Skip to comments.ABU DUJANA AL-KHORASANI: FROM FORUM TO MARTYRDOM
Posted on 01/10/2010 4:59:28 PM PST by Cindy
SNIPPET: "Some comments
I have to assume that al-Balawi was thoroughly debriefed by al-Qaida before being sent on this mission, and I'm surprised no one has sought to correlate his "infiltration" of al-Qaida with Abu Yahya al-Libi's book released over the summer: "Guidance on the Ruling of the Muslim Spy"
See also: Al Qaida: Western Spies Multiply "Like Locusts"."
(Excerpt) Read more at internet-haganah.com ...
“Key al Qaeda operative killed in US strike in North Waziristan”
By BILL ROGGIO
March 17, 2010 5:43 PM
SNIPPET: “Sadam Hussein Al Hussami, who is also known as Ghazwan al Yemeni, was killed during the March 10 airstrike in the town of Miramshah, according to a statement released on a jihadist forum.
The March 10 airstrike was carried out by unmanned US attack aircraft and targeted two terrorist compounds in the middle of a bazaar in the town. Six Haqqani Network and al Qaeda operatives were reported killed.
Three other al Qaeda operatives, identified as Abu Jameelah al Kuwaiti Hamed al Aazimi, who served with slain al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi; Abu Zahra al Maghrebi; and Akramah al Bunjabi al Pakistani, were killed with Hussami, according to a translation of the martyrdom statement released on March 12 by Abu Abdulrahman al Qahtani, who is said to be based in Waziristan. The statement was posted on the Al Falluja Forum and a translation is provided by Global Terror Alert. [For more information on Aazimi, see Threat Matrix report, “Al Qaeda operative killed in Pakistan linked to Zarqawi.”]
According to Qahtani, Hussami was a protégé of Abu Khabab al Masri, al Qaeda’s top bomb maker and WMD chief who was killed in a US airstrike in July 2008. Hussami was in a prison in Yemen but was released at an unknown point in time.
Hussami “was involved in training Taliban and foreign al Qaeda recruits for strikes on troops in Afghanistan and targets outside the region,” The Wall Street Journal reported. He “was also on a small council that helped plan” the Dec. 30, 2009, suicide attack at Combat Outpost Chapman that killed seven CIA officials and a Jordanian intelligence officer. The slain intelligence operatives were involved in gathering intelligence for the hunt for al Qaeda and Taliban leaders along the Afghan-Pakistani border.”
19 March 2010
“AH, THE PLEASURE OF WAKING UP IN THE MORNING TO DISCOVER THAT...
...you’d spent two years running interference for the Saudis and the CIA:”
March 19th, 2010
Note: The following text is a quote:
AP sources: Birthday cake awaited suicide bomber (Obama’s new interrogation policy)
yahoo ^ | 3/25/2010 | EILEEN SULLIVAN and MATT APUZZO/AP
Posted on March 25, 2010 4:04:13 AM PDT by tobyhill
CIA officers in Afghanistan were so eager to meet the spy they believed would help them crack al-Qaida’s leadership they planned a birthday celebration for his visit in December, current and former U.S. officials said.
A birthday cake was waiting.
But before they could even begin to question their golden source, he detonated a powerful bomb, killing himself and seven CIA employees in one of the deadliest attacks in the agency’s history.
Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a 36-year-old doctor who had been recruited by Jordanian intelligence officials, was really a double agent.
The account of the planned birthday gathering is the latest evidence that CIA officials at the Afghan base trusted the Jordanian and wanted to build rapport with him. It was confirmed by current and former officials briefed on the case, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.
The bombing not only weakened U.S. intelligence operations, it touched off a sometimes contentious debate within the close-knit intelligence community about whether such emotions led the CIA to be too lax with its security.
CIA Director Leon Panetta has scoffed at suggestions that security lapses were to blame for the attack. But it remains unclear why there was such a large contingent around al-Balawi when the bomb erupted.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
ADDING to post no. 16:
CIA Honors Fallen Colleagues
June 7, 2010
The Central Intelligence Agency today paid tribute to its men and women who have died in the line of duty. Twelve stars recently were added to its Memorial Wall, which now commemorates the lives of 102 courageous and talented Americans lost in service to their country.
Standing before the wall in the lobby of CIA Headquarters, Director Leon E. Panetta said: More than six decades ago, the CIA was given its charter to operate overseas in secrecy, in defense of America, in defense of its allies, and most importantly in defense of its values. Across that arc of historyfrom our struggle against Communism to the war with al-QaidaCIAs mission has brought our silent warriors to the enemys frontier and beyond.
No matter when or where they served, or whether their names are known to the world or only to us, each cherished colleague remains a constant source of inspiration and courage. We take strength from their powerful example as we carry on their vital work and the vital work of this Agency, said Director Panetta.
