x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

CIA suicide bomber's tribe expresses shock

'Our tribe has existed since the days of the Prophet, and until now not a single member has been involved in such a terrorist act.'

The elders of the Bluwi tribe gather at the home of Sheikh Salameh Bluwi, right, near Zarqa, Jordan.
The elders of the Bluwi tribe gather at the home of Sheikh Salameh Bluwi, right, near Zarqa, Jordan.

ZARQA // The elders of the Bluwi tribe sat around drinking sweetened tea with ground cardamom as they discussed their tribe's lineage. For them, family relationships and ancestry are highly valued. The tribe, with its estimated 30,000 members, traces its roots to Hijaz in Saudi Arabia, according to its sheikh, Salameh Bluwi. Many emigrated to Jordan in the 1920s. Most of their members live in Zarqa, the home town of the slain al Qa'eda leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi.

Throughout their long history in the kingdom they have lived in peace and with the country's officials. That is why last week's suicide bombing by one of their tribe-members, Homam Khaleel Mohammad Abu Mallal Bluwi, at the CIA's Forward Operating Base Chapman in Afghanistan, came as such a shock. The attack by the Kuwaiti-born medical doctor killed seven CIA officers as well as his Jordanian handler.