Was Kenya mall massacre ‘mastermind’ backed by CIA cash? Disturbing claims by ‘double agent who worked with terror suspect for years’


Undercover: The former spy from Denmark was working for numerous agencies including the CIA and Denmark’s PET while he was trying to infiltrate militant groups in Yemen

  • Morten Storm was an informant for  intelligence agencies for five years
  • Met Abdukadir Mohamed  Abdukadir, or Ikirma, in Nairobi in 2008
  • At the time, the Somali terrorist was  only a messenger in Al-Shabab
  • Storm believes CIA gave him the resources  to become a mastermind
  • Ikrima is also believed to have lived in  London for six to 12 months

Intelligence officer Morten Storm from  Denmark was asked by the CIA to build a relationship with the head of militant  group Al-Shabab, the group behind September’s attack, and handed over money and  equipment on behalf of Western intelligence agencies to cultivate the group’s  trust.

In 2008 he started to forge close contacts  with the leader Abdukadir Mohamed Abdukadir, also known as Ikirma, in a bid to  uncover information on potential targets and planned attacks.

When Storm first met Ikrema it was at a  Somali restaurant on the first floor of the Jamia shopping mall next door to the  main mosque in Nairobi. Two other jihadists were there with Ikrema.

Ikrema at that time was a messenger for Ahmed  Abdulkadir Warsame, an al Shabaab leader. Storm was meeting with Ikrema in order  to get messages and equipment to Warsame. Storm was known to Warsame and to  Ikrema as a fellow jihadist.

But the relationship broke down in  2012 when  Storm left the CIA due to a ‘disagreement over a mission’ and  he now claims the  plan to provide Ikirma with money and equipment may  have backfired  spectacularly.

He also believes that had his relationship  with the CIA not faltered he  could have helped capture or kill the man believed  to have gone on to  plan the September attack on Westgate Mall.

Storm converted into to Islam after spending  time in prison and developed extreme jihadist views and moved to Yemen in  2001.

He became trusted by fundamentalists and  became involved in militant activities, including recruiting soldiers to fight  in the Taliban.

However he was recruited by the CIA, MI5 and  the Danish intelligence service, PET, as a double agent to information on  operations in Yemen and Somalia and prevent attacks in Europe.

When Storm first met Ikirma, he  was only a  messenger for the jihadists and was sent to pick up an electronic device from  the Danish agent by one of the groups then leaders.

s the relationship developed, Storm claims  that the CIA, using him as a middle man, gave him resources, equipment and the  authority he needed to mastermind a  major terrorist attack, similar to the one  in Nairobi which killed 67  people.

Storm, who has since retired from duty, told  CNN that in March 2012 PET had offered him one million Danish krone (£125,000)  to  lead them to Ikrima on behalf of the CIA.

Extremist: A former spy believes Western intelligence agencies turned Abdikadir Mohammed, also known as Ikirma, from a middle-class Kenyan into a terrorist leader  Read more:

Extremist: A former spy believes Western intelligence agencies turned Abdikadir Mohammed, also known as Ikirma, from a middle-class Kenyan into a terrorist leader

He was offered the job after he was paid  £156,000 ($250,000) to meet with Anwar al-Awlaki, an Islamic militant who was  killed in a drone strike in 2011.

Storm said Ikrima was at the centre of a  global network connecting a number of terrorist operatives in Somalia, Kenya,  Yemen, and the West and had emerged as the chief handler of foreign fighters  because of his language skills and level of education.

Even though Storm is not aware of the exact  role Ikrima played in the attack in Nairobi, he knows his track record and  believes he had the capability to be one of the masterminds.

The former agent also insisted he might have  been given an insight into the plans had he still been working for Western  intelligence, but his relationship with PET and the CIA ended in mid-2012 after  a disagreement following a mission in Yemen.

He said: ‘I get really frustrated to  know  that Ikrima had been maybe involved in the Westgate terrorist  attack. It  frustrates me a lot because it could have been stopped and  I’m sad I can’t be  involved in this.’

‘He was one of the smartest ones I met in  east Africa.’

One of Ikrima’s former associates also told  CNN in Nairobi that he was the ‘main link’ between Somalia and the Kenyan-based  militant group Al Hijra.

Now Western counter-terorrism officials fear  his reputation in Jihadist  circles worldwide will be bolstered by his escape  during the U.S.Navy  SEAL operation in Somalia last week, and he is now in a  position to plan more deadly attacks in Europe and Africa. 

CNN reporter Nic Robertson,  who interviewed  Storm, told MailOnline: ‘He is frustrated because he  gave equipment and  material to Ikrima which allowed him to build up his  credibility in Al-Shabab. 

‘When he first met him 2008, Ikrima was just  a messenger in a group and now he is head of the organisation.

‘Storm’s viewing is that had the CIA paid  closer attention to Ikirima and had  the plans that were being put in place for  Storm to keep closer tabs on  him followed through, then there would be more  information on their  operations and potential targets.

‘It would have allowed Storm to develop  closer contacts with Ikirma, and  would have enabled him to find out what they  were thinking and what they were planning.

‘His  accounts of where he was and what he  was doing has all checked out.  Encrypted emails he has sent and received show  he was in central  position in the relationship.

Storm started his jihadist career in Yemen  and, after he made contacts  contacted the CIA, as well as Danish security  agency and MI5.

Mr Robertson added: ‘Storm provides a rare  opportunity to see inside  agencies. It provides a rare insight into the way  that they work.

‘To get closer into an organisation you need  to build relationships. It can be a double-edged sword and in this case it  was.

‘It put a smart guy in a position of power  for a very negative effect.

‘Storm believes the attacks could have been  thwarted. He is not involved in this anymore so he doesn’t know if Ikrima  actually had a direct role.

‘But he knows Ikirma’s track record. Storm  was seen as an important connection who could move between their worlds in Yemen  and Somalia and the rest of the world.’

Ikrima is believed to be able to  speak five  languages – Norwegian, Swahili, Arabic, Somali, and English – which puts him in  a position of authority in Al-Shabab.

Now said to be in his late twenties he was  born into a middle class Somalian family in Mombassa, Kenya.

His family then moved to Nairobi where the  young Ikrima excelled at school in the languages, including French.

After a successful education, he traveled to  Norway in 2004, because of the potential economic opportunities in Europe, and  took advantage of his Somali ethnicity which allowed him to apply for refugee  status.

Despite being given documents to stay in the  country, he did not fit in and started to become radicalised.

Just four years later, he left Europe and  returned to East Africa.

It is also believed Ikrima spent some time in  Britain and lived in London for between six and 12 months.

The CIA would not comment on the story and  PET said they could neither confirm or deny they knew Storm.

-Daily Mail



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