News you may have missed #538

Wali Karzai

Wali Karzai

►►Egyptian diplomat dead in London after bizarre suicide attempt. Police in London are trying to solve the mysterious apparent suicide of Ayman Mohammed Fayed, a 41-year-old employee of the Egyptian embassy, who plunged to his death from one of the embassy’s third-floor windows last week. Embassy officials said he did so after hurriedly signing a brief suicide note to his family. Interestingly, one witness saw him trying to get back into the building from the window, apparently having changed his mind about killing himself. But, says The Daily Mail, he seems to have “lost control and fell”. The death does not seem to be related to the political changes that have taken place in Egypt this year. ►►CIA agent Wali Karzai dead in Afghanistan. Another death, that of Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s brother, has featured all over the news media in the past few days. Ahmed Wali Karzai, Afghan drug lord and influential strongman, was shot dead by his bodyguards last Tuesday. Wali Karzai’s role as a CIA agent is less widely advertised in obituaries (with a few notable exceptions). IntelNews readers will remember that, in October of 2009, The New York Times revealed that Wali Karzai had been financially sustained by the CIA ever since the initial US invasion of Afghanistan, in 2001, and that he was still —as of 2009— receiving “regular payments” from the Agency.  The question of who killed Wali Karzai is a complex one. Foreign Policy‘s Matthieu Aikins reminds us that there were reports the US “considered putting Ahmed Wali on its ‘kill/capture list’ during the heyday of the debate in late 2009 over what to do with corrupt actors in Afghanistan”. ►►Analysis: How digital detectives deciphered Stuxnet. From Afghanistan to Iran: Wired magazine’s Kim Zetter has authored what this blog considers as the authoritative account of Stuxnet, a sophisticated computer virus that infected computers used in the Iranian government’s nuclear energy program in 2010. The piece is extremely long by Internet standards, but well worth a careful read. It tells the story of computer anti-virus experts who deciphered Stuxnet’s complex nature.

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