Cloak and Dagger
September 5, 2018

On Wednesday, British prosecutors charged two Russian men in absentia for the March 4 nerve gas attack on former Russia spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. Sue Hemming, director of legal services at the Crown Prosecution Service, said there was ample evidence "to provide a realistic prospect of conviction" of the two men, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, and a European arrest warrant has been issued, but "we will not be applying to Russia for the extradition of these men as the Russian constitution does not permit extradition of its own nationals."

Police said they believe Petrov and Boshirov smuggled the military-grade Novichok nerve agent into Britain in a counterfeit Nina Ricci perfume bottle designed to apply the poison to the front door of Skripal's house in Salisbury.

The bottle was found by a local man, Charlie Rowley, on June 27, and he was hospitalized and his girlfriend, Dawn Sturgess, died after being exposed to the nerve gas inside. Police are not ready to charge the two Russians with those later poisonings because they aren't sure yet where the bottle was between the Skripal poisoning and Rowley's discovery. Scotland Yard assistant commissioner Neil Badu called the poisoning "a sophisticated attack across borders" but wouldn't say if he believed the two men, who arrived in Britain on real Russian passports with probably fake names, worked for Russian security services. Peter Weber

September 17, 2014

Morten Storm converted to Islam in his native Denmark, after a life of petty crime left him feeling hollow, he writes in a new book, Agent Storm: My Life Inside al Qaeda and the CIA. His extreme personality and adrenaline-seeking led him to embrace Islamist jihad. And being denied a chance to fight for al Qaeda in Somalia led him to question his decisions and his faith, which vanished with a little internet research.

On Tuesday night, CNN aired an interview with Storm, one of his book's co-authors, Paul Cruickshank, and CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson. Storm says in his book that he contacted the Danish intelligence service to offer to become a double agent, and his work with them led to spying on al Qaeda for the CIA. He fell out with the CIA, he says, after the agency refused to pay him $5 million he thought he deserved for information on where to find (and kill) American-born al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki.

You can read more about Storm, how he found a European wife for Awlaki, and the death threats he is receiving from his former allies, at CNN. You can seem him in the video below. --Peter Weber

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