Militants Vie to Take Credit for CIA Bombing

Pakistani, Afghan Taliban Both Claim Strike

Wednesday’s bombing against a key CIA installation in Afghanistan’s Khost Province was the biggest loss suffered by the agency in over a quarter century, and has led to considerable speculation over who managed to hit such a secretive site that even the US military was calling it a “gym” full of “civilians” in the middle of a warzone.

It would be quite a coup for whichever group managed it, and interestingly enough, more than one group is claiming credit. The Afghan Taliban were first, claiming they had recruited a “disillusioned Afghan National Army soldier” to carry out the hit.

But not long after, the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a totally separate group, declared that they had recruited the attacker, who they described as a CIA asset.

Both stories have some measure of validity: it has been confirmed that the attack was in fact someone the CIA was recruiting to spy for them, while NATO also says the attacker was wearing an Afghan Army uniform. So which group actually did it?

Maybe either one, but maybe also neither one. Officials were quick to point their fingers at the Haqqani family, a group in Pakistan that has informal ties to the Afghan Taliban, and since the site was used to coordinate drone strikes (which have almost exclusively been against the Haqqanis) they seem to have the motivation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.