Tuesday, January 05, 2010

A matter of perspective

Here's today's Wall Street Journal headline regarding the suicide attack that killed 7 CIA officers and contractors in Khost, Afghanistan:

CIA Blast Blamed On Double Agent 

Shouldn't "Blamed on" be "Credited to"? That was a devastatingly effective piece of spycraft, reminiscent of the assassination of Northern Alliance leader Ahmad Shah Massoud by a suicide bomber disguised as a journalist two days before 9/11.   According to the Times, the agent, a Jordanian physician named Humam Khalil Mohammed, won the trust first of the Jordanian General Intelligence Directorate, which works closely with the U.S.,  and then of the CIA officers -- but was also a highly influential Jihiadi.  According to terrorism expert Jarret Brachman, cited in the Times, the bomber, using the online persona Abu Dujana al-Khorasani, was "one of the most revered authors on the jihadists’ forums...in the top five jihadists... one of the biggest guns out there.” The Times also reports:
The attack at the C.I.A. base dealt a devastating blow to the spy agency’s operations against militants in the remote mountains of Afghanistan, eliminating an elite team using an informant with strong jihadi credentials. The attack further delayed hope of penetrating Al Qaeda’s upper ranks, and also seemed potent evidence of militants’ ability to strike back against their American pursuers.
 Imagine what a hero this guy is in jihadist circles.

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