Hours after last week's deadly attack on a CIA base in Afghanistan, a revision was made in official accounts of the number of intelligence operatives killed in the suicide bombing. Instead of eight deaths, as initially reported, the CIA acknowledged only seven.
The eighth victim resurfaced over the weekend when his flag-draped coffin arrived in his native country, Jordan. The man, a captain in the Jordanian intelligence service, was given full military honors at a ceremony that referred only to his "humanitarian work" in war-torn Afghanistan.
In fact, the man's death offered a rare window into a partnership that U.S. officials describe as crucial to their counterterrorism strategy. Although its participation is rarely acknowledged publicly, Jordan is playing an increasingly vital role in the fight against al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, sometimes in countries far beyond the Middle East, according to current and former government officials from both countries.
Traditionally close ties between the CIA and the Jordanian spy agency -- known as the General Intelligence Department -- strengthened after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, occasionally prompting allegations by human rights groups that Jordan was serving as a surrogate jailer and interrogator for the U.S. intelligence agency. In the past two years, in the face of new threats in Afghanistan and Yemen, the United States has again called on its ally for help, current and former officials from both countries said.