An MI6 spy has admitted radicalising Muslims and sending them on jihad.
In an interview with the BBC magazine Aimen Dean, originally from Saudi Arabia, claims to be a founder member of Al Qaeda. But he says he changed tack in 1998 after Al Qaeda bombings in East Africa and became a spy for Britain’s security and intelligence services, MI5 and MI6.
In the interview Dean says he spied on Al Qaeda in Afghanistan as well as Muslims in Britain such as Babar Ahmed, Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada.
During the interview with BBC journalist Peter Marshall, Dean has the following to say:
Question: The difficulty is though that if you’re there under cover, welcomed there as an al-Qaeda man, you have to keep up this pretence by talking to people at the mosque, you have to encourage them to join the jihad?
Answer: Yes… although there are limits. I was aware of my boundaries basically about how much you can incite. You use guarded words about general rather than specific incitement. But then the most difficult part actually was after 7/7, 2005. That’s when the laws and regulations regarding incitement like you know were really tightened.
Q: So you couldn’t say what, and you could say what?
A: You can’t specifically urge someone to go. You can’t specifically call for an attack. You can’t glorify violence committed against civilians. You know you have to be careful there. You can sit down there basically and blast the West for what they do. You can sit down there and talk about martyrdom in general without you know touching directly on what’s happening right now. So you have to be clever about how you phrase your words.
Q: Do you ever feel guilty about having encouraged somebody to go to jihad?
Q: Are there many occasions that this might have happened?
A: There were some occasions where that happened.
Q: What’s the nature of the guilt, because of what they might have been involved in or because of how they ended up?
A: I’m glad that no one was killed. However, one particular person ended up in prison for a long time.
Q: And you were instrumental in getting him out there?
A: I was a contributing factor but I wasn’t the only one.
However, Dean also adds that he foiled attacks involving suicide bombings and the use of poisons against civilians.
He says he was also able to hand plans to British intelligence of a device that was intended to be used for a chemical attack on the New York subway.
Dean’s life undercover came to an abrupt end 8 years ago when his cover was blown. An American writer disclosed his identity with details that could only be sourced to him.