View Full Version : Aimen Dean: an AQ insider who spied for MI6

03-14-2015, 05:43 PM
Catching up, these reports are nearly two weeks old. Basically:
Aimen Dean is a founder member of al-Qaeda, who changed tack in 1998 and became a spy for Britain's security and intelligence services, MI5 and MI6.

There is a partial transcript of a BBC Q&A radio interview, by Peter Marshall (one of the BBC's best journalists), which touches on many issues:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-31700894

Note how his role ended:
Valued first by al-Qaeda and then British security and intelligence, Aimen Dean's life under cover came to an abrupt end when the cover was blown. An American writer disclosed his identity with details that could only be sourced to Dean. That was eight years ago.

It appears he was a spy from 1998 to 2007. Perhaps a book will appear next?

A short non-BBC report:http://www.theweek.co.uk/62771/mi5-double-agent-offers-rare-insight-into-al-qaeda-and-jihad#.VPcZjnpTyXw.twitter

Aimen Dean was interviewed on BBC World's Hardtalk, which asks:
What does his extraordinary story tell us about the nature of the jihadist threat?

03-14-2015, 07:51 PM
There is a book, well an e-book: The Eternal Bridge Over the River Innocence. See:http://www.amazon.com/Eternal-Bridge-Over-River-Innocence-ebook/dp/B00J3YYCS0 and for the UK:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Eternal-Bridge-Over-River-Innocence-ebook/dp/B00J3YYCS0

06-10-2018, 10:09 AM
Aimen Dean, who worked for UK intelligence within AQ for four years (1998-2002), has now written - with two co-authors - a book "Nine Lives: My Time as the West's Top Spy Inside al-Qaeda (https://oneworld-publications.com/nine-lives.html)". His motive to change sides:
Betrayal of the treacherous is loyalty in the eyes of God. I betrayed a bunch of criminals, itís as simple as that.
Link to publisher:https://oneworld-publications.com/nine-lives.html

In after his defection, following a US media report "outed" him, he did go public with interviews with the BBC in early 2015.

As part of the publicity he has now been interviewed in the UK, at least twice and in the USA - with a CNN documentary to come. Link to UK interview on C4 News (8 mins):https://www.channel4.com/news/i-was-mi6s-spy-inside-al-qaeda A longer interview on LBC (20 mins) with Maajid Nawaz:https://www.msn.com/en-gb/sport/video/aimen-dean-meets-maajid-nawaz-the-full-interview/vi-AAyqlUs
Link to short CNN item:https://edition.cnn.com/2018/05/23/world/csr-al-qaeda-spy/index.html

06-18-2018, 08:11 PM
A NBC report, with a filmed interview and with alas an accurate headline: 'He spied on al Qaeda from the inside, until he had to run for his life; Aimen Dean was a double agent, feeding al Qaeda's secrets to Western intelligence, but then someone spilled his secret.

08-03-2018, 09:20 AM
A balanced review from WSJ; the second paragraph says:
His memoir, “Nine Lives,” should dispel doubts about the essential truth of his tale. Detailed and weird, it contains enough verifiable fact, and enough idiosyncrasy, to establish, as his co-authors Tim Lister and Paul Cruickshank write, that “there simply wasn’t another informant inside al-Qaeda like him.” Mr. Dean’s book is a major contribution to the literature of espionage, and a rare book to say something original about contemporary jihadism.

10-23-2018, 01:04 PM
The Quilliam Foundation, a counter-extremism group (UK based), has a twenty four minute podcast interview with Aimen Deen and this is an excerpt:
Eight years undercover do really take their toll on you. I became diabetic during that time. The stress of a double life is too much. You are constantly on the move, monitoring cells, infiltrating organisations that want to do harm to others. So you do not have a normal life whatsoever. So I remember, when my identity was compromised in 2006, in the beginning I was angry and I thought it was a terrible calamity, a few months later I realised what a relief it was. Because I finally started to feel at ease – that I do not have to look over my shoulder all the time…

12-10-2018, 07:33 PM
A review of the book via the Changing Character of War Programme @ Oxford University; which starts with:
Dean’s account is more than the story of a Generation X traveller lost in a post-modern world – it is a gripping description of his trajectory from a young Mujahedeen overlooking Sarajevo to an early joiner of Al-Qaeda and ultimately informer for Britain’s intelligence services that makes this book a worthy and touching read.

Following the link at the bottom you get the full two page review:http://www.ccw.ox.ac.uk/blog/2018/12/10/eat-pray-fight-one-mans-journey-in-and-out-of-al-qaeda-florence-gaub

12-23-2018, 08:23 PM
Discovered, rather late, that Aimen Deen has another taped interview (32 mins). Their explanation:
So… there was a choice between either the British, the Americans or the French. As far as the Americans were concerned… my defection took place around December 1998, and in August 1998, I was just lucky to escape with my life from a cruise missile attack by the Americans against the camps… So I thought basically that it would be extremely difficult to work with people who just a few months ago pressed the button, trying to kill me. So I thought, ‘forget the Americans’. As far as the French were concerned, basically, it meant that I would have to learn another language – a language I don’t like the sound of at all…not to mention that the French are rude, and aloof and arrogant…

02-15-2020, 02:11 PM
In the last week Aimen Deen has given two interviews to British newspapers. This one is open to read: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/feb/14/experience-i-made-bombs-for-al-qaida

The second is behind a pay wall and is slightly different: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/al-qaeda-spied-mi6-know-deradicalisation-doesnt-work/

08-11-2020, 09:18 AM
An interview in May 2020, available as a podcast and in a transcript. The intro states:
n this episode of Changed My Mind, Aimen Dean talks to academic Thomas Small about what triggered him to join al Qaeda and then leave the terrorist organisation. Decades on, he reflects on why it remains difficult to stop others following in his footsteps.