Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Pakistan Taliban says it bombed CIA site

Jan. 1, 2010 - 12:16PM   |   Last Updated: Jan. 1, 2010 - 12:16PM  |  
  • Filed Under

MIR ALI, Pakistan The Pakistani Taliban claimed Friday that they used a turncoat CIA operative to carry out a suicide bombing that killed seven American CIA employees in Afghanistan as revenge for a top militant leader's death in U.S. missile strike.

  • Please enable JavaScript for your browser in order to use militarytimes.com.com.
Want to read more?
Current Subscribers
Access to Military Times Prime is free for current Military Times subscribers.
Log in
Haven't registered online?
Activate Account
New Subscribers
Start your subscription to Military Times Prime for as little as 59¢ a week!
Subscribe

MIR ALI, Pakistan The Pakistani Taliban claimed Friday that they used a turncoat CIA operative to carry out a suicide bombing that killed seven American CIA employees in Afghanistan as revenge for a top militant leader's death in U.S. missile strike.

The announcement was nearly impossible to verify independently because it involves covert operations in a dangerous region. It is highly unusual for the Pakistani Taliban to claim credit for an attack in Afghanistan, and the proclamation followed indications the Afghan Taliban may have been involved in the attack.

CIA spokesman George Little could not confirm the account.

"There is much about the attack that isn't yet known, but this much is clear: The CIA's resolve to pursue aggressive counterterrorism operations is greater than ever," he told The Associated Press.

The suicide bomber struck the CIA's operation at Camp Chapman in eastern Khost province on Wednesday. The base was used to direct and coordinate CIA operations and intelligence gathering in Khost, a hotbed of insurgent activity because of its proximity to Pakistan's lawless tribal areas, former CIA officials said. Among the seven killed was the chief of the operation, they said.

Six other people were wounded in what was one of the worst attacks in CIA history.

Qari Hussain, a top militant commander with the Pakistani Taliban who is believed to be a suicide bombing mastermind, said militants had been searching for a way to damage the CIA's ability to launch missile strikes on the Pakistani side of the border.

The U.S. has launched scores of such missile attacks in the tribal regions over the past year and a half, aiming for high-value al-Qaida and other militant targets; one strike killed former Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud in August.

Hussain said a "CIA agent" contacted Pakistani Taliban commanders and said he'd been trained by the agency to take on militants but that he was willing to attack the U.S. intelligence operation on the militants' behalf. He did not specify the nationality of the "agent."

"Thank God that we then trained him and sent him to the Khost air base. The one who was their own man, he succeeded in getting his target," Hussain told an AP reporter who traveled to see him in South Waziristan on Friday. The region is where Pakistan's army is waging a military offensive aimed at dismantling the Pakistani Taliban.

Two former U.S. officials told the AP that the bomber had been invited onto the base and not searched. One official, a former senior intelligence employee, said the man was being courted as an informant and that it was the first time he had been brought inside the camp.

The Pakistani army's offensive in South Waziristan is believed to have forced many Pakistani Taliban leaders to go on the run to other parts of the tribal belt. The group's recent claims that it has sent most of its fighters to help its brethren in Afghanistan were met with skepticism by analysts who said it is trying to worsen the already tense relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan.

Ishtiaq Ahmad, a professor of international relations at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, said the Taliban's latest claim was likely untrue and just another attempt at driving a wedge between the allies because of the military campaign.

"Since the Pakistan army is succeeding, they are trying to complicate Pakistan-U.S. relations," he said. "It only reflects increasing depression."

After Wednesday's attack, Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said an Afghan National Army officer wearing a suicide vest had entered the base and blew himself up. There has been no independent confirmation of the bomber's identity. It was unclear if the Afghan Taliban statement was a claim of responsibility or simply an accounting of what the militants alleged happened.

The Pakistani Taliban and the Afghan Taliban are separate, though linked, insurgent movements. The Afghan Taliban are focused on ridding Afghanistan of Western troops and toppling the U.S.-backed government in Kabul, while the Pakistani Taliban are primarily determined to overthrow the U.S.-allied government in Islamabad.

Both militant movements are largely driven by Pashtuns, an ethnic group that straddles both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border and whose members easily slip back and forth between the countries.

In Washington, CIA director Leon Panetta said Thursday that the seven killed in the Khost attack "were far from home and close to the enemy, doing the hard work that must be done to protect our country from terrorism."

A U.S. intelligence official said the attack will be avenged through successful, aggressive counterterrorism operations, and said the climate at CIA's headquarters in Langley, Virginia, is "determined."

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

Many missions, fewer soldiers
Army chief talks new deployments; 'grave' readiness concern

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook