A suicide bomber who killed ten at a US base in Afghanistan said he was carrying out the attack in retaliation for the death of Baitullah Mehsud, the Pakistani Taliban leader who was killed by an unmanned US drone.
The video was released by Al Jazeera on 9th January 2010. It shows the suicide bomber, Hammam Khalil al-Balawi, 32, as he describes that his attack would target US and Jordanian intelligence agents.
Al-Balawi was a Jordanian doctor and a ‘double agent’ who was still loyal to Islamic extremists, he had been recruited by Jordanian intelligence agents and the CIA, being used by both to inform on al-Qaeda and Mujahideen activities.
“This is a message to the enemies of the Umma [nation], to the Jordanian intelligence and the CIA” al-Balawi said on in the video.
“We say that we will never forget the blood of our Emir Baitullah Mehsud, God’s mercy on him.
“To retaliate for his death in the United States and outside the United States will remain an obligation on all emigrants who were harboured by Baitullah Mehsud.”
Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, was killed by a US drone which fired a missile at his house; he was blamed for many suicide bombings and other attacks in the country.
Al-Balawi is said to have been brought over the Pakistani border to the base in eastern Afghanistan, Forward Operating Base Chapman near the city of Khost, after he told the CIA he had information for them, details on the whereabouts of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the al-Qaeda second in command.
Details earlier came to light that in September 2009, Hammam Khalil al-Balawi had made a posting on a website run by al-Qaeda. He wrote “If [a Muslim] dies in the cause of Allah, he will grant his words glory that will be permanent marks on the path to guide to jihad, with permission from Allah.
“If love of jihad enters a man’s heart, it will not leave him even if he wants to do so. Indeed, what he sees of luxurious palaces will remind him of positions of the martyrs in the higher heaven.”
He had managed to allay the agencies fears over this statement by telling officers that his postings saying he wanted to be a martyr were all part of his cover.
The suicide bomber is said to have detonated explosives that he had attached to his body while he was standing just outside of the heavily fortified base. Ten people including the bomber were killed in the explosion, this included seven people employed or affiliated with the CIA, including the chief of the base.
Some of those killed were approaching the bomber to perform a search of his person and were standing around 50 feet from the blast site.
The attack was one of the worst against the US intelligence community and certainly the biggest loss of life to CIA staff in more than 25 years.
The Base Chapman attacks and the video just released show that a threat from the inside is a real problem; it also shows strong links between the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda. The Times newspaper had reported that the bombing has also heightened tensions between the US and Pakistan, because it showed that they had not acted strongly enough in stopping the Haqqani network. The Haqqani network run by Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son, Sirajuddin Haqqani, were part of the targets of the drone attack that al-Balawi said he was acting in retaliation of.
Members of the Haqqani Network have cooperated with Pakistani Taliban, a former commander of the group said, “At times they send suicide attackers to our area, and we give them shelter and find targets for them”. The network has carried out many attacks in the area of the CIA base.
It is thought that the suicide bomber al-Balawi was working within the Haqqani Network and that they instructed him to proceed with the bombing.