JORDANIAN officials raised concerns with the CIA about working with an informer who later attacked the spy agency’s base in Afghanistan last year.
“The Jordanians raised concerns about” Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, who turned out to be a double agent, a US intelligence official said overnight.
“Those concerns were weighed against the information he had already provided, and his potential to lead us to the most senior figures in Al-Qaeda.”
The news comes the CIA said its officers failed to fully vet the informer who killed seven Americans.
An internal review of the incident concluded that the “assailant was not fully vetted and that sufficient security precautions were not taken,” CIA director Leon Panetta said in a statement to agency employees.
“These missteps occurred because of shortcomings” across the agency, including “management oversight,” Panetta said.
The December 30 attack on a major CIA base in Khost, near the Pakistan border, was a devastating blow for the spy agency and the second worst single assault on the CIA in its history.
The CIA had believed the suicide bomber was a valuable contact and had invited him onto the base of the compound without a search.
When he was about to be searched near a building entrance, he set off his explosive and it later emerged he was tied to Taliban insurgents battling US-led forces in Afghanistan.
No single individual or group could be assigned blame for the incident, Panetta said.
“Rather, it was the intense determination to accomplish the mission that influenced the judgments that were made,” he said.
Panetta said he approved a series of recommendations from the CIA task force probing the attack, including tightening security procedures, improving training, bolstering communication and “reinforced counterintelligence practices.”
Despite the Khost attack, Panetta vowed that the spy agency would carry on what he called “the most aggressive counterterrorism operations in our history.”
“We will sustain that momentum and, whenever possible, intensify our pursuit,” he said.
The CIA has been carrying out an intense bombing campaign against Taliban and Al-Qa’ida figures in Pakistan using pilotless drones, despite public criticism in Pakistan and Western human rights groups.