Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 July 2019

Danish Al Qaeda double agent wins compensation for stress

Yemen role informing on shoe-plot bombers leaves lasting legacy

A Danish flag is pictured in Copenhagen, Denmark April 19, 2017. Reuters
A Danish flag is pictured in Copenhagen, Denmark April 19, 2017. Reuters

A self-identifying Danish undercover agent who claimed to have spied on Al-Qaeda has been awarded $27,000 in damages for post-traumatic stress disorder.

In a breakthrough decision by Danish state agency Labour Market Insurance, Morten Storm was awarded compensation after authorities had deemed him to have experienced “exceptionally dangerous events”. Mr Storm could be entitled to further compensation at a later date.

According to Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, Denmark’s security and intelligence authorities have denied that Mr Storm ever worked for them. Mr Storm hasn’t been able to provide pay slips to prove that he was ever an undercover agent, but has submitted voice recordings and proof of money transfers that included the name of several Danish intelligence operatives.

Compensation for the self-identified spy is the first recognition by an official authority for his spying missions.

Former chief of operations for Denmark’s intelligence service said he was aghast by the government’s decision to award Mr Storm compensation. Speaking to the New York Times, Hans Jorgen Bonnichsen said intelligence services stay silent “until hell freezes over” to protect their current employees from exposure. Mr Storm’s lawyer accused Danish intelligence agency PET of deliberately staying silent.

Mr Storm published claims about going undercover and rejecting extremism in his 2014 memoir ‘Agent Storm: My Life Inside Al Qaeda and the CIA’.

The 43-year-old reportedly joined militant groups and then moved to Britain and Yemen in his early 20s in 1997 to learn Arabic. While in Yemen, he struck a friendship with senior members of Al Qaeda.

The Dane claims that he lost faith with extremist groups in the Arabian Peninsula in 2006 and subsequently became an informer for Danish authorities.

Mr Storm went public with his side of the story in 2012, and says he feels bitterly resentful that that intelligence agencies never helped him restart a new life.

He now lives in rural Denmark and struggles to cope with PTSD.

“At night, I scream and kick,” he told the New York Times. “Just talking about it now makes me uneasy.”

Updated: March 20, 2019 05:36 PM

SHARE

SHARE