FBI informant who infiltrated Islamic State and al-Qaeda released from US prison

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FBI informant who infiltrated Islamic State and al-Qaeda released from US prison

An FBI informant who infiltrated al-Qaeda and Islamic State-linked networks in Syria and Turkey has been released from prison in Florida after serving a reduced sentence for threatening his handlers.

Kamran Faridi, whose work for the FBI included renting an Istanbul safehouse where alleged IS suspects were arrested in a high-profile Turkish police raid in 2015, was freed last month after more than four years in prison.

Faridi, who grew up in Karachi, migrated to the US in the early 1990s and was recruited by the FBI as a full-time informant in 1996 after infiltrating an Urdu-speaking crime gang in Atlanta.

In 2001, following al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks, he joined the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York and travelled the world infiltrating al-Qaeda networks in southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America.

But his FBI career appears to have ended abruptly in early 2020 following disagreements with his handlers about an operation targeting Jabir Motiwala, a Karachi businessman who was then held in the UK on a US arrest warrant accusing him of links to a South Asian crime gang.

Legal documents relating to Motiwala’s extradition hearings in the UK obtained by MEE revealed that FBI informants were involved in trafficking shipments of heroin from Karachi to the US as part of an alleged plot to frame Motiwala.

Faridi confirmed he was one of those informants. He told MEE he had also been ordered to fabricate evidence against Motiwala but had refused to do so.

He believes he was arrested and jailed not because of the messages he had sent to his handlers but because he had threatened to reveal details of FBI investigative methods that the bureau did not want to be publicised.

“I was about to disclose their dirty laundry. They had to save their own,” he said.

“At the end of the day, I am a Pakistani third-class citizen from a third world country. They threw me away.”


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