U.K. pays local Muslims to spy on terror suspects

British intelligence agency MI5 is paying Muslim informants across the U.K. for short-term spying missions to help avert terrorist attacks by home-grown Islamist extremists, according to a media report.

Individuals across the U.K. are being employed on temporary assignments to acquire intelligence on specific targets, The Guardian reported, citing sources within the Muslim community.

One such source said an informant was recently paid as much as £2,000 by the British security services to spy on activities relating to a mosque over a six-week period.

However, the use of payments to gather intelligence prompted warnings that the system risked producing information “corrupted” by the money on offer, the report said.

The initiative is being co-ordinated under the government’s official post-9/11 counter-terrorism strategy.