Monday, March 1, 2010

CAIRO | An al Qaeda double agent who killed seven CIA operatives and a Jordanian spy called for jihad in Jordan and attacks on its intelligence agency in a posthumous video message posted on extremist Web sites Sunday.

Humam Khalil Abu Mulal al-Balawi also described Sunday in the 43-minute video his recruitment by Jordanian intelligence and how he double-crossed them after they sent him to Afghanistan to spy on al Qaeda.

The video was apparently recorded shortly before al-Balawi, 32, blew himself up at a CIA facility on Dec. 30 in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Khost where he had been invited to reveal information on al Qaeda’s No. 2 man, Ayman al-Zawahri.

Al-Balawi said he only expected to kill his Jordanian handler, Ali bin Zaid, but the addition of the CIA members was a windfall.

“We planned for something but got a bigger gift, a gift from Allah, who brought us, through his accompaniment, a valuable prey: Americans, and from the CIA. That’s when I became certain that the best way to teach Jordanian intelligence and the CIA a lesson is with the martyrdom belt,” he said in the video.

The secretive eastern Afghan CIA base was reportedly used as a key outpost in the effort to identify and target terror leaders, many of whom were taken out by the drone-fired missile strikes.

It was one of the worst losses for the CIA ever and revealed the cooperation between the American and Jordanian intelligence services.

Al-Balawi, who appeared in a military fatigues cradling an assault rifle and what appears to be C4 explosives, described the successes of Jordanian intelligence against extremists over the years and their close working relationship with the CIA.

He said Jordan had provided information for the killing of al Qaeda in Iraq chief Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in 2006 as well as that of top Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh, who died in a car bomb in Damascus in 2008.

“The Jordanian intelligence apparatus has a record which emboldens them to such behavior, but with Allah’s permission, after this operation, they will never stand on their feet again,” he said.

Al-Balawi, a doctor, hailed from the same hometown of Zarqa as al-Zarqawi and was a prolific contributor to extremist Web sites, but was never able to realize his dream of joining the jihad until he was arrested by Jordanian security.

In the video he described how they plied him with money and material goods and bragged about their past successes before sending him to Afghanistan to spy on al Qaeda there — finally giving him the chance he had long sought to join the insurgency.

“I cut ties for four months, then came back to them with some videos taken with leaders of the Mujahedeen, so that they would think that I was leaking videos and betraying the Mujahedeen,” he said.

In light of Jordan’s strong support for the United States, al-Balawi called for attacks on members of its intelligence agency and the need to overthrow its government.

“There is no solution to the situation in Jordan other than mobilizing to the land of jihad to learn the arts of war and train in them, then return to Jordan and begin operations,” he said.

The Arabic-language video came with an English transcript and a second version dubbed into English, part of the extremist group’s continued outreach to non-Arabic speaking jihadists, such as in Pakistan.

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