Al-Qaeda: CIA Attack Revenge for Drone Killings

Apparent al-Qaeda "Triple Agent" Carried Out Attack

According to an internet posting today, al-Qaeda claimed credit for last week’s Khost Province bombing against a CIA base, saying the attack was revenge for drone attacks in Pakistan.

The attack was carried out by Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a Jordanian spy who had been assigned to infiltrate al-Qaeda and determine the whereabouts of Ayman al-Zawahri,

Balawi’s case is a complicated one. A Jordanian doctor who was arrested as an al-Qaeda sympathizer, Jordan’s General Intelligence Directorate (GID) recruited him as a “double agent” against al-Qaeda. Yet it turns out Balawi was a triple agent, pretending to be a Jordanian agent pretending to work for al-Qaeda while he secretly actually did work for al-Qaeda after all.

Balawi told the CIA he had “urgent” information for them, and was allowed onto the Khost base unsearched, where he detonated an explosive vest, killing seven CIA agents and a Jordanian spy.

Al-Qaeda is not the first group to claim credit for the bombing, however. Both the Afghan Taliban and the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed the strike initially, and officials also pointed the finger at North Waziristan’s Haqqani family.

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.