Sunday, 10 January 2010
In yet another media coup for Islamist militants, the Jordanian doctor who blew himself up on 30 December at FOB Chapman in eastern Afghanistan has appeared in a video alongside the leader of the Pakistan Taliban, Hakimullah Mahsud.
The video, recorded in both English and Arabic, shows Dr Hummam Khalil Abu Mulal al-Balawi reading a short statement explaining his decision to carry out the deadly attack which killed seven CIA officers and his Jordanian handler. The English statement, in which he uses his kunyah (lit. a 'hidden' name but often used by followers of al-Qaeda. Abu Dujannah was a Companion of the Prophet, famous for wearing a red headband) and which differs slightly from the Arabic version, reads as follows:
"I am Dr Abu Dujannah al-Khorasani, a Jordanian. I left my family, I left my clinic, I left my car to join the mujahidin in the land of Khorasan. The Jordanians and the American intelligence services offered me millions of dollars to work with them and to spy on mujahidin here, but alhamdillah, I came to the mujahidin and told them everything and we arranged together this attack to let the Americans understand that the belief of Allah, the iman we hold, the taqwa we stand for, cannot be exchanged for all the wealth in the world.
This attack will be the first of the revenge operations against the Americans and their drone teams outside the Pakistani borders.
After they killed the Amir of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Baitullah Mahsud - may God have mercy on his soul - this is a message to all kaffirin that we as Moslems, and muhajiroun and ansar, we never forget our martyrs. We never forget our prisoners and we will never forget Afia Siddiqui and Sajida Rishawi and our jihad, inshallah, will continue, until we free our prisoners and until the word of Allah prevails."
The two people he refers to are Afia Siddiqui, a Pakistani woman arrested in Afghanistan and now on trial in New York and Sajida Rishawi, a Jordanian woman who tried to blow up a hotel in Amman in 2005 and was subsequently captured and sentenced to death.
The fact that Hakimullah Mahsud appears in the video shows that the TTP had a strong hand in the operation. It is likely, therefore, that Qari Hussein, who runs the training camps for TTP suicide bombers and who made the first claim of responsibility for the attack, was the person who prepared Dr al-Balawi for his mission.
The video also suggests that al-Balawi was very confident of the success of the mission, even though he had never been to FOB Chapman before. Why was he so confident that he would evade security checks? How did he know he was going to meet members of the CIA drone teams? Someone has a lot of explaining to do.