Man convicted of joining ISIS says he was a spy for Danish intelligence

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Ahmed Samsam claims he travelled to Syria on behalf of police and defence services in Denmark

Jan 13, 2020

January 13, 2020

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A Danish man who is serving eight years in a Spanish jail for joining ISIS in Syria has claimed he was actually working for Denmark’s intelligence services.

Ahmed Samsam, 30, travelled to Syria “several” times under the direction of Denmark’s Police Intelligence Service and Defence Intelligence Service, Danish newspaper Berlingske reported.

He says that only once, in 2012, did he go to Syria on his own initiative.

Citing several sources with knowledge of the case, Berlingske confirmed Samsam was recruited by Danish intelligence in December 2012 and was sent to Syria in February 2013.

“I wanted to help prevent a terrorist attack in Denmark. I have a family that uses public transport, which is at high risk of being hit by terror,” he said as he explained his decision from a Spanish jail.

He received up to 20,000 Kroner (Dh10,932) a month and military training for his work, which ended in late 2015.

Samsam says Danish authorities promised him he would never be punished for his travel to Syria. His subsequent conviction has angered some in Denmark who say they are angry Spain was not told immediately about Samsam’s work.

During the case, Samsam said Danish authorities had been aware of his travel to Syria. Denmark’s intelligence service confirmed in 2018 it had been in contact with Spain over Samsam’s arrest on the Costa del Sol in 2017.

Karina Lorentzen Dehnhardt of the Socialist People’s Party in Denmark said that if Samsam had worked for the Danish intelligence services he needed to be helped.

Updated: January 13, 2020 10:56 AM

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