Suspected Russian spy arrested by Norway attended conference on hybrid warfare

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BRUSSELS — A suspected Russian spy arrested in Norway this week attended a joint threat conference that included a scene in response to a recent pipeline explosion, Norwegian media reported. A photo from the event with a coordinator from the organizing team. .

Norwegian security officials announced this week that they had arrested a man who they said was in fact a Brazilian scientist conducting research on Arctic issues in the Russian city of Tromso, allegedly “illegally”. He was identified in news reports as José Assis Giammaria.

The arrests come after at least seven Russians, including the son of a close associate of President Vladimir Putin, were arrested in recent weeks for flying drones or taking photos near sensitive sites.

After the collapse of the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline, Norway and other countries in Europe are scrambling to secure critical infrastructure. In recent months, several drones have been seen at Norway’s offshore oil and gas fields and at Norwegian airports.

The pace of events has Norway — and Europe — on edge. The oil and gas sector is at the heart of Norway’s economy. Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the country has become an important supplier to Europe.

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Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang The suspect is from Lithuania. It was first reported on Thursday that he attended a seminar in Vilnius from September 29-30.

The seminar was hosted by EU-HYBNET, a European network on hybrid threats. Explosive destruction false conspiracy news, A concept that includes cyber attacks and other means of attack outside of traditional state-to-state military conflicts.

Paivi Mattila, a professor at Finland’s Laurea University of Applied Sciences who coordinates the EU-HYBNET program, confirmed by phone that the suspect was a spy. He declined to comment, citing the investigation, although he did not undergo a security check.

A photo shared on Twitter by Mykolas Romeris University on September 29 shows training, They are seen sitting in a workshop in Giammaria organized by the Lithuanian Cybercrime Center for Research and Education.

EU-HYBNET website and European Commission spokesman Peter Stano, a brochure highlighting the EU-funded Vilnius event, both confirmed the funding, but said EU institutions were not involved in the group’s day-to-day operations.

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The “training and exercise” program is intended to help participants understand “vulnerabilities that can be exploited by adversaries” and “realistic integration challenges within a realistic future operational environment.”

Participants examined different scenarios, including “shutdown of gas flow after a gas pipeline burst.” In studying that event, “Initial findings support the hypothesis that it was sabotage and not an accident”—an eerie echo of the recent damage to the Nord Stream pipelines.

The EU has warned of a strong response to the bombing after the Nord Stream explosions.

Norwegian internal security officials announced the arrest of the 37-year-old suspect earlier this week, saying he was a “threat to fundamental national interests”.

Hedvig Moe, deputy head of Norway’s police security department, told Norwegian media that he was concerned he had access to a network and information about Norwegian politics in the northern region. Even if it does not directly compromise Norway’s security, Russia could abuse it, she said. Officials did not give information about when the arrests will be made.

Details about the case are still emerging. Giammaria is conducting research at the Arctic University of Norway. until October 25; He was enlisted as a researcher at a university think tank called “The Gray Zone”. He is no longer listed on their site.

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Before moving to Norway, he attended the University of Ottawa and the University of Calgary and lived in Canada. While in Ottawa, he volunteered to canvass for a political campaign, Global News reported. He is the military in 2018. He graduated with a master’s degree from Calgary’s Center for Security and Strategic Studies.

In 2019, he wrote an article for the Canadian Naval Review. The article, titled “Third Base: The Case for CFB Churchill,” argues for establishing a naval base in Canada’s north.

The case comes months after the arrest of a Russian citizen suspected of being in the Netherlands illegally. In that case, a Russian spy claimed to be a Brazilian citizen seeking an internship at the International Criminal Court. He had previously studied in the United States.

The “illegals” operate without diplomatic cover, often building a cover story over years. In a famous 2010 case, The United States has arrested 10 Russians who have lived in the United States for years while secretly reporting to Moscow’s foreign intelligence agency.

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