Danish spy seeking credit for terrorist's death "just a piece to the puzzle"
(CBS News) Anwar al Awlaki was at the center of the CIA's hunt for al Qaeda terrorists for years, before he was killed in an air attack in Yemen 15 months ago.
Morten Storm is a Danish double agent who claims he infiltrated the al Qaeda leader's innermost circle and led American agents to al Awlaki. Storm told "60 Minutes'" Lara Logan that al Awlaki trusted him so thoroughly that he asked Storm to help him find a wife.
Storm explained that Awlaki's request for a bride presented an opportunity for the CIA to get closer to the elusive terrorist. Teaming up with the CIA, Storm took to Facebook to try to connect with Awlaki supporters online.
"I had no one except for a woman who contacted me saying do you know Sheikh Anwar? I said yeah. And then that was Aminah," Storm told Logan, referring to a 32-year-old Croatian woman who had recently converted to Islam and written to Storm saying she wanted to marry Awlaki.
Storm had Awlaki send a video to Aminah, to prove the authenticity of Storm's search for a wife on behalf of the terrorist leader and he made two video of Aminah for Awlaki. By June, 2010, Aminah was in Yemen and living with her new husband, Anwar al Awlaki.
CBS News national security analyst Juan Zarate spoke to "CBS This Morning" on Friday, and said such strategies could be successful due to the current fragmented state of al Qaeda. Al Qaeda is "under a great deal of stress both at its core and in its affiliates...they're having to trust more people, allowing others to get closer to leaders," Zarate explained.
Storm was an ideal recruit for al Awlaki who Zarate called "the pied piper of Western recruits" for al Qaeda because he is "a Westerner who had a passport who could travel in Western Europe, who wouldn't fit the typical security profiles."
And while Storm insists his work directly led to the death of Awlaki, Zarate calls his work just one part of a larger CIA effort to find and kill Awlaki. Zarate added while there is "no doubt there were operatives getting us information," there is "never a single piece to the puzzle in finding a terrorist."
And despite the CIA's successful mission to kill Awlaki and al Qaeda's crippled status, Zarate warned that "groups around the world affiliated with al Qaeda remain a threat and remain central, he said before adding that Awlaki "may be off the battlefield but the threat remains."
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