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File:19th sf CO at Chapman July 02.JPG

Forward Operating Base Chapman, also called Camp Chapman, is a military base located at the site of a former Afghan army installation that is currently being used by the United States Central Intelligence Agency. On December 30, 2009, the base was attacked by a suicide bomber who was a double agent loyal to Islamist extremists. Seven people employed by or affiliated with the CIA, as well as a Jordanian intelligence officer, died in the attack.

Forward Operating Base Chapman is situated in the vicinity of Camp Salerno, a large military base used by U.S. special operations forces.[1][2] The base is named for Sergeant First Class Nathan Chapman, the first U.S. soldier killed by enemy fire during the Afghanistan war, in 2002.[3][4][5][2] Chapman was killed while fighting alongside the CIA.[4]

The CIA's base in Khost was set up at the beginning of the U.S.-led offensive against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in 2001, and began as an improvised center for operations.[6] A military base at the beginning, it was later transformed into a CIA base, a U.S. official said.[7] According to a U.S. military source, Forward Operating Base Chapman was also used as a base for the Khost Provincial Reconstruction Team, a military-led development group.[8] According to a CNN report, this team left some time ago, however, the Wall Street Journal reports that the base still houses the team, as well as a small military contingent.[9][10] In recent years, the base, one of the most secretive and highly guarded locations in Afghanistan, evolved into a major counterterrorism hub of the CIA's paramilitary Special Activities Division, used for joint operation with CIA, military special operations forces and Afghan allies, and had a housing compound for U.S. intelligence officers.[6][2][11][12]

U.S. bases in Khost, in particular Camp Salerno, have frequently been targeted by insurgents. In most cases, however, suicide attackers do not succeed in getting past the main entrance of a base.[13] According to U.S. officials, Forward Operating Base Chapman appears to have implemented less stringent security measures that other U.S. military bases, aiming at establishing trust with informants.[14] Subjecting informants to mistrust and excessive suspicion would reduce the amount of information received from them.[15]

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