By Chris King • 02 October 2022 • 3:53
Image of the Nord Stream pipeline gas leak.
Credit: Danish Defence
The Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter has reported that it mapped ship movements in the area where the explosions on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines took place. It turns out that the Swedish Navy had ships in the area in the days before the sabotage.
According to Niklas Granholm – a research leader at the Total Defence Research Institute, FOI, and knowledgeable about military activity in the Baltic Sea – there is very little that matches in time and space for it to be a coincidence.
Speaking with SVT Nyheter, he said that it could probably be that the Navy had received some kind of intelligence information.
A press spokesperson for the Navy confirmed to Dagens Nyheter that the information that ships have been in the area and carried out maritime surveillance is indeed correct. But, he could not confirm what the purpose was, citing strict confidentiality.
Mapping of the ship’s movements shows that its position transmitter, the so-called AIS, had occasionally been switched off while operating in the area. Anders Larsson, a Commander Captain and former head of naval intelligence confirmed that it is normal for military vessels to turn their AIS on and off.
“When you don’t need to use it, it’s usually off”, Larsson told SVT Nyheter. He added that the Navy’s ship movements in the area may be completely normal. He pointed out that it is difficult to draw conclusions from individual ship movements. Navy ships often sail there and sea surveillance takes place around the clock, all year round.
According to the German newspaper Spiegel, the American intelligence service CIA had previously warned Germany during the summer about possible attacks on the gas pipelines.
Anders Larsson also pointed out that if the Swedish Navy had possibly received information about impending attacks on the gas pipelines, it would hardly be public knowledge. Such international exchanges of intelligence are always highly confidential and will never, and never should, be commented on, he concluded.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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