Sun Feb 10, 2013, 04:18 PM
DonViejo (26,025 posts)
The Double Agent Who Helped Lead U.S. Drones to Anwar al-Awlaki
The Double Agent Who Infiltrated Al Qaeda
Feb 10, 2013 4:45 AM EST
Even Obama knew the name of the Danish double agent who never got his due for helping lead U.S. drones to Anwar al-Awlaki. Now he's telling his own story.
This is an abridged and translated version of the investigative reporting project that won the European Press Prize in the News Reporting Category last month. Originally published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, it recounts the extraordinary story of Morten Storm, a former agent of the Danish secret service, and his role in helping the CIA locate the American-born al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed by U.S. drones in Yemen with three other suspected members of al Qaeda in a targeted assassination in September 2011.
Dismayed that he wasn’t credited by American officials for his help finding Awlaki, Storm approached Jyllands-Posten with his story. Journalists interviewed him for more than 120 hours and vigorously checked his extraordinary account against a trove of documents and email messages as well as audio and video recordings that he provided. The Danish intelligence agency PET provided a statement to the reporters, but the CIA did not return requests for comment.
The story is Storm’s account of his own role in a high-profile targeted assassination of a U.S. citizen by U.S. forces. With its cloak-and-dagger plot twists, it’s an astonishing story that provides a glimpse into the strange—and sometimes strained—partnerships in the war on terror.
The American is traveling with his cohorts in two pickup trucks through the rugged desert in northern Yemen. Around 9:30 a.m., the trucks pull over, and a slight man, with a bushy beard and wire-rimmed glasses, steps out of one of the trucks. His small frame belies his importance: Anwar al-Awlaki is the leader of al Qaeda in Yemen, and one of the most wanted terrorists in the world.
Born in New Mexico to Yemeni parents and trained as an engineer, the 40-year-old Awlaki has grown into a brilliant orator and strategist within the terror network, suspected of involvement in an attempted Christmas Day airplane bombing in 2009, among other things. For more than a year, his name has been on the CIA “kill list”—one of a number of people whose assassination President Barack Obama has authorized.
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