After deadly 2009 CIA attack hunt for Zawahiri went personal


It was one of in darkest days in CIA history: Seven operatives killed after a rogue informant lured them into deadly trap. In later years, memories of 2009 disaster in eastern Afghanistan helped revitalize the intelligence agency global Search for an elusive terrorist believed to have played key role in the deaths of officers.

The terrorist was Ayman al-Zawahiri, the assassinated leader of al-Qaeda. on Saturday, in strike out CIA. Nothing in official US statements describe Zawahiri’s actions death like payback for American losses in Khost, Afghanistan, about 12 years ago. But many former as well as current scouts say it’s for sure how felt.

The CIA, as usual practice, did not publicly acknowledge any part in firing the missile that hit Zawahiri while he was standing on his balcony in flat building in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. But since Monday confirmation of 71-year- old Egyptian death It has triggered emotional response at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia, and also with former colleaguesfriends and family members of those who were killed or injured in 2009.

“This is an incredibly personal moment,” said Mark Polymeropoulos, former official with CIA operations division who served with several of five men and two women from the agency killed at Camp Chapman, a CIA base on outskirts of Host from which the agency worked secretly missions against Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters. In addition to seven CIA operatives, senior Jordanian intelligence officer and Afghan driver we also killed.

Polymeropoulos described the death at Camp Chapman as “the most striking example of of tragic expenses of in fight against terrorism”.

Numerous current as well as former CIA officials noted news of Zawahiri death with social media posts are paid tribute CIA and security officers team officials who died in Host attack deadliest against CIA since eight employees have been killed in explosion at the US embassy in Beirut in 1983.

“Just remember. They are heroes.” former CIA director and Ret. General Michael N. Hayden wrote in twitter post. In an interview, Hayden recalled how he worked with two of officers killed, Host Base Chief Jennifer Matthews and Elizabeth Hanson, and learning of their deaths at CIA Headquarters on day of in attack.

“I went outside to my car and cried,” Hayden said.

CIA Director William J. Burns, in The Washington Post did not respond to a request comment on Details of operation against Zawahiri but said events were deeply personal for CIA.”

Zawahiri appeared on his balcony. The CIA was ready kill his.

“On the hunt for Ayman al-Zawahiri, cruel attack took life of seven CIA officers in Host in 2009,” Burns said. “While terrorism remains very real challengeZawahiri’s removal reduces this threat and proposes a measure of justice”.

Zawahiri role in Surprisingly complex al-Qaeda operation against CIA base chronicled in 2011 book and also described in articles and essays on attack. key the figure was Jordanian nationalHumam al-Balawi, a physician who got into trouble in his home country for posting messages in support of al-Qaeda on social media. After being interrogated by the Jordanian intelligence service, he was persuaded to become an informant for the counterterrorism service. Eventually Balawi agreed to go to Pakistan to collect information it might help the CIA find for Osama bin Laden and other top leaders of al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

After the disappearance for months, Balavi surfaced in end of 2009 with startling statement: he established high-level contacts in community of al-Qaeda fighters hide out in lawless tribe region along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

As evidence, Balavi began to provide evidence of his interactions, including mobile phone video of senior al-Qaeda leaders to its handlers from Jordan, who passed information at the CIA. The Jordanian General Intelligence Agency works regularly with American counterparts in tracking and suppression of terrorist operations around the world and two countries closely related on Balavi case.

By the end of December 2009, the CIA was eager to meet with Jordanian spy who sensed a potential breakthrough in long dormant agency search for bin Laden and other terrorist leaders behind September 11, 2001 attacks. With seeming reluctance, Balavi agreed to a meeting at the CIA base. in host. Then, in a move which ensured an enthusiastic reception from the Americans, he posted a particularly tantalizing new Detail: doctor provided medical care for Zawahiri, then number 2 in al-Qaeda.

Balavi shared little-known details about Zawahiri’s physical condition, including his various chronic diseases and his scars from years of torture in Egyptian prisons. The details matched what the CIA already knew about Zawahiri and seemed to confirm that Balavi was indeed in close contact with al-Qaeda’s deputy.

The meeting was set for December 30, 2009 with are planning to visit numerous CIA counter-terrorism experts. Balavi arrived to car and because of extreme sensitivity around the meeting, the CIA postponed any physical searches of informant until he was inside agency territory.

Balavi had indeed was on a mission, but he was loyal to al-Qaeda, not to Jordan or the CIA. Under the cloak he hid the bomb made of powerful Explosive C4. Coming to your feet of CIA team he blew up device.

attack led to an extensive investigation and triggered numerous operational changes, including increased of counterintelligence guarantees. Agency officials were unable to determine full degree of Zawahiri’s involvement in plan for 2009 attack but somehow allowed himself the bait for a sophisticated operation that allowed a suicide bomber to infiltrate a highly secure and highly secret CIA facility, current as well as former officials said.

Zawahiri path to global terrorist leader

That’s why many in The CIA saw Zawahiri death as justice delivered, years later of waiting. Tuesday printed copy of an article in the Washington Post was posted on grave of Matthews, head of base at Khost, killed in 2009. USA kills Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in drone attack in Kabul,” read the headline.

The photograph was featured in twitter post on Tuesday Christine Wooda former CIA officer who worked with Matthews.

“Calm down sister,” the tweet read.


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