Human activity recognition can benefit various applications including healthcare services and context awareness. Since human actions will influence WiFi signals, which can be captured by the channel state information (CSI) of WiFi, WiFi CSI based human activity recognition has gained more and more attention. Due to the complex relationship between human activities and WiFi CSI measurements, the accuracies of current recognition systems are far from satisfactory. In this paper, we propose a new deep learning based approach, i.e., attention based bi-directional long short-term memory (ABLSTM), for passive human activity recognition using WiFi CSI signals. The BLSTM is employed to learn representative features in two directions from raw sequential CSI measurements. Since the learned features may have different contributions for final activity recognition, we leverage on an attention mechanism to assign different weights for all the learned features. Real experiments have been carried out to evaluate the performance of the proposed ABLSTM for human activity recognition. The experimental results show that our proposed ABLSTM is able to achieve the best recognition performance for all activities when compared with some benchmark approaches.