Seven of the 12 new stars honor those killed last December in eastern Afghanistan. Director Panetta noted that President Obama, at a memorial service for the seven, called on the Agencys workforce to continue their work by winning the war against al-Qaida and keeping America safe.
Every day, throughout the world, the CIA is answering that call as a sacred commitment, said Director Panetta. It is a mission without break. It is a mission without pause one that must, and will, end in victory over hatred, ignorance, and oppression. That triumph, when it comes and it will come will be the product of the many who draw strength from the seven who died at Khost.
Five of the new stars honor those who have died in recent years while engaged in clandestine assignments. Continuing operational sensitivities require that the details of their work remain classified.
Speaking of all of those whose lives have been taken while working with CIA, Director Panetta explained: They remind us, as do the losses suffered by our brothers and sisters in uniform, that our nations liberty and security is not free. It must be fought for by every generation. Their stories reaffirm that America is blessed with brave and selfless patriots who are willing to put their lives on the line, who are willing to shoulder that great responsibility.
For all of usfamily, friends, and colleaguesthey are heroes, Director Panetta said. They are our heroes. They are Americas heroes. And thats how we will remember them.
Hundreds of employees, former officers, and family members and friends of those who have died in service with CIA attend the memorial ceremony each year.
Posted: Jun 07, 2010 03:46 PM
Last Updated: Jun 07, 2010 04:45 PM
Last Reviewed: Jun 07, 2010 03:46 PM
25 July 2010
“WHAT JIHADIS THINK THEY KNOW ABOUT JOINT CIA/JORDANIAN INFORMATION OPERATIONS”
SNIPPET: “Not new info, I don’t think, but one for the files”
LONG WAR JOURNAL.org: "KEY AL QAEDA OPERATIVE KILLED IN U.S. STRIKE IN NORTH WAZIRISTAN" (SNIPPET: "Sadam Hussein Al Hussami, who is also known as Ghazwan al Yemeni, was killed..." SNIPPET: "Three other al Qaeda operatives, identified as Abu Jameelah al Kuwaiti Hamed al Aazimi, who served with slain al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi; Abu Zahra al Maghrebi; and Akramah al Bunjabi al Pakistani, were killed with Hussami...") (March 17, 2010)
INTERNET HAGANAH.com: "MORE 'LAST WORDS' FROM THE SHAHEED ABU DUJANA AL-KHORASANI" (SNIPPET: "New video and transcripts have been released by as-Sahab, who are to be commended for making the most of this opportunity. The focus is on the Jordanian intelligence services and provides al-Khorasani's self-serving account of how he first became an informant, and then turned on his handlers. As such, it has some redeeming intelligence value.") (February 28, 2010)
SFGATE.com (AP): "Intelligence Official: US Believes Mehsud is Dead" (SNIPPET: "Neither Pakistan nor the U.S. has officially confirmed the death of Mehsud...") (February 4, 2010, 4:21pm)
NPR.org: "AL-QAIDA EXPERT MONITORS JIHADIST WEB POSTINGS" (SNIPPET: "Islamic extremist Web sites are full of commentary on two men viewed as heroes: the CIA suicide bomber and the Nigerian man suspected of trying to blow up a plane. Al-Qaida expert Jarret Brachman talks to Deborah Amos about jihadist activities on the Internet. Brachman describes who's posting, and who's reading such tributes on the Web.") (January 14, 2010)
ALL THINGS COUNTERTERRORISM - blog: "Abu dujana al Khorasani" by Leah Farrall, Australia (SNIPPET: "Thus far there is one particularly interesting Abu Dujana from 2002 who Im looking at. Having said that there were quite a few with that user name. But why Im looking is that I strongly suspect that al Khorasani's history goes back further on the forums (and possibly in the real world) than what is being reported.") (Posted January 19, 2010)
TOWNHALL.com: "FIRST, THE GOOD NEWS..." -Column by Oliver North (SNIPPET: "Nidal Hasan, a U.S. Army physician, turned for counsel before, according to police, opening fire, killing 13 people and wounding more than two dozen others at Fort Hood on Nov. 5. Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal, the Jordanian physician who blew himself up at the CIA base in Afghanistan last month, was a member of Yemen-based Hisbah.net, an online radical Islamic forum. Now we know that 55,000 Americans currently are "visiting, living or studying in Yemen."") (January 15, 2010)
INTERNET HAGANAH.com: "GREAT MOMENTS IN JIHADI BIGOTRY" (SNIPPET: "Witness these offerings from "Asadullah Alshishani", an allegedly Chechen-American jihadi. First, his poem dedicated to "Our James Bond" Abu Dujana al-Khorasani.") (January 10, 2010)
