Watch the interview with the Danish undercover agent Morten Storm.
For six years, Morten Storm from Denmark worked as an agent for The Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET).
His mission was to infiltrate Al Qaeda.
On 7 October 2012 he reveals his story to the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten.
Who are you?
My name is Morten Storm, I’m 36 years old.
For the past six years, I have worked as a PET and CIA agent and I was an undercover Muslim.
What do you mean by undercover Muslim?
It means that…when I was on a mission, I was a Muslim, but at home I was myself.
Does that mean that you are a Muslim?
No, I’m not.
You say that you participated in the mission that led to the death of the leader of Al Qaeda in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki. Did you do it alone?
It is correct that I was a part of the mission. But I wasn’t alone. PET and I have worked together with the CIA and our shared mission was to make Anwar a target.
Why did you want to make Anwar a target?
Because he was considered to be a threat against humanity, and because he’d openly stated that he was willing to kill civilians. He’d tried to do so before, but luckily he didn’t succeed.
What were you supposed to do?
I was an agent for the two agencies. I was sent in as an undercover Muslim and I was supposed to get information about Anwar’s missions and other Al Qaeda missions that they were planning.
In what way did you contribute to his death?
I was supposed to gain his trust and plant some electronic devices which were used to localize him so we could hit him later on with a drone.
Who asked you to do this?
PET and the CIA.
What part did PET play?
Their role was to act as an intermediary between me and the CIA. They took part in the negotiations and I carried out the instructions.
Why was Awlaki so dangerous that he had to be killed?
That was because he had tried to several times – and openly stated – that his intentions were to kill people in the West. That was part of his ideology and being a jihadist and a terrorist.
What was your plan with Awlaki and how was supposed to be killed?
We had to localize him in 2011 so we could prevent him from killing innocent people. The plan was to create a messenger between him and me, and then to send him some electronic material – like a USB stick – that we knew Anwar would open and read. I did that.
And what would happen then?
The USB stick would contain a sender or a program that was designed to send out a signal to a mast which made it possible to locate him. And then what happened is – well we all know that, since it was on the news – he was killed by a hellfire missile fired by a drone.
Did PET urge you to participate in the mission against Awlaki?
Yes, of course.
PET’s mission was to prevent terror and since Awlaki was a high-ranking member of Al Qaeda, he was an obvious target.
When you were planning the mission that was supposed to kill Awlaki, who instigated the meetings between you, PET and the CIA?
That was PET since they were the intermediary between me and the CIA. The CIA has never been in direct contact with me unless PET was present.
Did PET know the consequences of the plan that they were about to initiate?
They did, yes. It was our plan to kill Awlaki that was clear – there was no doubt about that.
As it is, you have played a part in killing a human being with whom you had a relationship of trust…
I don’t have a problem with that.
He was a terrorist. He wanted to kill innocent people. If he had only wanted to target, say a military; it would have been different – more honorable, in a sense. But taking the lives of innocent people – that just leaves me cold.
Why are you stepping forward now to share your story?
I was a Muslim – a convinced and devout Muslim from 1997 to 2006. I met many young and old people who were involved in global terrorism. I discovered that everything that I believed in unfortunately was not what I thought it was. Now I’m here, and I have this huge opportunity to tell these people who are still alive, that maybe they should re-think what they’re doing. And when they see that I have changed, then maybe there would be a chance for them to change as well – or at least they would hesitate before pushing the button.