According to the Observer, PT16 was involved in a failed attempt to run Libyan intelligence officer Khalifa Bazelya as a British agent:
- The fiasco began after the two MI6 officers, codenamed PT16 and PT16/B, arranged for Bazelya to get security clearance to work in the Saudi embassy in 1993 as head of the Libyan mission - Tripoli and London did not have full diplomatic relations. His appointment was approved by Rifkind. He was admitted to Britain, although he had been accused of gun-running and espionage in Africa.
- The Observer can today reveal that the MI6 officers involved in the alleged plot were Richard Bartlett, who has previously only been known under the codename PT16 and had overall responsibility for the operation; and David Watson, codename PT16B. As Shayler's opposite number in MI6, Watson was responsible for running a Libyan agent, 'Tunworth', who was was providing information from within the cell. According to Shayler, MI6 passed £100,000 to the al-Qaeda plotters.