JARRET BRACHMAN.net - blog: "Abu Dujana now for Kindle??" (SNIPPET: "As an aside, one of the new compilations released of Abu Dujana's writings (this one tops out at 45 essays) now has them in .DOC, .PDF, .DJVU, .EPUB and yes, .MOBI for Kindle. Talk about finding ways to make this material accessible!") (January 10, 2010)
LONG WAR JOURNAL.org: "CIA SUICIDE BOMBER APPEARS ON TAPE WITH LEADER OF PAKISTANI TALIBAN" by Bill Roggio (SNIPPET: ""We will never forget the blood of our emir Baitullah Mehsud," Balawi said. "We will always demand revenge for him inside America and outside.") (January 9, 2010, 11:07 am)
News.Yahoo.com (AP): "CIA BOMBER'S WIFE SAYS WAR MUST GO ON AGAINST U.S." by Selcan Hacaoglu (SNIPPET: "Bayrak also said Friday, "I think the war against the United States must go on." Turkish police questioned and released Bayrak on Thursday. But she says police confiscated a book she had written called "Osama bin Laden the Che Guevera of the East.") (January 8, 7:24 am ET)
JARRET BRACHMAN.net - blog: "ON JIHADIST PUNDITRY: Part 1" (SNIPPET: "At least one irony with this list is that Abu Dujana seems to ignore many of his own self-articulated metrics for effective and objective punditry. He relies heavily on exaggeration, rhetorical games, ad hominem attacks and bravado. Take this excerpt. for instance: You are welcome come to the Al-Hesbah cafe.. go to their menu and pick today's dish: -Roasted Humvee with sauce of human remains. -Exploded tank by an IED with no survivors. -Or a pastry made of Americans' brains taken out with snipers bullets. This is the kind of metaphorical writing that Abu Dujana al-Khorasani, the man we now suspect to be Himam Khalil Mohammad, promulgated online.") (January 6, 2010, 8:52 am)
JIHAD WATCH.org (NBC News): "JORDANIAN DOCTOR WAS CIA INFORMANT WHO KILLED EIGHT PEOPLE IN JIHAD ATTACK" (SNIPPET: "According to Western intelligence officials, the perpetrator was Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, 36, an al-Qaida sympathizer from the town of Zarqa, which is also the hometown of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian militant Islamist responsible for several devastating attacks in Iraq.") (January 4, 2010)
“Memorial Wall Publication”
A bit off thread topic. This is posted here for archival purposes.
State Department: former Gitmo detainee led terror cell in Jordan
LONG WAR JOURNAL.org ^ | August 7, 2010 | By THOMAS JOSCELYN
Posted on August 8, 2010 2:25:00 AM PDT by Cindy
SNIPPET: A former Guantanamo detainee named Usama Abu Kabir led a terror cell in Jordan that was broken up in 2009, according to a new report by the US State Department. On Thursday, the State Department released its Country Reports on Terrorism for 2009. In April , the report notes, four men were arrested and charged with plotting attacks in Israel in retaliation for the Israeli incursion into Gaza. Kabir was one of the four. A fifth member of the cell was arrested in May 2009.
Kabirs arrest was previously reported in the Israeli and Jordanian press. But the State Departments latest report adds a new detail, saying that Kabir is suspected of being the cells leader.
The alleged leader of the cell, the State Department reports, was Kabir, a Jordanian who had been released from US custody at Guantanamo Bay in November 2007. Kabirs terror cell was reportedly in possession of firearms at the time of their apprehension.
In February of this year, a Jordanian court sentenced Kabir and two other cell members to 15 years in prison. An additional two plotters were sentenced to 5 years in prison. A sixth member of the cell, who remains at large, was sentenced in absentia to life in prison.
(Excerpt) Read more at longwarjournal.org ...
Published 17:01 02.03.10Latest update 17:03 02.03.10
Jordan jails 6 for plotting to fight Israel during Gaza war
Five suspects arrested in April, May 2009, with the other, still at large, tried in absentia.
By DPA and Haaretz Service
Tags: al-Qaida Israel news Gaza Jordan
SNIPPET: Mohammad Jamal Hamdan, who is still at large, was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labor.
Osama Abu Kabir, Sakhr Zeidan and Hassan Khalayleh were sentenced to 15 years with hard labour. The court also jailed Walid Abu Ourah and Alauddin Khawaldeh for five years with hard labour.
All defendants plotted to leave Jordan illegally and join fighters in the Gaza Strip at the beginning of 2009, the indictment said.
On Sunday, extremist web sites released a new video by a Jordanian Al-Qaida operative, responsible for an attack on an U.S. army base in Afghanistan last December which killed 7 CIA agents as well as a Jordanian intelligence officer.
