CIA director defends agency after Afghanistan suicide blast
CIA director Leon Panetta has stridently denied reports that Jordanian suicide bomber Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi's attack was possible due to the agency’s 'poor tradecraft.'
The director of the Central Intelligence Agency has spoken out to defend the agency against accusations that lax security allowed a Jordanian man to kill seven CIA agents and agency contractors when he blew himself up in Khost Province, Afghanistan on Dec. 30.
In an opinion piece published in Sunday's Washington Post, Leon Panetta stridently denied reports that the deaths were made possible by the agency’s “poor tradecraft.” He said Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, was about to be searched by security personnel, some distance from CIA agents, when he detonated his explosives.
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This was not a question of trusting a potential intelligence asset, even one who had provided information that we could verify independently. It is never that simple, and no one ignored the hazards. […]
Our officers were engaged in an important mission in a dangerous part of the world. They brought to that mission their skills, expertise and willingness to take risks. That's how we succeed at what we do. And sometimes in a war, that comes at a very high price.