‘Systemic failures’ led to attack, CIA says

October 20, 2010

This 1997 photo released Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010, by Keith Country Day School shows Elizabeth Hanson. Hanson is one of the seven CIA employees killed in a suicide bombing at a remote base near the PakistanAfghanistan border. Hanson, 30, along with the other CIA employees died Dec. 30 in Khost after a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device. (AP Photo/Keith Country Day School)

The CIA was cautioned last year that a self-proclaimed al-Qaeda turncoat might be luring the agency into an ambush, a warning that came weeks before the man killed seven agency operatives in a suicide attack in Afghanistan, an internal investigation has found.

The warning from a Jordanian intelligence officer was never passed along, one of a chain of lapses that ultimately allowed a double agent to penetrate the base, CIA Director Leon Panetta said Tuesday. Panetta provided an overview of the agency’s still-classified report, which he said points to multiple failures but stops short of recommending disciplinary measures against any individuals.
Standard procedures used in dealing with informants – including proper vetting and security precautions – were relaxed amid an eagerness by CIA officers to meet Humam al-Balawi, a Jordanian physician who promised he could deliver al-Qaeda’s No. 2 commander, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Panetta said.
“There was a systemic breakdown with regard to the kind of judgment and scrutiny that should have been applied here,” the CIA director said in reviewing the key findings with reporters at the agency’s headquarters in McLean.


Jordanian Bomber at CIA base was a double agent

January 5, 2010

Today’s special: Crispy fried jihadis… via weaselzippers.net

A Jordanian double agent killed seven CIA officers as well as a Jordanian intelligence officer at the U.S. outpost in Khost province, Afghanistan, last week, NBC reports.

The asset, Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, was a doctor from the hometown of slain Jordanian Al Qaeda operative Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, who had been arrested by Jordanian authorities last year, and they thought, reformed. Al-Balawi reportedly told his Jordanian intelligence handler that he had information he had to give to the CIA related to Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian-born Al Qaeda deputy to Osama bin Laden. via politico.com
In this undated photo provided by Amy Messner, Scott Michael Roberson is seen. Roberson, 39, was working as a security officer for the CIA when the blast on Dec. 30, 2009 rocked the remote outpost in Khost province in Afghanistan, said his sister, Amy Messner of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. (AP Photo/Amy Messner) NO SALES

In this undated photo provided by Amy Messner, Scott Michael Roberson is seen. Roberson, 39, was working as a security officer for the CIA when the blast on Dec. 30, 2009 rocked the remote outpost in Khost province in Afghanistan, said his sister, Amy Messner of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. (AP Photo/Amy Messner) viakansascity.com

The Jordanian Embassy confirmed this morning that the Jordanian officer reported killed in the Khost attack, Sharif Ali bin Zeid, was a distant relative of King Abdullah II and the Jordanian ambassador to Washington, Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein. The embassy would not confirm that the Jordanian official was an intelligence official. via politico.com

The AP identifies a second of the seven CIA officials killed in the suicide attack as Scott Michael Roberson, 39, said to be working as a security officer for the CIA, and identified to the AP by his sister. Previously the family of Harold E. Brown has identified him as another of the American officials killed in the Khost attack. So far not publicly identified is the Khost CIA base chief, said to be a female veteran clandestine service officer with three children. via politico.com



Jordanian Bomber at CIA base was a double agent

January 5, 2010

Today’s special: Crispy fried jihadis… via weaselzippers.net
A Jordanian double agent killed seven CIA officers as well as a Jordanian intelligence officer at the U.S. outpost in Khost province, Afghanistan, last week, NBC reports.

The asset, Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, was a doctor from the hometown of slain Jordanian Al Qaeda operative Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, who had been arrested by Jordanian authorities last year, and they thought, reformed. Al-Balawi reportedly told his Jordanian intelligence handler that he had information he had to give to the CIA related to Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian-born Al Qaeda deputy to Osama bin Laden. via politico.com

In an undated photo provided by Amy Messner, Scott Michael Roberson is seen. Roberson, 39, was working as a security officer for the CIA when the blast on Dec. 30, 2009 rocked the remote outpost in Khost province in Afghanistan, said his sister, Amy Messner of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. (AP Photo/Amy Messner) via kansascity.com

The Jordanian Embassy confirmed this morning that the Jordanian officer reported killed in the Khost attack, Sharif Ali bin Zeid, was a distant relative of King Abdullah II and the Jordanian ambassador to Washington, Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein. The embassy would not confirm that the Jordanian official was an intelligence official. via politico.com
The AP identifies a second of the seven CIA officials killed in the suicide attack as Scott Michael Roberson, 39, said to be working as a security officer for the CIA, and identified to the AP by his sister. Previously the family of Harold E. Brown has identified him as another of the American officials killed in the Khost attack. So far not publicly identified is the Khost CIA base chief, said to be a female veteran clandestine service officer with three children. via politico.com