WASHINGTON: Talk about biting the hand that feeds. Even as it bilked billions of dollars in aid from the United States, Pakistan is now revealed to have funded the 2009 attack on a CIA camp on its border with Afghanistan that killed seven American agents and contractors and three others.
The explosive disclosure comes in a declassified 2010 cable published by the national security archive, that, despite being redacted in parts, asserts unequivocally that “some funding for Haqqani attacks are still provided by the Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, including $200,000 for the December 30, 2009, attack on the CIA facility at Camp Chapman.”
The Camp Chapman attack was carried out by Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a Jordanian doctor and double agent, whom the CIA was trying to use to infiltrate al-Qaida in Pakistan in its hunt for Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri. Instead, he was turned around the Haqqani group, a terrorist proxy for Pakistan’s intelligence agency.
Al-Balawi’s suicide attack on December 30, 2009 at the Camp Chapman forward post, which the CIA used to gather intelligence for drone attacks in Pakistan, killed ten people, including two female American CIA agents: Jennifer Lynne Matthews, 45, and a mother of three, who commanded the base, and Elizabeth Hanson, 30, a targeting analyst. The attack was memorialized in a movie titled Zero Dark Thirty.
While it has long been known that Pakistan’s terrorism sponsorship has claimed the lives of Indian and American civilians and military personnel, the revelations about bankrolling the Camp Chapman attack, kept secret from the public so far, is certain to inflame tensions between the two sides, particularly their military-intelligence outfits. Successive US administrations — particularly the state department led by John Kerry — have long ladled out pabulum that Pakistan is a front-line ally in the war on terror while funneling billions of dollars of aid, despite multiple terrorist attacks across the world originating from Pakistan, including in San Bernardino, New York, and London.
The timing of the attack and the sequence of cables detailing the ISI’s role in organizing the attack suggests that the US administration lied to the American public about Pakistan being a frontline ally in the way on terror even as it funneled $ 7.5 billion in US taxpayer money to a country’s whose military-intelligence establishment was killing American soldiers and spooks. Then senator John Kerry, who later became secretary of state, took the lead in presenting Pakistan as a worthy ally as he engineering with senator Lugar the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009, which put $ 1.5 billion in US aid into the Pakistani coffers.
The Act, stemming from what is known as the Kerry-Lugar Bill was introduced to Congress on September 24, 2009, and passed into law on October 15, 2010. The ISI-sponsored attack on Camp Chapman occurred on December 30, 2009. By February 6, 2010, the date on the explosive cable detailing the Pakistani role, Washington knew ISI had engineered the attack on the CIA forward post.
“During discussions at an unknown date between Haqqani, Salar, and an unidentified ISID officer or officers, Haqqani and Salar were provided $200,000 to enable the attack on Chapman,” the cable relates in an unredacted portion. “Haqqani then provided the money to Salar who then communicated the planning details to Mullawi (Sakh). Sakh then contacted Arghawan Afghan border commander of the Khost Provincial Force.
The cable then goes on to say that Arghawan was promised $100,000 for facilitating the attack by the then unnamed Jordanian national (whose identity came to be known only later), but since Arghawan himself was killed in the attack, Salar kept the $100,000.
Which means, despite knowing Pakistan bankrolled the killing of its personnel, including two female agents who put their lives on line in a remote forward post, Washington still went ahead and rewarded Islamabad with billions of dollars in aid — and has continued to do so to this day with finance and armaments.