Mark Allen

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Mark Allen was in charge of the Middle East and Africa department at MI6 until he left in summer 2004 [1].

According to a profile of him by The Times, Allen [2]:

  • learnt Arabic at Oxford
  • was 54 in 2004
  • was one of three people who applied for the job of chief at MI6.
  • was originally due to retire in July 2005.
  • is an "Arabist who worked under diplomatic cover in Abu Dhabi and Cairo"
  • was "said to have been highly regarded within the service but 'pleased to be out'."
  • was "credited with helping to persuade the Libyans to abandon development of weapons of mass destruction."
  • "As one of MI6’s four directors, Allen’s duties covered running spying operations in the Middle East, including Iraq."
  • "Relations between [John] Scarlett and Allen were said to have been strained over the government’s controversial Iraq dossier."
  • "Allen was also said to have been uncomfortable with aspects of strategy on Iraq. 'His politics are not new Labour,' a source said."
  • was expected to join BP as an adviser in October 2004.

Regarding his new role as an adviser to BP, The Times had this to say: "He will be working with Sir Jeremy Greenstock, Britain’s former special envoy to Iraq. BP wants to exploit opportunities in the Middle East — including Iraq, which has the world’s largest oil reserves after Saudi Arabia." [3]

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