Criminal Complaint (copy):
For The Record - The IPT Blog
“Pakistan Taliban Leader Charged in CIA Attack”
Sep 2, 2010 at 2:05 pm
SNIPPET: “Federal prosecutors on Wednesday filed a two-count criminal complaint against Hakimullah Mehsud, leader of the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in connection with a suicide bomb attack in December 2009 that killed seven CIA employees at in Afghanistan. The complaint charges Mehsud with conspiracy to murder U.S. citizens abroad and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction. In a parallel effort, the State Department designated the TTP, commonly known as the Pakistan Taliban as a terrorist group and announced a cash reward of $5 million each for information on Mehsud and another Taliban leader Wali Ur Rehman.
The designation was announced by Daniel Benjamin, the State Department’s Ambassador-at-Large for Counterterrorism, at a news briefing Wednesday. “The TTP is very much part of the most dangerous terrorist threat the United States faces,” Benjamin said.”
NOTE The following text is a quote:
Coordinator, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism
Robert Hartung, Assistant Director of the Threat Investigations and Analysis Directorate in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security
September 1, 2010
Briefing on U.S. Government’s Continued Efforts to Disrupt and Dismantle Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan
MODERATOR: Good afternoon and welcome to the Department of State. To start off todays briefing, we have Ambassador-at-Large for Counterterrorism Dan Benjamin and Rob Hartung, Assistant Director of the Threat Investigations and Analysis Directorate of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security. And theyre here to talk about some steps that we announced this morning with respect to designations of the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, or TTP. Well start off with Dan Benjamin.
AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: Thank you, P.J., and thank you for attending this briefing. Today Im pleased to announce the designation of the Tehrik-e Taliban as both a Foreign Terrorist Organization and as a Special Designated Global Terrorist Organization, in tandem with the designation of two of its senior leaders, Hakimullah Mehsud and Wali Ur Rehman, under Executive Order 13224.
These designations are part of our multipronged approach to disrupt and dismantle Tehrik-e Taliban in Pakistan. These actions will help stem the flow of finances to the TTP and provide the Department of Justice with a critical tool to prosecute those who knowingly provide material support to the TTP and its senior leaders.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the law on these matters, our ability to prosecute terrorist groups and their supporters is greatly enhanced by designations such as this one, which are essential for bringing charges of material support.
In another step against the TTP, the Departments Rewards for Justice Program has announced a $5 million reward for any information leading to the arrest of Mehsud or Rehman. My colleague, Robert Hartung, Assistant Director of the Threat Investigations and Analysis Directorate in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, will discuss this following my remarks.
Elsewhere in the U.S. Government, the Department of Justice has filed an arrest warrant for Hakimullah Mehsud and charged him with conspiracy to murder U.S. citizens abroad and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction. These charges stem from Mehsuds alleged involvement in the murder of seven American citizens at a U.S. military base in Khost, Afghanistan on December 30, 2009.
The various actions taken today against the TTP support the U.S. effort to degrade the capabilities of this dangerous group. We are determined to eliminate TTPs ability to execute violent attacks and to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat their networks.
Tehrik-e Taliban, also known as the Pakistani Taliban, is an organization consisting of a number of militant groups that coalesced under the banner of TTP in 2007. Formed under the direction of militant leader Baitullah Mehsud, TTP is rooted in the tribal belt along the Afghan-Pakistani border.
Hekimullah Mehsud became the groups leader when Baitullah Mehsud was killed in August 2009. Wali Ur Rehman is the TTP amir in South Waziristan.
We should be very clear about this. The TTP is very much part of the most dangerous terrorist threat the United States faces. The TTP and al-Qaida have a symbiotic relationship. TTP draws ideological guidance from al-Qaida while al-Qaida relies on the TTP for safe haven in the Pashtun areas along the Afghan-Pakistani border.
This mutual cooperation gives TTP access to both al-Qaida’s global terrorist network and the operational experience of its members. Given the proximity of the two groups and the nature of their relationship, TTP is a force multiplier for al-Qaida.
TTPs goals include toppling the Government of Pakistan by waging a campaign of terrorism against the civilian leaders of that country and its military. The group also targets NATO forces in Afghanistan. TTP has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against both Pakistani and U.S. interests.
TTP has also been accused by Pakistan law enforcement of being behind the 2007 assassination of Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
Among the numerous TTP attacks carried out under Mehsud and Rehmans leadership in addition to the December 2009 suicide attack on our base that I mentioned earlier was also the April 2010 suicide bombing against the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar which killed six Pakistani citizens.
Most recently, TTP claimed involvement in the failed attempt by Faisal Shahzad to detonate an explosive device in New York Citys Time Square on May 1st, 2010. TTPs claim has been validated by investigations that revealed that the group directed and facilitated the plot.
Let me now turn the podium over to Robert Hartung. And I look forward to your questions afterward.
