Washington: January 7, 2010- IR Summary/NYT –
Hanson’s report is important today, “Ms. Hanson’s report, “Faithless Heathens: Scriptural Economics of Judaism, Christianity and Islam,” carried a title far more provocative than its contents. In the fall of 2001, as an anguished nation came to grips with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a slender, soft-spoken economics major named Elizabeth Hanson set out to write her senior thesis at Colby College in Maine.
Her question was a timely one: How do the world’s three major faith traditions apply economic principles?
Ms. Hanson’s report, “Faithless Heathens: Scriptural Economics of Judaism, Christianity and Islam,” carried a title far more provocative than its contents, said the professor who advised her. But it may have given a hint of her career to come, as an officer for the Central Intelligence Agency specializing in hunting down Islamic extremists.That career was cut short last week: Ms. Hanson was one of seven Americans killed in a suicide bombing at a C.I.A. base in the remote mountains of Afghanistan.
In the days since the attack, details of the lives of the victims — five men and two women, including two C.I.A. contractors from the firm formerly known as Blackwater — have begun to trickle out, despite the secretive nature of their work.
What emerges is a rare public glimpse of a closed society, a peek into one sliver of the spy agency as it operates more than eight years after the C.I.A. was pushed to the front lines of war.
Their deaths were a significant blow to the agency, crippling a team responsible for collecting information about militant networks in Afghanistan and Pakistan and plotting missions to kill the networks’ top leaders. And in one sign of how the once male-dominated bastion of the C.I.A. has changed in recent years, the suicide bombing revealed that a woman had been in charge of the base that was attacked, Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost Province.
On Wednesday, the operational leader of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan issued a statement praising the work of the suicide bomber, Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, and said that the Khost bombing, which also killed a Jordanian intelligence operative, was revenge for the killings of a number of top militant leaders in C.I.A. drone attacks.
“He detonated his fine, astonishing and well-designed explosive device, which was unseen by the eyes of those who do not believe in the hereafter,” said the statement from the Qaeda leader, Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, which was translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.More