US had intelligence of Ukrainian plan to attack Nord Stream pipeline - Washington Post

  • World
  • Tuesday, 06 Jun 2023

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Nord Stream 2 AG is seen at an office building in Zug, Switzerland March 1, 2022. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States had intelligence of a detailed Ukrainian plan to attack the Nord Stream pipeline three months before it was bombed, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday, citing leaked information posted online.

The CIA learned last June, through a European spy agency, that a six-person team of Ukrainian special operations forces intended to blow up the Russia-to-Germany natural gas project, the newspaper reported.

The European intelligence reporting was shared on chat platform Discord, allegedly by Air National Guard member Jack Teixeira, who was recently charged in relation to the leak of sensitive U.S. documents. The Washington Post said it got a copy from one of Teixeira's online friends.

The intelligence report was based on information obtained from an individual in Ukraine, the Washington Post said, adding the CIA shared the report with Germany and other European countries last June.

The specific details included numbers of operatives and methods of attack, according to the Washington Post. It would mean that for nearly a year, Western allies had a basis to suspect Kyiv in the sabotage.

The newspaper said that officials in multiple countries had confirmed that the intelligence summary posted on Discord accurately stated what the European service told the CIA.

The Post added it had agreed to withhold the name of the European country as well as some aspects of the suspected plan at the request of government officials, citing risks to sources and operations.

The CIA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Reuters could not immediately confirm the intelligence cited by the Washington Post.

Several underwater explosions ruptured the Nord Stream 1 and the newly built Nord Stream 2 pipelines that link Russia and Germany across the Baltic Sea in September 2022.

The blasts occurred in the economic zones of Sweden and Denmark. Both countries say the explosions were deliberate, but have yet to determine who was responsible. The two countries as well as Germany are investigating the incident.

Washington and NATO called the incident "an act of sabotage." Moscow blamed the West. Neither side has provided evidence for who committed the attacks.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh and Rami Ayyub in Washington; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Jon Boyle)

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