The Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) released a video today which removed any doubt that it was them behind the bombing of the secret CIA base at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost Province, Afghanistan.
In the video the attacker, Jordanian triple agent Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, appears with TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud. The video is dated December 20, 10 days before the attack, and Balawi describes it as a letter to the CIA and Jordan’s General Intelligence Directorate (GID).
Balawi confirmed what an apparent email from Hakimullah earlier in the week said, that the attack was retaliation for the August drone strike which killed former TTP leader Baitullah Mehsud.
Balawi had been arrested as an al-Qaeda sympathizer in Jordan and eventually was recruited by the GID as a double agent to infiltrate al-Qaeda and determine the whereabouts of Ayman al-Zawahri. In reality it turns out Balawi was a triple agent, pretending to be a GID agent pretending to be an al-Qaeda agent, while secretly in league with the TTP.
The TTP was just one of several groups which took credit for, or was blamed for, the attack. The Afghan Taliban claimed it was carried out by an Afghan Army officer, whereas al-Qaeda claimed Balawi was working for them and the attack was revenge for other drone killings. Western officials had also blamed the Haqqani family, a militant group with historic ties to both al-Qaeda and Pakistan’s ISI, for the attack.