U.S. officials: 8 Americans killed in Afghanistan - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: U.S. officials: Suicide bomber was a Jordanian doctor


WASHINGTON (AP) -- A former senior intelligence official is confirming that the suicide bomber who killed eight people inside a CIA base in Afghanistan was a Jordanian doctor recruited by Jordanian intelligence to support U.S. efforts against al-Qaida.

The bombing killed seven CIA employees -- four officers and three contracted security guards -- and a Jordanian intelligence officer, Ali bin Zaid, according to a second former U.S. intelligence official. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press.

The former senior intelligence official confirmed an NBC News report Monday that the bomber was Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a 36-year old doctor from Zarqa, Jordan. He was arrested over a year ago by Jordanian intelligence, and was thought to have been flipped to support U.S. and Jordanian efforts against al-Qaida.


WASHINGTON (WKOW) -- The Associated Press has learned that the suicide bomber who killed seven CIA employees at a remote outpost in southeastern Afghanistan had been invited onto the base and was not searched.

A former senior intelligence official says the man was being courted as an informant and that it was the first time he had been brought inside the camp.

The official says a senior and experienced CIA debriefer came from Kabul for the meeting, suggesting that the purpose of the meeting was to gain intelligence.

The former senior intelligence official and another former official with knowledge of the attack spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

The CIA has declined to comment.


WASHINGTON (WKOW) -- President Barack Obama says the seven CIA employees killed by a suicide bomber on in eastern Afghanistan come from a "long line of patriots" whose courageous service has helped to thwart terrorist plots and save lives.

In a letter to CIA employees released by the agency, Obama said the U.S. would not be able to maintain its freedom and security without their service. He also noted that the spy agency has been tested "as never before" since the Sept. 11 attacks.

The president, who is in Hawaii for the holidays, wrote to tell them they "have helped us understand the world as it is, and taken great risks to protect our country." He wrote that they serve in the shadows and their sacrifices have sometimes been unknown to fellow citizens, friends, and even their families


KABUL (WKOW) -- Seven Americans have been killed by a suicide bombing at a military base in Afghanistan.

U.S. officials say the attack targeted U.S. Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost province near the Pakistan border. A senior official says the bomber was wearing a suicide vest.

Another U.S. official says there are conflicting reports on whether the victims were civilian or military.

There are also varying numbers on casualties.

A State Department spokesman says further details are being withheld pending notification of kin.


KABUL (WKOW) -- A U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity says eight Americans were killed in eastern Afghanistan by an attacker wearing a suicide vest.

Details about the incident have not been confirmed and the official would not disclose any other information.

Another senior U.S. official in Washington says there were conflicting reports on the total number of casualties; the Pentagon cannot confirm whether the victims were civilian or military.

A police spokesman in the Khost province says local eyewitnesses reported hearing a blast on a military base in the area.

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