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European intelligence services preparing for Russian sabotage activities across Europe – FT

Der politische Arm der aktiven Zivilgesellschaft in Europa

European intelligence services preparing for Russian sabotage activities across Europe – FT

European intelligence agencies have warned their governments that Russia is planning sabotage across the continent.

Source: Financial Times (FT); European Pravda

Details: Representatives of European intelligence agencies believe that Russia has begun to actively plot covert bombings, arson attacks and damage to infrastructure on European territory, both directly and through proxies.

The FT has seen intelligence assessments from three European countries that show evidence of more aggressive and coordinated efforts to carry out sabotage.

Intelligence officials are increasingly speaking out about this threat in an effort to increase vigilance.

„We assess the risk of state-controlled acts of sabotage to be significantly increased,“ Thomas Haldenwang, head of Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), said last month.

Haldenwang stressed that Russia now feels comfortable conducting operations on European soil „[with] a high potential for damage“.

One senior European official said that information is being passed through NATO security services about „clear and convincing Russian mischief“ that is coordinated and large-scale.

He added that it was time to „raise awareness and focus“ on the threat of Russian aggression on European soil.

One intelligence official stated that Moscow’s sabotage efforts should not be seen in isolation from other operations. He added that the increased activity reflects Russia’s desire to exert maximum pressure „across the piece“.

He said Russian ruler Vladimir Putin is now feeling „emboldened“ and will try to push the dividing lines in Europe as far as he can on several fronts: through disinformation, sabotage or hacking.

Background: On Friday, the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) discovered that Russian intelligence agents are working in Western Norway, which could mean that Russia may be preparing sabotage operations at critical infrastructure.

In addition, two Germans of Russian origin were recently detained in Germany, suspected of seeking potential targets for sabotage against German support for Ukraine.

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