London, Jan 18 : A computer nerd from Shepherd's Bush, West London, has been identified by police as al Qaeda's top internet agent.
According to the police, twenty-three-year-old Younes Tsouli, an IT student at a London college, used his top-floor flat in W12 to help Islamist xtremists wage a propaganda war against the West. Functioning under the name of Irhabi 007, combining the James Bond reference with the Arabic for terrorist, Tsouli worked with al Qaeda leaders in Iraq and came up with a way to convert often gruesome videos into a form that could be put onto the Web.
The videos that he posted included messages from Osama bin Laden and images of the kidnapping and murder of hostages in Iraq such as American Nick Berg. His capture led to the arrest of several Islamic terrorists around the world, including 17 men in Canada and two in the US. ssociates linked to Tsouli in the UK have also now been detained. His 10-year jail sentence was increased to 16 years last month.
At first intelligence operatives who came across his activities dismissed him as a joke. It was only when anti-terrorist detectives began trawling through files on his computer after his arrest that they realised his true significance.