MR. HARTUNG: Thank you, Ambassador. Good afternoon. I am pleased to announced today that the U.S. Department of State Rewards for Justice Program is offering rewards of up to $5 million each for information that leads law enforcement or security forces to Hakimullah Mehsud and Wali Ur Rehman.
Under their direction, the terrorist organization Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, launched a suicide bombing at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan, attacked the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar, Pakistan, and planned the failed bombing in New York Citys Time Square. In Southern Asia, Mr. Mehsud and Mr. Rehman have planned and organized the killing of citizens from both the United States and Pakistan.
These individuals are dedicated terrorists, and they are attempting to extend their bloody reach into the American homeland. They are a danger to the interests of the United States, to its facilities and its citizens. For that reason, we urge anyone with information on the whereabouts of Mr. Mehsud or Mr. Rehman to contact the Rewards for Justice Program, a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate or a U.S. military commander immediately. You may contact RFJ by visiting the RFJ website at www.RewardsforJustice.net. There you may submit a tip anonymously. You may also reach the Rewards for Justice Program via e-mail at RFJ@State.gov. All information will be kept strictly confidential.
The RFJ Program has been an effective tool in our fight against international terrorism. Since its inception in 1984, the program has paid more than $100 million to more than 60 people who have provided credible information that prevented international terrorist attacks or helped bring terrorists to justice. Through the efforts of the courageous people who have stepped forward with information about wanted terror suspects, the Rewards for Justice Program has helped law enforcement authorities throughout the world stop terrorists and save lives. I am hopeful that our rewards program will play a similar role in bringing Mr. Mehsud and Mr. Rehman to justice. Thank you.
QUESTION: Just for clarification, can you repeat the figures of more than 100 million for —
MR. HARTUNG: More than $100 million to over 60 individuals.
MR. HARTUNG: 1984.
QUESTION: Can you give us some more information about TTP, how big this organization is, how many people work here? And also, what kind of relationship it has or does it has with ISI, as reported in various U.S. media outlets?
AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: Well, it’s important to remember that this is a group that has been already proscribed that is our equivalent of being designated by the Pakistani authorities. And I think thats very important to note.
We may have some numbers for you that we can supply you with afterward. I believe it’s in the several thousands of members.
A number of other attacks that you may recall that they were responsible for, there was a large vehicle-borne IED attack in Kohat on a police station that killed seven people. That was in April. And at the end of May, they carried out attacks on three mosques, minority mosques, Ahmadiyya mosques in Lahore, and that killed 86 people. And there are many, many more attacks that go with that.
QUESTION: And about the links with ISI, several American (inaudible) have written about it.
AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: I don’t know anything about any links.
QUESTION: This has been under consideration for how long?
AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: Well, I cant give you the date that we started this. We have looked at this for a while. The important thing to remember about these designations is its quite a laborious and deliberative process. These are determinations that need to be able to stand up in court. And if you, I think, look back at the history of designations, you will find that many TTP really only appears in late 2007 and there are many other groups that took much longer to designate. But the main thing is that there is a great deal of research and evaluation that has to go on before all these statutory requirements can be met for a designation.
QUESTION: Right. But the Justice Department, you say, is charging him with murder in the of the CIA sorry, you didn’t say that of the Americans in Khost at the which we all know were mostly CIA, even if you guys haven’t said it. And that was in summer of 2009, correct?
AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: I believe that’s right.
QUESTION: So —
MR. CROWLEY: December.
AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: I’m sorry, it was in December of 2009. December 30th, 2009.
QUESTION: So December 30th. Now, there are also youre also saying here that they were involved in this May in the failed Times Square bombing. I realize its impossible to prove a negative here, but had if you had suspected them in the bombing in Khost and then put them on these and designated them, do you think that would have made any difference in whether Faisal Shahzad was able to travel to Pakistan, get his training and experience, as well as the money, which you say is one of the main things squashing the funding? Would that have been preventable?
AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: I think thats really a question for the Justice Department and the FBI, more specifically. But frankly, Im not sure it would have made a difference.
QUESTION: Sir, as far as rewards are concerned or designating these terrorists operating out of Pakistan, what many, including Syria and many other countries, including India, are complaining that these groups are still again back in Pakistan with different new names. Theyre still operating there. So what are you doing about that? What have you done that the one you just designated as terrorist groups, but they will just change their name tomorrow or this evening?
AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: We actually are pretty nimble when it comes to adding other names for these groups to the designation so that they are covered as well. Its obviously an annoyance, but its nonetheless something that were capable of doing and do quite frequently.
QUESTION: What Im really saying that have you or are you speaking to the Pakistani authorities that these groups do not operate under the new names and are you going to enforce this new
AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: Of course, we notify everyone whenever we add a new name. Its published in the Register. It is communicated to relevant foreign governments. Believe me, were quite vigorous about making sure that these designations are well known and that partner governments are working with us against these groups.
