DEATH MYSTERY SPY GARETH WILLIAMS WAS TERROR PLOT HERO
Gareth Williams helped thwart a Mumbai-style gun rampage in Britain
By Gordon Thomas and James Fielding | October 10, 2010
MI6 SPY Gareth Williams helped thwart a Mumbai-style gun rampage in Britain just weeks before his mystery death, the Sunday Express can reveal today.
The 31-year-old, whose body was found in a sports bag in his flat two months ago, uncovered the plot in a secret eavesdropping mission in Afghanistan.
He played a pivotal role in intercepting phone calls from British jihadists at a training camp before matching their voice prints to those on a data bank.
Details of the Al Qaeda threats emerged last weekend and involved coordinated gun massacres on the streets of London, Paris and Berlin. Transport hubs and landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, the Eiffel Tower and the Brandenburg Gate were all listed as potential targets.
Mr Williams made several trips to Afghanistan as one of a 10-strong team of specialists from GCHQ, the Government’s listening post and the NSA, the US equivalent.
He was “cherry-picked” for the job because of his specialist skills using voice analysis software. The codebreaker, on a year’s secondment to MI6 in London from GCHQ in Cheltenham, Gloucs, could identify accents picked up in phone conversations with terror suspects from the Midlands, Manchester and Rochdale, Lancashire.
He pinpointed at least one voice print to Pakistani-born Briton Abdul Jabbar, who was known to UK security services. Jabbar was killed in a US drone strike earlier this month after GCHQ alerted the US to his whereabouts.
Information gleaned by Mr Williams also led to the arrest of the suspected ringleader, Admed Sidiqi, captured in Kabul in July.
Sidiqi, a German national from Hamburg, is being held at a US airbase where he has provided details about the attacks.
Though Mr Williams helped save the lives of thousands in Europe, terror alerts are high.
A source said: “The professionalism and skill of operatives like Gareth helped to thwart a disaster but we don’t have a total insight into what is unfolding.
“We are still aware of ‘sleeper cells’ ready to spring into action at a moment’s notice.”
Up to 20 British-born militants are in the lawless border tribal lands between Afghanistan and Pakistan.