Killing of agents will not deter CIA's war against Al-Qaeda: Panetta

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Washington, Jan 10(ANI): Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Leon Panetta has said that the agency is proud to be on the front lines against Al-Qaeda, and they have found consolation in the strength and heroism of the fallen colleagues.

Panetta also said that people like Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a Jordanian doctor who killed seven agency operatives when he blew himself up at a US military base in Afghanistan, will not deter the confidence of the agency.

"The horrible news on December 30 that a suicide bomber had taken seven American lives in Afghanistan may have been for some a stark reminder that we are at war. But the men and women of the CIA, whose colleagues these seven were, needed no reminder," Panetta wrote in an article for the Washington Post.

"The main lesson from this attack is that, like our military, CIA officers are on the front lines against Al-Qaeda and its violent allies. They take risks to confront the enemy, gathering information to destroy its networks and disrupt its operations. This is a vicious foe, one that has struck our country before and is determined to do so again," he added.

Panetta further said that the agency has officers engaged in important missions in a dangerous part of the world, and they have been successful in doing their work with absolute precision,

"The CIA cannot speak publicly about its major victories -- the plots foiled, the terrorists neutralized. In the past year, we have done exceptionally heavy damage to Al-Qaeda and its associates. That's why the extremists hit back. And it is all the more reason why we intend to stay on the offensive," Panetta said.

"The safety of our officers is critical. If we find lessons from Forward Operating Base Chapman that will make us even stronger in what will always be a deadly battle, we will, of course, apply them. But let's be clear: When you are fighting terrorists, there will be risks," he added. (ANI)

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