How many such sleeper agents are there in Western countries? From AAP, with thanks to Sr. Soph:
ACCUSED terrorist Joseph Terrence Thomas was told by an al-Qaeda operative that Osama bin Laden wanted him to act as a sleeper agent in Australia, a Victorian court has heard.
Opening the trial of Thomas in the Victorian Supreme Court today, Crown prosecutor Nicholas Robinson said Thomas told Australian Federal Police he had seen bin Laden in “close quarters” on several occasions.
The 32-year-old Werribee man has pleaded not guilty to one count of intentionally receiving funds from a terrorist organisation between November 2002 and January 2003….
Mr Robinson said Thomas told AFP officers he had trained for about three months at an al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan called Al Farooq around the middle of 2001.
“The accused told police … that he saw Osama bin Laden in close quarters on a number of occasions,” Mr Robinson told the court.
He said that after training at the camp, Thomas went to Pakistan where he stayed in safe houses frequented by al-Qaeda operatives.
Mr Robinson said one al-Qaeda member, Khaled Bin Attash, personally handed him $US3500 ($4745) and organised a plane ticket from Pakistan back to Australia.
When AFP agents asked Thomas why Attash wanted him to go back to Australia he said he was to surveil military installations.
“Osama bin Laden wanted an Australian to work for him and to carry out operations in Australia,” Mr Robinson said Thomas told police.