Monday, January 11, 2010

when drones (and other stuff) comes back to roost..,

NYTimes | Humam Khalil Abu Mulal al-Balawi, the Jordanian suicide bomber who killed eight people at a Central Intelligence Agency outpost in Afghanistan last month, was shown in a video on Saturday saying that the attack was carried out in revenge for the 2009 killing of the Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud.

Mr. Balawi, wearing green camouflage fatigues and carrying a weapon in his lap, appeared in a video on Al Jazeera satellite television denouncing his “enemies,” Jordan and America. Mr. Balawi’s father, Khalil, confirmed that the man in the video was his son.

He was shown sitting beside another man, whom a Pakistani news report identified as Hakimullah Mehsud, the aggressive young militant who took the reins of the Pakistani Taliban after Baitullah Mehsud’s death and has spearheaded an intense string of terrorist attacks.

That image, and Mr. Balawi’s praise for Baitullah Mehsud, seemed to support the Pakistani Taliban’s claims that they were the main player in the attack and had trained Mr. Balawi.

But other militants allied with Afghan Taliban factions and Al Qaeda claimed responsibility, too, suggesting another possibility: that all those militant groups are cooperating more than ever. That strikes at the heart of American concerns in the region and has led to increased tension with Pakistan as the Obama administration pushes its government to go after Afghan and Pakistani extremist factions on its soil in addition to Mr. Mehsud’s network.