Danish Double Agent: I Helped U.S. Nail Top Terrorist

Thursday, 27 Dec 2012 02:12 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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A Danish spy turned double agent claims he helped the CIA target and kill notorious terrorist Anwar al Awlaki — but has been denied any credit for the job.

“There is no doubt [my efforts led to his death],” former spy Morten Storm tells correspondent Lara Logan on this Sunday’s “60 Minutes’’ on CBS. “It’s good he died … It is good.”

Storm’s journey from terrorist sympathizer to antiterrorism agent is straight out of a Hollywood spy movie.

A former criminal who converted to Islam in a Danish prison in the 1990s, Storm moved to Yemen, where he learned Arabic, became radicalized and married. The couple had a son he named for Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks.

Morten then became friends with Awlaki, who plotted with “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulutallab, influenced Army Maj. Nidal Hasan in his alleged killing of 13 at Ft. Hood, Texas, and preached jihad against the United States over the Internet.

“I liked him because of his views of jihad, because that was my view as well,’’ Morten tells “60 Minutes.’’

But his views changed when “I typed on my keyboard on my laptop, ‘Contradictions in the Koran.’ … What I believed in for those 10 years suddenly was just ripped away from me. I discovered that it was all fake … it was an emotional rollercoaster.’’

He contacted Danish intelligence, told them, “I am no longer Muslim and I want to fight these terrorists,” and returned to Yemen as a double agent, managing to infiltrate Awlaki’s inner circle.

He learned the cleric’s secrets, including encryption codes for his communications network, and was even asked by Awlaki to find him a Western wife — a task he accomplished by going on Facebook and finding a willing Croatian woman named Irena Horak.

Storm tells “60 Minutes’’ that Danish and CIA officials tried to use Horak, who called herself “Sister Aminah,” as a way to get to Awlaki, but the couple disappeared.

He was able to find Awlaki, who then asked him to procure supplies for him, including the ingredients to make bombs. And he also arranged with Awlaki for a courier to pick up the bomb-making materials.

Storm says he told his bosses about the transaction and forgot about it until he read in a newspaper that a U.S. missile had killed Awlaki and that a young courier had led them to the terrorist.

He is convinced his mission to contact Awlaki after the terrorist disappeared in the Yemeni desert was the conduit that led to the missile that killed him because “that was my mission.’’

Storm gave “60 Minutes’’ a tape he says he made of a meeting with a CIA official, on which he complains, “The Americans have failed in every single attempt to arrest or kill Anwar al-Awlaki except when we went in. We just want gratitude from your government.”

An American voice on the tape is heard telling Storm the government, including President Barack Obama, is grateful, and Storm played "the highest role" in a team effort to eliminate Awlaki.

Neither the CIA nor Danish intelligence would comment on Storm’s claims, accordibng to CBS.

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