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FT: Russia plotting 'violent sabotage' across Europe, intelligence agencies warn

by Chris York May 6, 2024 6:39 PM 2 min read
Russian law enforcement guard the Red Square near the Kremlin on June 24, 2023 in Moscow, Russia, amid the Wagner Group's ongoing armed rebellion in Russia. (Photo by Contributor/Getty Images)
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Russia is plotting violent acts of sabotage across Europe, with intelligence agencies warning countries on the continent to expect more covert bombings and arson attacks on infrastructure, the Financial Times (FT) reported on May 6.

Several high-profile incidents in recent weeks have put a spotlight on cases of attempted sabotage by people accused of working on the Kremlin's behalf.

According to assessments from three different European countries shared with the FT, this and other evidence point to a more direct and concerted effort directed by Russia as it commits to a course of permanent conflict with Western countries.

"The obvious conclusion is that there has been a real stepping up of Russian activity," Keir Giles, a senior consulting fellow at Chatham House, told the FT.

Russia has long engaged in a variety of disruptive behavior toward Europe, often using its cyber capabilities to target civilian infrastructure.

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Lithuania and other countries have accused Russia of being responsible for a recent uptick in GPS jamming against civilian aircraft.

In recent weeks, several more violent acts of sabotage have been thwarted by European security services.

On April 18, it was announced that German authorities had arrested two German-Russian nationals suspected of planning a military sabotage plot on behalf of Russian intelligence.

The two men are accused of preparing a plot to carry out explosive and arson attacks on military and industrial sites in Germany, including on U.S. military bases in the country.

They are thought to have actively begun the preparation for potential attacks by secretly photographing possible targets.

On April 26, it was reported that Dylan Earl, a 20-year-old U.K. citizen with alleged ties to the Wagner mercenary group, had been charged with organizing an arson plot after being recruited as a Russian spy.

Earl was charged with planning an attack against London businesses connected to Ukraine. He was also accused of fraud, carrying out research and reconnaissance activities, and attempting to recruit individuals to aid a foreign intelligence service.

Lithuania’s FM: Russian GPS jamming of commercial flights ‘too dangerous to ignore’
Baltic foreign ministers have warned that the suspected Russian jamming of GPS systems aboard commercial flights is “too dangerous to ignore.” This comes after it was revealed that two Finnish aircraft were forced to turn around mid-journey in recent days.
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