Monday, August 30, 2010

Dead UK Codebreaker Was Linked to NSA Intercept Case

Kim Zetter writes on Threat Level:

A top British codebreaker found mysteriously dead last week in his flat had worked with the NSA and British intelligence to intercept e-mail messages that helped convict would-be bombers in the U.K., according to a news report.

Gareth Williams, 31, made repeated visits to the U.S. to meet with the National Security Agency and worked closely with British and U.S. spy agencies to intercept and examine communications that passed between an al Qaeda official in Pakistan and three men who were convicted last year of plotting to bomb transcontinental flights, according to the British paper the Mirror.

Williams, described by those who knew him as a “math genius,” worked for the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) helping to break coded Taliban communications, among other things. He was just completing a year-long stint with MI6, Britain’s secret intelligence service, when his body was found stuffed into a duffel bag in his bathtub. He’d been dead for at least two weeks. His mobile phone and a number of SIM cards were laid out on a table near the body, according to news reports. There were no signs of forced entry to the apartment and no signs of a struggle.

Initial news stories indicated Williams had been stabbed, but police have since disputed that information, noting that — other than being stuffed into a duffel bag — there were no obvious signs of foul play. A toxicology report is expected Tuesday.

More here.


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