In an interview with Turkish television, the widow of Humam al-Balawi, who killed seven CIA operatives in a Dec. 30 suicide bombing in Afghanistan, said she was "proud of her husband."
Balawi's widow Defne Bayrak told Turkey's Kanal 6 that she hoped that God would accept her husband as a martyr, and that "he conducted a very big operation in a kind of war." She said that she learned of her husband's death when a man called her from Pakistan at 7 a.m. the morning after the attack on her husband's cell phone. She also discussed rumors that her husband's parents had been told 10 days in advance what Balawi would do.
A portion of the interview can be viewed in the video to the left. The clip is in Turkish and does not include English subtitles. A transcript is below, with translation provided by Kanal 6.
Did you expect that your husband would conduct a kind of attack?
I am a person who knows her husband's point of view. But honestly, I didn't know that he would conduct an attack. When I learned the news, I was really surprised. Because he was always saying that he would come back. But he did this because he was a person who believed this. I don't know how he decided this.
As far as I know you have two children, right? And how old are they?
They are 5 and 7 years old.
They don't know that he conducted an attack, right?
They don't know.
When are you planning to tell them?
Right now I am not planning to tell them. I will wait for them to grow up. If they don't learn this from anywhere, like the media, I would like to wait for them to grow up a bit.
Don't they feel that their father is absent? Did they already see him rarely?
No, my husband left in March. Before that, we were living together. We were staying in the same house. He was not always leaving us here. They definitely feel his absence.
Are they asking you where their father is?
Sure, they are asking.
Did you face any kind of pressure on yourself?
No, I didn't.
It is said that CIA agents are here in Istanbul.
Yes, I have heard that, but they haven't reached me in anyway.
Have they come to your home?
It is claimed that your mother-in-law said she [and your father-in-law] were told about the [suicide bombing] 10 days before their son was killed.
I don't know how they were told. They may have been informed that the attack would be conducted.
That kind of story is in the foreign media.
But I didn't receive this kind of information.
Have you met with your husband's family? How is their situation?
I haven't had a chance to meet with them. They are always followed by intelligence agencies tightly. I only could have met with my father-in-law. I learned that he was being questioned and the brother of my husband was arrested.
And then I have decided not to call them for now. Yesterday I learned that the vicinity of our house and a mosque, which is close to our house, is under tight inspection by intelligence agents and they are not allowed to talk with anyone, according to Al-Jazeera. Because of this reason and not to cause any problems, I prefer not to call them.
Do you have any worries right now?
I don't have any worries about the security of my life right now. My husband did something. I am not ashamed of it. Because my husband probably did this against the U.S. invasion. What kind of harm could I face?
I am talking about that. You know CIA agents have come.