On the heels of the Christmas Day attempted bombing of NW 253, is the report that "a bomber slipped into a U.S. Base in eastern Afghaniston on Wednesday and detonated a suicide vest, killing eight CIA [career] officers..."
Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khowst province near the Pakistan border was the site of the attack.
A U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the CIA had a major presence at the base, in part because of its strategic location.A Wall Street Journal article says the agency's Base Chief, a mother of three, was among the dead. An additional six were wounded. The deaths mark the deadliest day in the history of the CIA, and the first time a suicide bomber has struck inside a U.S. facility in Afghanistan. No military is reported among the casualties.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a message posted early today on its Pashto-language website. The statement, attributed to spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, said the attacker was a member of the Afghan army who entered the base clad in his military uniform. It identified him only as Samiullah.
The casualties highlight the CIA's increasingly important role in Afghanistan, and come as the United States is embarking on a major buildup of its civilian workforce that parallels an increase in troop strength.
The bombing took place a fitness center at Chapman. The names of the officers have not yet been released.
"It's a forward operating base in a dicey area, but to get a suicide bomber inside the wires -- it's hard to understand how that could happen," the former official said.Certainly this is the same feeling we all had about the Fort Hood murders and the Christmas Day bomber [underwear bomber]. Someone isn't paying attention.