January 10, 2010 / 6:40 PM / 10 years ago

ANALYSTS' VIEW - Western intelligence will keep Jordan link

LONDON (Reuters) - The killing of CIA employees in Afghanistan by a suicide bomber recruited as a potential double agent by Jordanian intelligence will not lead to a downgrading of Western espionage links to that country, experts say.

Suspected suicide bomber Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi is seen in this handout photo released January 6, 2010. REUTERS/Handout

Here are a selection of quotes from former intelligence officials and experts.

ROBERT AYERS, FORMER U.S. INTELLIGENCE OFFICER

“It won’t do damage. This is a dirty business, things like this happen — not always so damagingly of course — and you have to suck it up and move on. if the Jordanians are as good as we think they are, the U.S. would be mad to sever the relationship.”

NICK PRATT, PROFESSOR OF STRATEGY AND INTERNATIONAL POLITICS AT THE MARSHALL CENTER IN GERMANY

“The GID (Jordanian intelligence) and their counterparts have provided us and our other ‘friends’ remarkable intelligence for a period measured in decades. Furthermore, the Jordanians have been in Afghanistan for years.

“There are a lot of dead and imprisoned terrorists because of our Jordanian friends.”

PHILLIP KNIGHTLEY, AUTHOR AND EXPERT ON ESPIONAGE

“It won’t change the way Western intelligence view their Jordanian counterparts or the sharing of intelligence.

“The West is desperate for anything from the Muslim world and will take almost any risk to get it.”

WESTERN COUNTER-TERRORISM OFFICIAL

“I don’t think it’s going to have any impact. It (the security lapse) was not the Jordanians’ responsibility. It was the Americans who screwed up.”

(The official declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter).

(For more Reuters coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan, click here)

(Source: Reuters interviews)

(Reporting by William Maclean, Editing by Dominic Evans)

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