The suicide bomber who killed seven senior CIA officials last week was a double agent the CIA thought was hunting down Ayman al-Zawahiri for the US. Intelligence officials tell NBC the culprit was Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a doctor and al-Qaeda sympathizer arrested by Jordanian officials more than a year ago. Believing they had flipped him, the Jordanians sent him on a mission to infiltrate al-Qaeda and get close to Zawahiri, a fellow doctor.
Last week, Balawi told his handler he needed to meet with the CIA’s team to relay vital information on Zawahiri. Several top officials flew in from Kabul for the meeting, believing it to be important. Also present, and killed in the blast, was Sharif Ali bin Zeid, a Jordanian intelligence officer related to King Abdullah—a sign of just how close the US/Jordanian counterterrorism alliance is.