QUESTION: Okay, thank you.
AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: Im sorry.
QUESTION: Im just wondering if you could tell us if there have been any immediate practical effects of this designation. Have we found out that the TTP has financial assets in this country that can be frozen? What does this mean for money going in and out of Pakistan? What happens now that
AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: We find that out as a result of these designations. In other words, its because and I defer to the Treasury, which will be able to answer your questions on how exactly that enforcement is carried out. But its because banks are notified that these are designated organizations that they become much more vigilant about any transactions that might involve the TTP. But again, I think that the best explanation of the enforcement aspect of these designations would come from Treasury.
QUESTION: Sir, do you expect this designation will help speed up the capture or the pursuit or the killing of Usama bin Ladin?
AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: Well, as I said, the TTP has a close relationship with al-Qaida. But that said, we have a lot of different relationships in the terrorist world, many different groups, and we have an individual who has shown rather to be himself rather capable at going to ground and being hard to track. So you never know when youre going to find the right lead, but and you should never stop looking. But I dont think we ought to be in the business of predicting that this will be the designation that makes everything happen.
QUESTION: Whats the evidence linking Mehsud to weapons of mass destruction?
AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: Again, I defer to FBI and DOJ on this. But under the statute, the weapon of mass destruction is not necessarily a chemical, biological, nuclear, or radiological device. It can also be as I understand it, various kinds of IEDs are also covered by the statute there.
QUESTION: Well, but that was a suicide bomber.
AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: Well, those are IEDs that theyre using.
QUESTION: So a suicide bomber is now considered a weapon of mass destruction?
AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: It depends on the technical details of the bombs, and Im going to let the FBI answer that question. This is, by the way, not something new. This has been true for many, many years.
QUESTION: As the TTP is based in Pakistan, have you informed the Government of Pakistan, and what is their response and what are the joint actions you are going to take?
AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: Well, let me begin by saying that, as part of the whole designation process, we do go out and tell all of our all the relevant partners about the designation process and its implications. I think that beyond that in terms of any enforcement or operational activity, that will be between us and the Pakistanis because Im not really interested in giving the terrorists any hints as to what we might do.
QUESTION: You said relevant partners. Who else is a partner except U.S. and Pakistan?
AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: Well, there are many, many different countries around the world that have an interest in these designations, many of our European partners who will also and in other parts of the world who will follow our lead in terms of imposing economic sanctions on the group and make material support illegal in their countries as well.
QUESTION: I have just two questions. Are any other Pakistan-based terrorist organization under consideration for being branded as foreign terrorist outfit? And secondly, there was also similar reward for Baitullah Mehsud. Did anyone get that reward he was killed?
AMBASSADOR BENJAMIN: Ill let Mr. Hartung answer the second question. But let me just say that, for obvious reasons, we dont discuss exactly who we are thinking of designating at any particular time, again, because we dont want to show our hand. These are very much internal deliberations.
MR. HARTUNG: And regarding Mr. Mehsud, no, a reward was not given in that case.
MR. CROWLEY: Other questions? Gentlemen, thank you.
CIA Home > News & Information > Press Releases & Statements > 2010 Press Releases & Statements > Message from the Director: Lessons from Khowst
Message from the Director: Lessons from Khowst
Last December, our Agency family lost seven courageous and talented colleagues in a terrorist attack at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khowst, Afghanistan. These dedicated men and women were assigned to CIAs top prioritydisrupting and dismantling al-Qaida and its militant allies.
That work carries, by its very nature, significant risk. CIA is conducting the most aggressive counterterrorism operations in our history, a mission we are pursuing with a level of determination worthy of our fallen heroes. We will sustain that momentum and, whenever possible, intensify our pursuit. We will continue to fight for a safer America.
Earlier this year, I directed that a task force of seasoned Agency professionals conduct a review of the Khowst attack. The purpose was to examine what happened, what lessons were learned, and what steps should be taken to prevent such incidents in the future. In addition, I asked Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Charlie Allen, a highly accomplished former Agency officer, to conduct an independent study of the Khowst attack and to review the work of the task force. They concurred with its findings. One of CIAs greatest strengths is our ability to learn from experience, refine our methods, and adapt to the shifting tactics of Americas enemies.
The review is now complete, and I would like to thank those who participated. They did our Agency a great service. It was, to be sure, a difficult taskespecially since key insights perished with those we lost. Perfect visibility into all that contributed to the attack is therefore impossible. But based on an exhaustive examination of the available information, we have a firm understanding of what our Agency could have done better. In keeping with past practice, we will provide the Khowst report to the Office of Inspector General.
