Morten Storm, a Danish double agent who says he worked with the CIA and Danish intelligence to track down American-born al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, says the Danish intelligence agency PET tried to buy his silence after he stopped working for them earlier this year.
Storm claims the Danish intelligence agency offered payments totaling 1.5m Danish Krone ($260,000) over a five-year period.
He told the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten that PET had offered him the money tax free, after the agency became aware that he was considering going public with his story. But he said he rejected the offer because PET had broken a series of promises to him, including providing permanent residence status in Denmark for his foreign wife.
Instead he told Jyllands-Posten his extraordinary story -- which spanned five years and several trips to Yemen as a double agent -- as well as a close relationship with CIA officers, according to Storm's account.
The revelations, backed up extensive corroborating evidence, have sent shock waves through Denmark, and led to calls for greater oversight of the country's intelligence services. Danish law prohibits the security services from being involved in assassinations.
"We have documented clearly that the Danish secret service took part in mission to locate Anwar al-Awlaki and that raises the question because, it was known at the time the U.S. was ready to kill him if they had the chance," Jyllands-Posten editor Pierre Collignon told CNN.
The disclosure Sunday by Storm of the cash offer has heightened the political controversy in Denmark, and led to allegations Danish authorities were trying to cover up illegal activity.
Storm had previously provided Jyllands-Posten an audio recording from this summer in which one of his Danish intelligence handlers appeared to hold out the possibility of payments.
"What annoys me about is the way you treated me last year with Anwar," Storm is heard saying on the recording. "Yes, yes. But that's it, [we're] trying to make up for [it] now," his handler replied, according to Jyllands-Posten.
PET director Jakob Scharf two weeks ago said that his agency "did not contribute during the military operation that led to the killing of al-Awlaki in Yemen."
PET and CIA have neither confirmed nor denied Storm worked for them. PET has made no public comment on Storm's latest allegations.
There is firm evidence that Storm, a former biker and petty criminal, moved within jihadist circles after converting to Islam in the late 1990s -- becoming known as Murad Storm.
Storm, who befriended al-Awlaki in Yemen in 2006, claims he approached Danish intelligence later that year after becoming disillusioned with radical Islam, and subsequently worked with them and the CIA to locate and target the cleric.
Storm detailed three attempts by the Western intelligence agencies to locate and target al-Awlaki.
The first came after Storm met with al-Awlaki in a desert camp in Yemen in September 2009. He said that after he passed on details of al-Awlaki's location to his Danish and American intelligence handlers, Yemeni forces carried out an assault on the house al-Awlaki had been staying in, killing the owner.
But al-Awlaki had already left.
The second attempt, Storm told Jyllands-Posten, was the planting of a tracking device in the luggage of "Aminah" a Croatian convert to Islam, when she traveled to Yemen to marry al-Awlaki in June 2010.
Storm said he arranged the match after al-Awlaki had requested he find him a Western bride during a previous meeting. Though Storm said he was paid $250,000 by the CIA for arranging the match, the operation failed after the AQAP operatives told Aminah to repack her luggage before traveling from Sanaa to Yemen's southern tribal areas to marry al-Awlaki.
The third and successful attempt, in September 2011, according to Storm, involved him arranging the handoff of a USB thumb drive with a secret tracking device to an al Qaeda courier taking messages onto al-Awlaki.
Storm said he felt betrayed after a CIA agent claimed to him, during a meeting that he recorded, that a different operation had netted al-Awlaki, and this was a significant factor in his decision to go public.
Magnus Ranstorp, one of Scandinavia's leading counterterrorism experts, told CNN that Storm's decision to go public was likely a source of significant embarrassment to his handlers.
"It is so rare that two services completely mishandle, misjudge him, and he is able to come to meetings and he has a phone and he is able to record them," Ranstorp, the research director at the Swedish National Defence Academy, told CNN.
"It also exposes the very secret, the very essence of intelligence services and that is means and methods, they never discuss means and methods," Ranstorp told CNN.
Al-Awlaki's Croatian bride's 'identity revealed'
The Croatian newspaper Vecernji List, in articles published Wednesday and Thursday, claimed it had unveiled the true identity of the Aminah, the Croatian women Storm arranged for al-Awlaki to marry in the hope she would lead the CIA to his location.