Jordan-CIA connection in Afghan suicide blast

The suicide bombing that killed seven CIA operatives and one Jordanian intelligence official in Afghanistan last week sheds light on secretive partnerships the US has forged in its shadow war against al-Qaeda. Jordan has evidently been involved in supporting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, despite the unpopularity of both wars among Arabs. The death of Jordanian Army Capt. Sharif Ali bin Zeid, a distant relative of Jordan’s King Abdullah II, alongside CIA operatives—and the fact that the attacker was apparently Jordanian double agent—has brought at elements of this partnership into the open. The suspected bomber, Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, was a Jordanian informant who CIA and Jordanian intelligence officials hoped would lead them to al-Qaeda’s No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri. The blast was the worst loss of life for the CIA since the Beirut embassy bombing of 1983. (CSM, Jan. 6)

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