In highly sensitive, complex counterterrorism operations, our officers must often deal with dangerous people in situations involving a high degree of ambiguity and risk. The task force noted that the Khowst assailant fit the description of someone who could offer us access to some of our most vicious enemies. He had already provided information that was independently verified. The decision to meet him at the Khowst basewith the objective of gaining additional intelligence on high priority terrorist targetswas the product of consultations between Headquarters and the field. He had confirmed access within extremist circles, making a covert relationship with himif he was acting in good faithpotentially very productive. But he had not rejected his terrorist roots. He was, in fact, a brutal murderer.
Mitigating the risk inherent in intelligence operations, especially the most sensitive ones, is essential to success. In this case, the task force determined that the Khowst assailant was not fully vetted and that sufficient security precautions were not taken. These missteps occurred because of shortcomings across several Agency components in areas including communications, documentation, and management oversight. Coupled with a powerful drive to disrupt al-Qaida, these factors contributed to the tragedy at Khowst. Each played an important role; none was more important than the others. Based on the findings of the task force and the independent review, responsibility cannot be assigned to any particular individual or group. Rather, it was the intense determination to accomplish the mission that influenced the judgments that were made.
There are no guarantees in the dangerous work of counterterrorism, but the task force identified six key areas that deserve greater focus as we carry out that vital mission. We will:
Enforce greater discipline in communications, ensuring that key guidance, operational facts, and judgments are conveyed and clearly flagged in formal channels.
Strengthen our attention to counterintelligence concerns while maintaining a wartime footing.
Apply the skills and experience of senior officers more effectively in sensitive cases.
Require greater standardization of security procedures.
More carefully manage information sharing with other intelligence services.
Maintain our high operational tempo against terrorist targets, even as we make adjustments to how we conduct our essential mission.
I have approved 23 specific actions recommended by the task force, some of which I ordered implemented months ago. They provide for organizational and resource changes, communications improvements, tightened security procedures, more focused training, and reinforced counterintelligence practices. These include:
Establishing a War Zone Board made up of senior officers from several components and chaired by the Director of the National Clandestine Service. It will conduct a baseline review of our staffing, training, security, and resources in the most dangerous areas where we operate.
Assembling a select surge cadre of veteran officers who will lend their expertise to our most critical counterterrorism operations.
Creating an NCS Deputy within the Counterterrorism Center, who will report to the Director of the Counterterrorism Center and ensure a more integrated effort across Agency offices.
Conducting a thorough review of our security measures and applying even more rigorous standards at all our facilities.
Expanding our training effort for both managers and officers on hostile environments and counterintelligence challenges.
Creating an integrated counterintelligence vetting cell within our Counterterrorism Center that focuses on high-risk/high-gain assets, evaluates potential threats, assesses lessons learned, and applies the latest technology and best practices to counterterrorism operations.
Designating a senior officer to ensure that all the recommendations are indeed implemented.
Weve now taken a hard look at what happened and what needed to be done after the tragedy at Khowst. While we cannot eliminate all of the risks involved in fighting a war, we can and will do a better job of protecting our officers. Drawing on the work of the task force and its insights, its time to move forward. Nothing in the report can relieve the pain of losing our seven fallen colleagues. By putting their lives on the line to pursue our nations terrorist enemies, they taught us what bravery is all about. It is that legacy that we will always remember in our hearts.
Leon E. Panetta
Posted: Oct 19, 2010 06:30 PM
Last Updated: Oct 19, 2010 06:30 PM
Last Reviewed: Oct 19, 2010 06:30 PM
“Yemeni al Qaeda operative killed along Afghan-Pakistani border”
By BILL ROGGIO
December 11, 2010
SNIPPET: “A seasoned al Qaeda operative from Yemen was among several terrorists killed in a US raid along the Afghan-Pakistani border last month.
The al Qaeda operative was identified as Abu Abdulrahman al Qahtani, a veteran jihadist from Yemen, according to a martyrdom statement released on the Al Faloja Forum, a website frequented by al Qaeda supporters.”
SNIPPET: “Qahtani was a close associate of al Qaeda operatives Ghazwan al Yemeni, Abu Dujanah al Sanaani, and Abu Dujanah al Khurasani.
Abu Dujanah al Khurasani, who is also known as Humam Khalil Muhammed Abu Mulal al Balawi, carried out the suicide attack against the CIA at Combat Outpost Chapman in Khost province on Dec. 30, 2009 that killed seven CIA operatives and a Jordanian intelligence officer. Khurasani, a Jordanian, had enticed the CIA with promises of being able to produce Ayman al Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s second in command. Khurasani, like Qahtani, was a longtime internet jihadi.”
