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Suspected CIA suicide bomber calls American team 'gift from God'

Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi is believed to be the suicide bomber who killed seven CIA operatives and a Jordanian.
Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi is believed to be the suicide bomber who killed seven CIA operatives and a Jordanian.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi has been ID'd as bomber who killed 7 CIA agents
  • Newly released video shows al-Balawi describing what led to suicide attack
  • He says CIA team was not original target, but "a gift from God," who sent "valuable prey"
  • Al-Balawi says in video he fooled Jordanian officials into thinking he worked for them
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Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- The man believed to be the suicide bomber who killed seven CIA employees and contractors last year appears in a newly released video, claiming to have tricked Jordanian intelligence officers as a double agent.

The 43-minute video, posted on various Islamic radical Web sites Saturday, shows Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, whom a former U.S. intelligence official identified as the suicide bomber.

Family members have said that the man in the video, who uses the alias Abu Dajana Al-Khorasani, is al-Balawi. A much shorter version of the video was posted online in January.

The December 30 bombing at a U.S. base in Khost, in southeastern Afghanistan, killed seven CIA operatives and a Jordanian army captain. The video posted Saturday is dated "Safar 1431" on the lunar calendar, which includes any day between January 16, 2010 and February 13, 2010.

In the video, al-Balawi says killing the CIA team wasn't part of the initial plan. "We planned for something but got a bigger gift -- a gift from God -- who brought us ... a valuable prey: Americans, and from the CIA."

The video opens with a montage of images -- including clips of torture and meetings of world leaders, such as former President George W. Bush with Jordan's King Abdullah and President Obama. A narrator criticizes the "infidel West," and talks of crimes against Muslims.

Al-Balawi then appears on the video, vowing to bring down the CIA and saying how he deceived Jordanian officials into believing he worked for them.

"Look, this is for you," he says to the camera, while sitting in a vehicle. "It's not a watch. It's a detonator to kill as many as I can, God willing."

Later in the video, al-Balawi gives an interview to As-Sahab Media, the production wing of al Qaeda. He says he had tried to join "jihad" in Iraq after the start of the U.S.-led war there. He began to write on online forums about jihad, he tells an unidentified interviewer in a room.

He says he found his opportunity to join the militant mission after being recruited by Jordanian officials as a spy in Afghanistan.

Al-Balawi was recruited by Jordanian authorities as a counterterrorism intelligence source, a Jordanian official told CNN last month.

"Actually, Jordanian intelligence -- may God send consecutive curses on it -- is the one who gave me a large amount of money, it is the one who paid for my ticket, and it is the one who helped me to forge some documents I needed to get a Pakistani visa," the man in the video says.

Jordanian and U.S. intelligence agencies apparently believed al-Balawi had been rehabilitated from his extremist views and were using him to hunt Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda's No. 2 figure, a former U.S. intelligence official said.

Al-Balawi claims in the video that the Jordanian authorities paid him and that the money went to support the Mujahedeen.

"So this is a new era for the Mujahedeen, God willing, in which the Mujahedeen will use intelligence-based tactics and methods which rival or even exceed those of the security apparatuses of the strongest of states, like Jordan and America, with the permission of Allah, Lord of the worlds," he says.

Al-Balawi said he initially targeted a Jordanian official, referred to as Sharif Ali bin Zaid. The narrator said that Zaid, an army captain, was killed in the attack.

"So it wasn't planned this way," al-Balawi said. "The target was Abu Zaid, but the stupidity of Jordanian intelligence and the stupidity of American intelligence is what has turned it into a valuable prey. It's a blessing from Allah."

The man explained why he was choosing a suicide mission, or "martyrdom," for his attack on the U.S. base in Khost.

"You can only get a maximum number of kills for a minimum number of martyrs and losses in the ranks of the Mujahedeen with a martyrdom operation," he said.

 
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