Jefferson Morley | January 14, 2020
CIA Officer Warned Against the Meeting that Killed Him
Ten years ago, the CIA suffered its worst attacks ever when a Jordanian doctor, posing as an informant, detonated an explosive vest at the agency’s outpost in Afghanistan. The CIA base chief and six other people were killed, including officer Darren LaBonte.
From NBC’s Ken Dilanian.
The LaBonte family doesn’t dwell on the errors or the fact that Darren, a CIA case officer, was among those who had been raising concerns about the risks of the meeting. In interviews with NBC News, Darren’s parents, his widow and a former colleague say they want to celebrate his life and honor his memory, offering a rare public portrait of one of the fallen CIA officers represented by the 133 stars carved into a marble wall in the agency’s lobby.
The suicide bomber, Human al-Balawi had convinced a Jordanian intelligence officer working with the CIA that he could lead the agency to Ayman al-Zawahiri, the number two leader of the al-Qaeda terror network. In fact, Balawi was was working for al-Qaeda all along.
The story is well told in Joby Warrick’s book, The Triple Agent.