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Supergrass Ahmed Warsame, 27, is helping to find the mastermind of the Kenyan shopping mall massacre which left 67 dead last monthHoped his links to al-Shabaab chief Ikrima, thought to be behind the massacre, will also help locate ‘white widow’ Samantha LewthwaiteWarsame, born in Somalia, arrived in Britain in around 2000 and lived here for around six years before joining al-Shabaab
Was captured in 2011 and faces nine terror-related charges in New York
A man with links to two of the most dangerous branches of terrorist organisation al-Qaeda is now helping the West to dismantle terrorism in the Middle East and Africa.
Supergrass Ahmed Warsame, 27, is currently providing intelligence to help find the mastermind of the Kenyan shopping mall massacre which left 67 dead last month.
It is hoped that his links to an al-Shabaab chief known as Ikrima, thought to be behind last month’s massacre, will also help intelligence officials locate ‘white widow’ Samantha Lewthwaite.
Warsame, who gained asylum in Britain 13 years ago, previously helped the US in the assassination of one of al-Qaeda’s spiritual chiefs in 2011 – Anwar al-Awlaki.
He is also thought to have helped in detaining two other alleged British extremists.
Officials in the West have said the man’s work – described in American court papers as ‘high-level, international terrorist operatives’ – as an ‘intelligence watershed’.
Warsame’s role in the fight against terror has emerged in court documents as well as the testimony of an informant gained by The Sunday Times.
A British security source told the newspaper: ‘It’s hard to overstate the importance of what Warsame has been able to tell the Americans, which they have shared fully with us.’
‘He is the link between jihadists throughout Europe, including Britain, AQAP and al-Shabaab.’
Raffaello Pantucci, a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, added: ‘He’s clearly a very significant catch. It’s a double-whammy given his links to these two organisations.’
The man, who became a terrorist warlord soon after gaining asylum in Britain, has links to both al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Somali-based al-Shabaab.
They are widely believed to be two of the most dangerous and active branches of the group.
As well as Anwar al-Awlaki, the man’s associates also include Ikrima, an al-Shabaab chief.
It is Warsame’s links to Ikrima that are of interest to intelligence officers as he is suspected by Kenyan authorities of planning the Westgate shopping mall attack, which left 67 dead including six Britons.
Also known as Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir, Kenyan national Ikrima has previously been linked to Warsame.
A leaked Kenyan intelligence report shows that Ikrima is also an associate of ‘white widow’ Lewthwaite, 29, from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
It is hoped that Ikrima’s capture could help discover her whereabouts.
Warsame, born in Somalia, arrived in Britain in around 2000 and lived here for around six years.
During that time he moved to Birmingham, where he was studying to become an electrical engineer.
He then traveled back to his native country to fight with al-Shabaab in 2007. It is unknown how he became radicalised during his time in the UK.
Two years later, he moved to Yemen to meet Anwar al-Awlaki – an al Qaeda spiritual leader.
In April 2011 he was captured by Americans and was interrogated for two months on a US naval ship.
In July of that year he appeared in court in New York, facing nine terror-related charges.
There he admitted conspiring to teach the making of explosives including weapons of mass destruction.
The man is hoping to receive a lighter jail sentence for his cooperation – and perhaps a new identity for the protection of himself and his family.
In the past, several other al-Qaeda terrorists have worked with the West including Mohammed Junaid Babar, James Ujaama and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Babar was the main witness in the trial of seven men accused of plotting to blow up the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent. He was facing 70 years in US jail, but was released after serving less than five.
Ujaama revealed vital details of an attempt by Abu Hamza to set up a training camp in Oregon.
Mohammed was the alleged mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks who, in 2003, made a string of confessions about al-Qaeda plots.
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