The Operational Network of Abu Dujana al-Khorasani in AFPAK
“Obama Marks Anniversary of CIA Attack”
December 31, 2010
Home Briefing Room Statements & Releases
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
December 30, 2010
Statement by the President on the One Year Anniversary of the Attack on CIA Personnel
One year ago today, at a remote outpost at Khost, Afghanistan, seven American patriots showed us the true meaning of honor, integrity, and selfless sacrifice. For their colleagues and friends at the CIA, it was a heartbreaking loss of experienced veterans and young officers who served on the front lines in the fight to keep our nation safe. For Americans to whom the work of our intelligence community is largely unknown, it was a rare glimpse into the risks that our intelligence professionals accept in defense of the security and freedoms that we cherish. And for those of us who gathered at Langley last February to pay tribute to these seven heroes and to comfort their families, it was an occasion to rededicate ourselves to their work and to the ideals for which they died.
In the year since, that is what we have done. As President, I rely on our intelligence, military, and civilian personnel every day, and I know that our country is more secure, and the American people are safer, because of their extraordinary service. Today, al Qaedas senior leadership is under more pressure than ever before and is hunkered down in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan. We are relentlessly pursuing our mission to disrupt, dismantle, and ultimately defeat that terrorist organization. In the United States and around the world, plots have been thwarted, attacks have been disrupted, and the lives of Americans have been saved.
This is the legacy of the courageous Americans who gave their lives one year ago and whose stars now grace the Memorial Wall at Langley, just as it is the legacy of our troops who have given their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq. As we mark the first anniversary of their sacrifice at Khost, this is the work to which we recommit ourselves today. We will ensure that our dedicated intelligence professionals have the training and tools they need to meet the missions we ask of them. We will do everything in our power to ensure the safety and security of the American people. And like our seven patriots at Khost, we will never waver in defense of the security and liberties that keep America strong and free.
“From the Pen to the Sword”
January 3rd, 2011 | AQ Central, Afghanistan, Better Know a Forum, Jordan, propaganda, terrorism
SNIPPET: “One of the things that struck me about the Stockholm bomber, Taimour Abdalwahhab, was that he was apparently active on the internet as a radical before he decided to engage in actual terrorism (see Thomas posts below for more details). This transition reminded me of a similar but much more serious process by someone who also moved from jihad by the pen to jihad by the sword: Abu Dujana al-Khurasani, the Jordanian former internet-jihadi turned suicide bomber who killed several CIA-agents in his attack on an American base in Khost, Afghanistan, on 30 December 2009.
The attack in Khost, which took place exactly a year ago, led many to praise al-Khurasani for his supposed heroism, his willingness to move from cyber-jihadism to an actual suicide bombing and his loyalty to the cause. A few months ago, an e-book was released by the Jihadi Media Elite (Nukhbat al-Ilam al-Jihadi) that not only continues this praise but also contains dozens of articles about al-Khurasani and provides all the writings and recordings by the man himself as well: Abu Dujana al-Khurasani: The Hero of the Jihadi Media and the Destroyer of the Intelligence Services (only the link to the e-book works).
The book is obviously hagiographic, but that doesnt make it less interesting since it gives the jihadi version of things and, as such, can be seen as jihadi historiography.”
“Installment three: True stories of the Jordanian Intelligence”
“CIA’s Fatal Welcome Mat for Triple Agent Recounted”
SNIPPET: “Perhaps the most riveting passage in the second installment of Joby Warricks new book on the tragic deaths of seven CIA personnel in Afghanistan 18 months ago is his description of the triple agents last 100 yards into the base at Khost.
The ease with which Humam al-Balawi persuaded the CIA to let him onto the base without being patted down has been much remarked upon — and criticized — by veteran operatives who blamed CIA management for letting someone with no field experience run the operation.”
AIR DATE: Aug. 30, 2011
Real-Life Thriller Explores al-Qaida Triple Agent’s CIA Infiltration, Bombing”
Note: Video included.
“Brian Ross Investigates CIA Bomber”
“CIA Punishment? Go Work with NYPD”
By MATTHEW COLE
Oct. 31, 2011
SNIPPET: “A senior CIA officer whose operational misjudgment contributed to one of the deadliest days in CIA history was recently assigned to a post with the New York City police department as a result of his mistakes, according to current and former officials.
According to two former officials, the posting marks the most significant sanction handed out for the December 2009 suicide bombing by an al Qaeda double agent at a CIA base in Khost, Afghanistan that killed seven CIA employees, and acts as an unofficial punishment for the officer’s role in the operation. The CIA officer had been one of several high-ranking officials who approved the meeting at which the double agent detonated his bomb.”
SNIPPET: “The CIA official declined a request for an interview. ABC News is withholding his name at the request of the CIA, because his identity is classified as he remains undercover.
The NYPD did not respond to several requests for comment. The CIA refused to comment on the record.”
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