Suspected Russian spy arrested by Norway attended conference on hybrid warfare

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BRUSSELS — The Russian spy suspect arrested in Norway this week recently attended a seminar on hybrid threats, including a scenario on responding to a pipeline explosion, according to Norwegian media, the coordinator of the organization hosting the event and the event’s A photo of .

Norwegian security officials announced this week that they had arrested a Brazilian researcher claiming to be working on Arctic issues in the city of Tromsø, who they believe is in fact a Russian “illegal immigrant”. He was identified in news reports as Jose Assis Jamaria.

At least seven Russians — including the sons of close associates of President Vladimir Putin — have been arrested in recent weeks for flying drones or taking pictures near sensitive areas.

Norway and the rest of Europe are rushing to secure critical infrastructure after the Nord Stream gas pipeline was damaged. There have been multiple drone sightings in Norway’s offshore oil and gas fields and Norwegian airports in recent months.

A chain 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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Norway nervous about drone sightings, son of Putin confidant arrested

Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang It was first reported on Thursday that the suspect attended a seminar on countering hybrid threats in Vilnius, Lithuania, from September 29 to 30.

The workshop is hosted by the European Hybrid Threat Network EU-HYBNET The concept includes sabotage, disinformation, cyberattacks and other methods of fighting outside of traditional military conflict between nations.

Suspected spies were present at the event, Paivi Mattila, a professor at Finland’s Laurea University of Applied Sciences who coordinates the EU-HYBNET program, confirmed by phone. She said he failed security checks, but declined to comment further, citing the investigation.

An image shared on Twitter by the University of Mykolas Romeris shows Giammaria sitting among the participants of the seminar organized by the Lithuanian Centre for Excellence in Training, Research and Education in Cybercrime on September 29.

European Commission spokesman Peter Stano confirmed the funding but said EU institutions were not involved in the group’s day-to-day activities.

According to the conference’s brochure, the “training and exercise” event is designed to help participants understand “vulnerabilities that adversaries may exploit” and “delineate hybrid challenges in realistic near-term operational environments.”

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Participants examined different scenarios, including a case of “flow shutting down after a gas pipeline exploded.” In the case study, “preliminary findings support the hypothesis that this may have been about the damage and not the accident” – a dire echo of the recent North Stream pipeline damage.

EU warns of ‘strong’ response to damage after Nord Stream blast

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

Hedwig Mo, deputy head of the Norwegian Police Security Service, told Norwegian media there were concerns that he “may have gained access to networks and information about politics in northern Norway”. Even if the information obtained by this person does not directly endanger Norway’s security, it could be misused by Russia, she said. Officials did not provide information on when he was arrested.

Details about the case are still emerging. Giammaria is conducting research at the Arctic University of Norway. As of October 25, he is listed as a fellow of a university think tank called “Gray Zones.” He is no longer listed on their website.

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

In 2019, he wrote an article for the Canadian Navy Review. The article, titled “Third Base: The Case of CFB Churchill,” advocates the establishment of a naval base in northern Canada.

The case comes months after another Russian “illegal” suspect was arrested in the Netherlands. In that case, an alleged Russian spy who claimed to be a Brazilian was seeking an internship at the International Criminal Court. He had previously studied in the United States.

“Outlaws” operate without diplomatic cover, building a cover story over time, usually many years. In a high-profile case in 2010, the United States arrested 10 Russian agents who had lived in the United States for years and reported secretly to Moscow’s foreign intelligence service.

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