The national intelligence agency PET two months ago offered to pay its former agent Morten Storm 25,000 tax-free kroner a month for the next five years if he promised to keep quiet about his role as a double agent in the hunt for al-Qaeda's Anwar al-Awlaki. Al-Awlaki was killed in a US drone attack in September of last year. PET’s offer to Storm is documented in a telephone conversation between Storm and his contact in PET known as 'Olde' obtained by Jyllands-Posten newspaper.
Storm said that he had previously discussed with PET a way out of his double life as a seemingly committed Muslim who was actually an agent working for PET and the CIA tracking down terrorists. Storm said that as recently as July of this year, PET offered him only a year’s salary as severance pay when he said he was ready to quit.
It wasn’t until the end of August, after Storm had committed to tell his tale to the press in an upcoming book, that PET offered to buy his silence.
Storm said he refused the offer.
"I no longer trust PET,” he told Jyllands-Posten. “They have already made promises they didn’t keep.”
Storm said that PET reneged on promises to get his foreign-born wife permanent residency in Denmark and to send him to bodyguard courses and training with the Danish military.
The former operations chief of PET, Hans Jørgen Bonnichsen, expressed shock at Storm's claim that PET offered him so much cash for his silence.
"I have never in my life heard anything like it! Never! I cannot say it more strongly – I've never heard anything like it," he said.
According to Bonnichsen, PET's alleged offer could be interpreted in two different ways.
The first possibility is that the agency simply never wants an agent to discuss their work out of fear that it would reveal PET's methods and procedures. The second, and more sinister, option is that the service is trying to cover up illegal actions by the agent.
“The exorbitant sum undeniably leaves PET in a position where both interpretations seem possible – including the negative one,” said Bonnichsen. “It could appear they are trying to shut him up.”
PET’s current head, Jakob Scharf, has yet to comment on Storm’s claims.
Enhedslisten (EL) has called the justice minister, Morten Bødskov (Socialdemokraterne) to what they are calling an”open meeting” on November 22 to explain PET’s alleged offer to Storm.
“This case is so complex that anyone can see that we need some answers,” EL spokesperson Pernille Skipper told Politiken newspaper.
Skipper said that the signs indicate that PET has broken the law and that there is a need for an independent investigation of the case.