic breakthrough" in penetrating both American and Jordanian intelligence, said Islamist websites.
The slain militant masterminds named in the will included Mehsud, who was blamed for a wave of deadly attacks, notably the December 2007 killing of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. Also named was Abu Saleh al-Somali, described as part of Al Qa'eda's core leadership and responsible for plotting attacks in Europe and the United States. He was killed in a drone strike near the Afghan border last month.
The suicide attack at a US military base near the Pakistani border on December 30 was the deadliest attack against the Central Intelligence Agency since 1983. *AFP