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CIA attack 'revenge for Mehsud'.

1/9/2010 7:18:09 AM

The suicide bomber who killed eight people at a US base in Afghanistan said he was carrying out the attack in response to the death of Baitullah Mehsud, the Pakistani Taliban leader killed by a US drone.

In a video released to Al Jazeera on Saturday, Hammam Khalil al-Balawi is shown shooting a gun as he describes how the attack would target US and Jordanian intelligence agents.

Seven American CIA officers were among the dead when al-Balawi, a "double agent" recruited by Jordanian intelligence services to inform on al-Qaeda, blew himself up at the base in Khost, a province bordering Pakistan.

"This is a message to the enemies of the Umma [nation], to the Jordanian intelligence and the CIA," al-Balawi said in his video.

The eighth victim of the suicide attack was a Jordanian intelligence officer, identified by Jordan's state news agency Petra as Captain Sharif Ali bin Zeid.

Mehsud retaliation

Al-Balawi said in the video: "We say that we will never forget the blood of our Emir Baitullah Mehsud, God's mercy on him.

"To retaliate for his death in the United States and outside the United States will remain an obligation on all emigrants who were harboured by Baitullah Mehsud."

Mehsud was the leader of the Pakistani Taliban umbrella organisation, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, and was blamed for numerous suicide bombings and other attacks in the country.

He was initially reported dead after a missile fired by a US drone hit his house in the Zangar area of South Waziristan on August 5 last year, but it was not until later that month that the group acknowledged his death.

Hakimullah Mehsud, the Pakistani Taliban commander who succeeded Baitullah Mehsud as the leader of the umbrella group, is shown sitting next to al-Balawi in Saturday's video.

"God willing his successor the Emir of Pakistan's Taliban Hakimullah will go on the same methodology and the same path until we achieve victory or meet the same fate like that of Hamza Abdul Muttaleb," al-Balawi said.

Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from Swat valley, said that the video showed "there was clearly a link between the Pakistani Taliban, headed by Hakimullah Mehsud, and some of the al-Qaeda elements operating in the area".

"This was a video that was expected, everyone was told al-Balawi had recorded a message before he went on this mission."

Father speaks out

Following the release of the video, Khalil al-Balawi, Balawi andrsquo;s father, spoke from his home in the Jordanian capital, Amman and confirmed that it showed his son, saying he was not astonished by what his son had done.

"We are not surprised, fighting the arrogant, unjust, haughty and tyrant American who kills civilians and innocent people makes the whole Islamic world hate America ... I say that Hammam sacrificed his body and soul for the oppressed.

"Khalil al-Balawi also harshly criticised intelligence officials for his son andrsquo;s change. "I blame the agencies that recruited him, and changed him," he said.

"They changed him. They turned him from a human, a doctor, to a person with a heart full of negative and hostile emotions toward others." 2003 - 2009

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Date:Jan 10, 2010
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