Circa 24 January 2009, London: My first call to British security services about Yemen & 9/11

A few days before swearing an oath of allegiance to join the British army I called the security services to report my very vague suspicions of having unwittingly met al Qaeda in Yemen in 1997. I did this to ensure my oath of allegence was made with doubt or reservation. I spoke uninterrupted for a minute or two, describing my visit and conversations. The moment I said “YemPak” (the name of KSM’s front company) the line clicked and a different voice simply said Carry on”. I speculated that I’d met Al Qaeda members at the clandestine meeting I was taken to on the 26th September 1997, possibly even Osama bin Laden (OBL was in Afghanistan from 1996 so that would’ve been very unlikely if not impossible).

I said they were wearing ‘practical clothing’, like the photos of 1980’s Mujahideen I'd seen. The call handler made no comment and didn’t ask any questions. If anything he sounded disinterested and dismissive. I was never contacted back and am not aware of any other outcome or response to my report.

I was attested into the British army on the 27 January 2009 and served till April 2013, including a six month tour in Afghanistan in Summer 2012. My tour overlapped with Captain Wales (Prince Harry) serving as an attack helicopter pilot and I was within a few metres of him on numberous occasions, most often in the dining hall and always armed with my loaded SA80 assault rifle.

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Truly, for some of us nothing is written, unless we write it