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Spy: MI6 wouldn't kill al-Qaida leader

Dec. 3, 2012 at 3:40 PM   |   Comments

LONDON, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- A Danish spy who says his work led to the American assassination of a top al-Qaida leader said the British government wouldn't go through with the killing.

Morten Storm, a one-time biker gang leader who spent time with radical Islamists before turning on them and cooperating with Western intelligence operatives, said he told members of MI6, Britain's equivalent to the United States' CIA, he had a plan to track down Anwar al-Awlaki, a major al-Qaida propagandist whose Internet videos influenced the Christmas Day underwear bomber in Detroit and the 7/7 attackers in London.

Storm said MI6 balked, telling him they did not have the authority to use lethal force to kill Awlaki, Storm told The Daily Telegraph of London.

Storm was involved in a plot to track down the American-born cleric who he'd met while at a university in Yemen. He said Awlaki asked him to track down a woman of Western descent who'd converted to Islam to be his third wife. When Storm found such a woman he played matchmaker on Facebook. The CIA gave Storm a suitcase to give the woman with a GPS tracking device in it, Storm said.

The plot was foiled when the woman was ordered to ditch the suitcase before being taken to meet Awlaki, though the CIA killed the cleric in a drone strike weeks later.

Storm told a newspaper in his native Denmark he believed his work led to the American strike, though the CIA said it had undertaken "parallel operations." Storm said he went public because he feared retribution from the CIA.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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