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Thursday, 28 November, 2002, 12:36 GMT
Britain 'bombed itself to fool Nazis'
Norwegian double agents known as 'Mutt' and 'Jeff'
'Mutt' and 'Jeff' worked undercover for Britain
British intelligence officials in World War II allowed double agents to bomb targets in the UK to protect their cover, newly declassified documents show.

A power station and a food dump were fire-bombed to keep up the pretence that the two agents were working for the Germans.


It was obvious that if the case were to be kept going a faked act of sabotage would have to be committed

MI5 file on 'Mutt' and 'Jeff'
In fact the pair - code-named Mutt and Jeff - were secretly employed by MI5.

One of the papers released commented that deception of "friends as well as enemies" was crucial for the double agents.

The security documents are held at the Public Records Office at Kew in London and have finally been made available for general viewing.

They tell of how two Norwegians, Helge Moee and Tor Glad, arrived in a rubber dingy on a Scottish beach in April 1941.

The pair gave themselves up to British police as German spies but were persuaded to change sides by MI5, which used them to send false information back to Germany.

Weekly wage

In their new identity as 'Mutt' and 'Jeff' they led the Germans to believe that Britain intended to invade Norway.

For this they were paid a weekly wage of 30 shillings, plus 12 expenses.

But to maintain their cover the agents had to commit acts of sabotage.

One of the documents released on Thursday said: "It should be recognised that friends as well as enemies must be completely deceived."

Photograph from the files on 'Mutt' and 'Jeff'
The Norwegians learned morse code for Germany
It went on: "It was obvious that if the case were to be kept going a faked act of sabotage would have to be committed and the decision was therefore reluctantly made to attempt an explosion in a food store."

Bombing raids were carried out on the power station - in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk - plus a food store but the papers make clear that they agents took precautions to ensure they did not cause serious damage.

Files on the Norwegian agents included sketch maps of bomb targets.

Their details are among several files released on Thursday.

Oliver Hoare, from the Public Records Office said many of the subjects were a "bizarre lot of people".

"If you look at the files the people MI5 were investigating are colourful characters," he told BBC News.


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See also:

28 Nov 02 | UK
05 Jul 01 | UK
17 Sep 99 | UK
27 Jan 99 | Wartime spies
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