Read Agent Storm: My Life Inside al-Qaeda Online

Authors: Morten Storm,Paul Cruickshank,Tim Lister

Agent Storm: My Life Inside al-Qaeda

Morten Storm with
Paul Cruickshank
and Tim Lister


My Life inside al-Qaeda


Map of Yemen
Authors’ Note
1. Desert Road
Mid-September 2009
2. Gangs, Girls, God
3. The Convert
Early 1997–Summer 1997
4. Arabia
Late Summer 1997–Summer 1998
5. Londonistan
Summer 1998–Early 2000
6. Death to America
Early 2000–Spring 2002
7. Family Feuds
Summer 2002–Spring 2005
8. MI5 Comes to Luton
Spring–Autumn 2005
9. Meeting the Sheikh
Late 2005–Late Summer 2006
10. The Fall
Late Summer 2006–Spring 2007
11. Switching Sides
Spring 2007
12. London Calling
Spring 2007
13. From Langley with Love
Summer 2007–Early 2008
14. Cocaine and Allah
Early 2008
15. Clerical Terror
Spring–Autumn 2008
16. Killing Mr John
Autumn 2008–Spring 2009
17. Mujahideen Secrets
Autumn 2009
18. Anwar’s Blonde
Spring–Summer 2010
19. A New Cover
Summer–Winter 2010
20. Target Awlaki
Early 2011–Summer 2011
21. A Long Hot Summer
July–September 2011
22. Breaking with Big Brother
Autumn 2011
23. Back in the Ring
Late 2011
24. The Lion’s Den
January 2012
25. Operation Amanda
January–May 2012
26. Chinese Whispers
May 2012
27. A Spy in the Cold
Dramatis personae
Agent Archive
Follow Penguin

Authors’ Note

Any spy who goes public will inevitably face scrutiny, especially one claiming to have worked as a double agent for four Western intelligence services on some of their most sensitive counter-terrorism operations after 9/11.

What makes Morten Storm’s story unique is the extraordinary amount of audiovisual evidence and electronic communications he collected during his time as a spy, which both corroborate his story and enrich his account.

This material, to which he gave us unfettered access, includes:

  • emails exchanged with the influential cleric Anwar al-Awlaki;
  • videos recorded by Awlaki and the Croatian woman who travels to Yemen to marry the cleric, a marriage arranged by Storm even as Awlaki was being hunted by the US;
  • dozens of encrypted emails between Storm and terrorist operatives in Arabia and Africa that are still on the hard drives of his computers;
  • records of money transfers to a terrorist in Somalia;
  • text messages with Danish intelligence officers still stored on his mobile phones;
  • secret recordings made by Storm of conversations with his Danish and US intelligence handlers, including a thirty-minute recording of a meeting with a CIA agent in Denmark in 2011 during which several of Storm’s missions targeting terrorists were discussed;
  • handwritten mission notes;
  • video and photographs of Storm driving through Yemen’s tribal areas just after meeting Awlaki in 2008;
  • video of Storm with British and Danish intelligence agents in northern Sweden in 2010.

Unless otherwise stated in the endnotes all emails, letters, Facebook exchanges, text messages and recordings of conversations quoted in the book are reproduced verbatim, including spelling and grammatical mistakes. Some have been translated into English from Danish.

Storm also provided photographs taken with several of his Danish intelligence handlers in Iceland. Reporters at the Danish newspaper
were able to confirm the identity of the agents through their sources.

Several individuals mentioned in the book corroborated essential elements of Storm’s story. We have not disclosed the full identity of some of them for their own safety. No Western intelligence official was willing to go on the record.

Storm provided us with his passports, which include entry and exit visas for every trip outside Europe described in the book from the year 2000 onwards. He also shared hotel invoices paid by ‘Mola Consult’, a front company used by Danish intelligence, which according to Denmark’s business registry was dissolved just before he went public. Additionally he provided dozens of Western Union receipts cataloguing payments by Danish intelligence (PET). His PET handlers listed Søborg – the district in which PET is located in Copenhagen – on the paperwork.

We used pseudonyms for three people in the book to protect their safety or identity, which we make clear at first reference. We have used only the first name of several others for security or legal reasons. A
dramatis personae
is attached at the end of the book. The book includes Arabic phrases and greetings; a translation is given at first reference.

We have added a number of photographs and other visual testimonies of Storm’s work in an archive at the end of the book and a colour picture section. These include a photograph of a briefcase containing a $250,000 reward from the CIA, handwritten notes from a meeting with Awlaki, decrypted emails, money transfer receipts, and video images and pictures taken in Yemen’s Shabwa province on trips to meet the cleric.

Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister, April 2014

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