Brother of Afghan CIA bomber arrested in Jordan

The attack in the Afghan province of Khost had killed seven CIA employees.

Last Updated: Apr 19, 2011, 23:42 PM IST

Amman: Jordan`s counter-terrorism
forces have arrested the brother of an al-Qaida triple agent
who blew himself up in a CIA outpost in Afghanistan in 2009, a
Jordanian security official and two Islamist leaders said
Tuesday.

The attack in the Afghan province of Khost killed
seven CIA employees and was one of the worst tragedies in the
history of the American intelligence agency.

A Jordanian security official said the arrested man,
Ayman al-Balawi, 38, was detained in a sweep Friday along with
102 other members of the ultraconservative Muslim Salafi sect.

The sweep followed violent clashes with
anti-government protesters in the eastern Jordanian city of
Zarqa during which Salafis stabbed unarmed policemen with
swords and knives, wounding 83 officers, and brandished
bundles of barbed wire.

Salafis a banned sect which operates underground in
Jordan have held a series of rallies in various parts of the
country in recent weeks. Their demonstrations are separate
from the four-month-old wave of anti-government protests
demanding democratic reforms and inspired by uprisings in the
Arab world.

The security official said today that Ayman al-Balawi
is the brother of Humam al-Balawi, the Jordanian
physician-turned-bomber who carried out the December 2009
strike in Khost.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because
he was not authorized to discuss the sweep with the media. He
said al-Balawi was not in the Zarqa protest.

"He tried to resist the arrest but he was
overwhelmed," the official said. He said Ayman was arrested in
his home in Nuzha which, like Zarqa, is a predominantly
Palestinian refugee neighborhood in the heart of the Jordanian
capital Amman.

Two militant Islamist leaders speculated that the
arrest of Ayman, a known senior Salafi figure, was related to
his recent call on an Islamic militant website urging
followers to force the implementation of the strict Islamic
Sharia law in Jordan.

The two leaders also spoke to the AP on condition of
anonymity, saying they feared police reprisals.

In his posting, Ayman argued that if Sharia law was in
place in Jordan, it would help resolve the country`s economic
and political problems, including what he described as
"regime`s misdeeds."

PTI