Posts Tagged ‘MI6’
The burly figure of Sabar Lal, a 49-year-old gem dealer with a salt and pepper beard, loomed in the arched doorway of his home. Facing him in the garden, a team of US special forces and Afghan commandos levelled their assault rifles.
As helicopters buzzed overhead, five bullets fired from one of the soldiers’ automatic weapons thudded into Lal’s chest and head and sent him reeling. Blood oozed onto his grey marble patio, forming a large pool around him.
The killing, in Jalalabad three months ago, provoked outrage among tribal elders, MPs and government officials. They depicted it as the cold-blooded execution of an innocent man at the hands of ruthless American aggressors who had relied on faulty intelligence to target their prey.
The Sunday Times has established that Lal once received cash from MI6 to counter Taliban insurgents, fought against them alongside British special forces and helped the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to eradicate poppies used to make opium.
But this newspaper’s investigation also found that, for at least the past two years, Lal had worked as an undercover Al-Qaeda operative — and that he paid the militant commander responsible for the kidnapping of Linda Norgrove, the British aid worker who died during a failed rescue attempt last year.
The curious life of Sabar Lal raises as many questions as his death and offers an unusual insight into the shifting allegiances that make Afghanistan such a volatile and unpredictable place. Read the rest of this entry »
MI5 asked Colonel Muammar Gadaffi’s secret services for regular updates on what terrorist suspects were revealing under interrogation in Libyan prisons, where torture was routine.
The security service also agreed to trade information with Libyan spymasters on 50 British-based Libyans judged to be a threat to Gadaffi’s regime.
The disclosures come from intelligence documents left lying around in the ruins of the British embassy in Tripoli for anyone to find.
They include an MI5 paper marked “UK/Libya eyes only secret”, which shows that the service provided Gadaffi’s spies with a trove of intelligence about Libyan dissidents in London, Cardiff, Birmingham and Manchester.
Other documents seen by The Sunday Times in the abandoned offices of British and Libyan officials reveal that:
*The Ministry of Defence invited the dictator’s sons Saadi and Khamis Gadaffi, whose forces have massacred civilians during Libya’s revolution, to a combat display at SAS headquarters and a dinner at the Cavalry and Guards Club in Mayfair.
*Tony Blair helped another son, Saif Gadaffi, with his PhD thesis, beginning a personal letter with the words “Dear Engineer Saif”.
*The Foreign Office planned to use Prince Andrew in a secret strategy to secure the release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber, from prison in Scotland and offset the risk of retaliation if he died in jail. In fact, Megrahi was released anyway.
The cache of documents shows how close the governments of both Blair and Gordon Brown were to a brutal regime that was overthrown last month when pro-democracy rebels seized Tripoli.
Nowhere is this closeness more evident than in the intelligence sphere. The MI5 paper for Gadaffi’s security services contains detailed information about members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), a militant dissident outfit with cells in Britain.
The document, prepared ahead of an MI5 visit to Tripoli in 2005, formally requested that Libyan intelligence should provide access to detainees held by secret police and to “timely debriefs” of interrogations.
It added: “The more timely [the] information the better … Such intelligence is most valuable when it is current. It is notable that LIFG members in the UK become aware of the detention of members overseas within a relatively short period.” Read the rest of this entry »