File:19th sf CO at Chapman July 02.JPG

Soldiers pose at FOB Chapman in July 2002.

Forward Operating Base Chapman, also called Camp Chapman, is a military base located at the site of a former Afghan army installation that is currently being used by the United States Central Intelligence Agency.

On December 30, 2009, the Camp Chapman attack was executed by a suicide bomber who was a double agent loyal to Islamist extremists. Seven people employed by or affiliated with the CIA, as well as a Jordanian intelligence officer, died in the attack.

Forward Operating Base Chapman is situated in the vicinity of Camp Salerno, a large military base used by U.S. special operations forces.[1][2] The base is named for Sergeant First Class Nathan Chapman, the first U.S. soldier killed by enemy fire during the Afghanistan war, in 2002.[2][3][4][5] Chapman was killed while fighting alongside the CIA.[4]

The CIA's base in Khost was set up at the beginning of the U.S.-led offensive against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in 2001, and began as an improvised center for operations.[6] A military base at the beginning, it was later transformed into a CIA base, a U.S. official said.[7] According to a U.S. military source, Forward Operating Base Chapman was also used as a base for the Khost Provincial Reconstruction Team, a military-led development group.[8] According to a CNN report, this team left some time ago, however, the Wall Street Journal reports that the base still houses the team, as well as a small military contingent.[9][10] In recent years, the base, one of the most secretive and highly guarded locations in Afghanistan, evolved into a major counterterrorism hub of the CIA's paramilitary Special Activities Division, used for joint operation with CIA, military special operations forces and Afghan allies, and had a housing compound for U.S. intelligence officers.[2][6][11][12]

U.S. bases in Khost, in particular Camp Salerno, have frequently been targeted by insurgents. In most cases, however, suicide attackers do not succeed in getting past the main entrance of a base.[13] According to U.S. officials, Forward Operating Base Chapman appears to have implemented less stringent security measures that other U.S. military bases, aiming at establishing trust with informants.[14] Subjecting informants to mistrust and excessive suspicion would reduce the amount of information received from them.[15]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Oppel, Richard A.; Mazzetti, Mark; Mekhennet (January 4, 2010). "Behind Afghan Bombing, an Agent With Many Loyalties". New York Times. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Warrick, Joby; Constable, Pamela (January 1, 2010). "CIA base attacked in Afghanistan supported airstrikes against al-Qaeda, Taliban". Washington Post. Retrieved January 1, 2010. 
  3. Youssef, Nancy A. (December 31, 2009). "Taliban infiltrator who killed 7 from CIA wore Afghan uniform". McClatchy. Retrieved January 1, 2009. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Meek, James Gordon (January 1, 2010). "Suicide bombing at CIA camp in Afghanistan likely revenge attack by Taliban warlord - a former ally". New York Daily News. Retrieved January 1, 2010. 
  5. Mazzetti, Mark (December 31, 2009). "C.I.A. Takes On Bigger and Riskier Role on Front Lines". New York Times. Retrieved January 1, 2010. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Gorman, Siobhan (January 1, 2010). "Suicide Bombing in Afghanistan Devastates Critical Hub for CIA Activities". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 1, 2010. 
  7. Shah, Amir (December 31, 2009). "CIA Director: 7 CIA Workers Killed In Afghanistan". Associated Press. Retrieved January 1, 2010. [dead link]
  8. Starkey, Jerome (January 1, 2001). "Afghan suicide bomber kills seven CIA agents after attacking base". The Times. Retrieved January 2, 2009. [dead link]
  9. "Source: 2 killed in Afghanistan bombing were security contractors". CNN. December 31, 2009. Retrieved January 1, 2010. 
  10. Gopal, Anand (January 2, 2010). "Taliban: CIA Attack Was Retaliation for Drone Strikes". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  11. Sengupta, Kim (January 1, 2010). "Suicide attack inflicts worst death toll on CIA in 25 years". The Independent. Retrieved January 1, 2010. 
  12. Smith, Adèle (January 1, 2010). "La CIA perd sept espions sur une base secrète". Le Figaro. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  13. Rubin, Alissa J.; Mazzetti, Mark (December 31, 2009). "Afghan Base Hit by Attack Has Pivotal Role in Conflict". New York Times. Retrieved January 1, 2010. 
  14. Gorman, Siobhan; Dreazen, Yochi J. (January 2, 2010). "Killings Rock Afghan Strategy". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  15. Rajghatta, Chidanand (January 3, 2010). "Pak tribesman killed 7 CIA agents and trust". Times of India. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 

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