The CIA warned Germany weeks ago about a possible attack on the Nord Stream natural-gas pipelines, report says
The CIA told Germany weeks ago the Nord Stream pipelines could be attacked, sources told Der Spiegel.
Three of the four pipelines are now spewing natural-gas into the Baltic Sea after suspected sabotage.
The pipelines were intended to be the main artery of natural-gas supply from Russia to Europe.
The US Central Intelligence Agency warned Germany weeks ago about potential attacks on the Nord Stream natural-gas pipelines, German magazine Der Spiegel reported Tuesday.
An anonymous source with knowledge of the matter told Der Spiegel the German government received a tip from the CIA this summer about potential attacks on the pipelines, which were intended to become the main artery for natural-gas supply from Russia to Europe. The magazine said several other unnamed individuals with knowledge of the matter had confirmed the CIA tip.
On Monday, three severe leaks were discovered on the four Nord Stream pipelines, which run from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea. Nord Stream AG, the operator of the pipelines, said Tuesday the damage they'd sustained was "unprecedented."
The incident has deepened Europe's energy crisis, with gas flows from Russia to Europe now all but stopped. Germany, Europe's largest economy, was the world's leading consumer of Russian natural-gas until Moscow began crimping flows to Europe in response to Ukraine war sanctions.
"As a matter of principle, we do not take a public position on matters relating to any intelligence findings or activities of the intelligence services," a spokesperson for the German government told Der Spiegel.
The CIA and the German government didn't immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.
Images from the Swedish Coast Guard and the Danish military published Tuesday showed the effect of the leaks, with geysers of natural-gas erupting on the surface at three locations in the Baltic Sea. One of the disturbances was said to cover more than 1,000 meters.
European leaders suspect sabotage, although none have yet named a suspected perpetrator.
NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday he'd discussed the "sabotage" of the pipelines with the Danish defence minister, and they'd "addressed the protection of critical infrastructure" in NATO countries.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said Tuesday: "These are deliberate actions. It was not an accident." The same day, European Union President Ursula von der Leyen described the act as "sabotage" that would trigger "the strongest possible response."
German media earlier Tuesday reported government officials as saying they believed the damage to the Nord Stream pipelines wasn't accidental. The EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell tweeted the pipeline attacks were "not a coincidence and affect us all."
The Kremlin said Tuesday it couldn't rule out sabotage, per Reuters.
Danish Defence said an Absalon-class frigate and a pollution control ship had been sent to the area of the leaks for monitoring purposes and to warn other vessels to stay away.
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