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Beyond Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: Other Moles, Double Agents and Traitors
Posted November 29, 2011 to photo album "Beyond Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: Other Moles, Double Agents and Traitors"
In TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDER, SPY, no one is what they appear, especially with a suspected Soviet mole at the very center of the Circus. But turncoats, traitors, moles, double agents, and sleeper cells are nothing new in the world of espionage.
Double Agents in a Holy War
Iyman Faris; Abu-Mulal al-Balawi
As the United States wages the war against terrorism, double agents are again in the news—and in popular culture, as the Showtime series “Homeland” demonstrates. Two double agents from different sides illustrate how the turning and re-turning of agents continues. The first, Iyman Faris, a Pakistani-born American, was arrested in 2003 for his involvement in trying to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge. Faris, who became a US citizen in 1999, traveled back to Pakistan, and then Afghanistan in 2000, where he became involved with al-Qaeda. After his arrest, Faris agreed to work for the FBI, who set him up in a safe house in Virginia to get in touch with his al-Qaeda contacts. “He was sitting in the safe house making calls for us. It was a huge triumph,” government officials told Time magazine. On the other side was Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a Jordanian doctor who appeared to be working for the U.S. but actually plotted a suicide attack inside the CIA base in Khost, Afghanistan. Born in Kuwait and educated at a medical school in Turkey, al-Balawi had a history of supporting violent political groups and was arrested in 2008 by the Jordanian police. There he was supposedly turned by the Jordanians and the CIA. After disclosing that he might have information about the al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, he was brought to the CIA headquarters in Afghanistan in order that he might infiltrate the local al-Qaeda branches. Instead the 36-year old doctor blew himself up, killing seven CIA agents in the process. In a videotaped confession released after his death, al-Balawi explained his suicide attack was carried out on behalf of the Pakistan Taliban to avenge the death of one of its leaders, Baitullah Mehsud.