Unstable British spy sent to jihadist camp killed his own child, report claims

MI6 spy who infiltrated camp used by Taliban and al-Qaeda had ‘highest possible’ level of emotional instability

Adam Forrest
Political Correspondent
Sunday 23 April 2023 14:43 BST
Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) building
Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) building (PA)

A British spy who was sent by MI6 to a jihadist camp on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan went on to kill his own child, a shock new report has revealed.

The unnamed man was sent to infiltrate the camp used by al-Qaeda and the Taliban despite warnings about his emotional instability during the vetting process, according to a report in the Sunday Times.

The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) produced a vetting report stating that the agent’s emotional instability was the “highest it is possible to score”, in a document leaked to the newspaper.

Despite the assessment, the agent in his twenties was sent to go undercover as a jihadist soldier in a village in Waziristan, where he is said to have witnessed beheadings and was forced to wash bodies.

The spy is said to have gone on to kill his own child on return to the UK. He was found guilty of murder by a jury at the end of a trial, much of which is believed to have been held in secret.

However, it has emerged that the court has “lost” papers relating to the case, without any reason as to how it happened.

The report also states the government has a 42,000-word report examining the build-up to the death of the child which it refuses to publish.

The unnamed spy was vetted by the SIS and was said to have had more in common with a psychotic person than an average member of the population in some personality traits.

He is believed to have washed and buried the bodies of Taliban fighters and witnessed the beheading of a family accused of being spies. After returning to the UK, MI6 recorded that the man was “in a state of extreme stress”.

The agent was reportedly initially recruited by MI5 and asked to gather intelligence at mosques suspected of promoting jihadism. Moved to M16, a vetting report’s author said: “On emotional instability he scored as high as it is possible to score.”

Liam Kotrie of Mary Monson Solicitors, the firm that represented the unnamed spy, said: “The security services were not held to account for making what, the evidence suggests, were decisions which entirely disregarded his wellbeing and that of those around him.

“He was an incredibly vulnerable man and his child was left in the most vulnerable of circumstances; circumstances which could have been safeguarded had more care been taken. He had served his purpose and was no longer the concern of his employers. He was used.”

A government spokesperson said: “It is a longstanding principle that the government does not confirm or deny allegations, assertions or speculation about the activities of UK intelligence agencies.”

The Independent approached the Home Office and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office for comment.

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