CIA Warned Germany and Other of Group Preparing Nord Stream Attack – WSJ

The Wall Street Journal, citing officials, said the CIA months before the incident warned counterparts in Germany and other European services that a group might be preparing an attack on the Nord Stream pipeline.

The warning included information on three Ukrainian nationals trying to rent out ships in states bordering the Baltic Sea, including Sweden, according to the report published on Wednesday.

The report also said CIA chief William Burns and national-security adviser Jake Sullivan were considering the possibility Ukraine was behind the attack. The investigations never ruled out Ukraine as being behind the attack, the report said. Meanwhile, the report added, the Biden administration fears that a conclusion that pro-Ukrainian operatives are responsible for the attack could rattle Germany and NATO’s relations with Kiev.

A former Ukrainian intelligence official told the news outlet that Ukraine was capable of conducting the attack.

Germany’s federal prosecutor said between January 18 and 20 investigators searched a ship that was potentially used to transport explosive devices that detonated on September 26, 2022 at the gas pipelines Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2, the report added.

The CIA declined to comment, the report said.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing US officials, that new intelligence suggested involvement of a “pro-Ukrainian group” in the Nord Stream incidents. At the same time, the US officials reportedly said there were no proofs of the Ukrainian leadership being involved in the operation.

Meanwhile, German newspaper Zeit reported, citing investigators, that the attacks had been carried out by six people of unknown nationality with the use of a boat rented from a Poland-based firm, apparently owned by two Ukrainians.

Xavier Moreau, an arms expert and geopolitical analyst from the French think tank Stratpol, told Sputnik the “ridiculous” media reports aim to divert attention from accusations against the United States, since it is obvious that such sabotage could only be carried out by a few countries with the strongest armed forces.

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