Arrest comes later At least seven Russians – including the son of a close associate of President Vladimir Putin – were detained in recent weeks for flying drones or taking photos near sensitive areas.
Norway and other countries in Europe are scrambling to secure critical infrastructure following the collapse of the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline. In recent months, there have been several drone sightings 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 the core of Norway’s economy. Since Russia launched its all-out invasion of Ukraine, the country has a Serious supplier to Europe.
Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang First Reported on Thursday The suspect attended a September 29-30 seminar in Vilnius, Lithuania on countering hybrid threats.
The seminar was organized by EU-HYBNET, the European Network on Hybrid Threats – A concept that includes sabotage, disinformation, cyber attacks, and other means of fighting outside of traditional state-to-state military conflict.
Professor Paivi Mattila of Laurea University of Applied Sciences in Finland, who coordinates the EU-HYBNET program, confirmed by phone that the suspected spies were present at the program. She said he did not go through security checks but declined to comment further, citing the investigation.
An image shared on Twitter by Mykolas Romeris University shows Gimaria sitting among workshop participants at an event held with the Lithuanian Cybercrime Center for Excellence for Training, Research and Education on September 29.
The EU-HYBNET website and a brochure for the Vilnius Event Spotlight fund from EU Peter Stano, European Commission spokesman, confirmed the funding, but said EU institutions were not involved in the day-to-day activities of the group.
The “training and exercise” event was intended to help participants understand “vulnerabilities an adversary could exploit” and “depict hybrid challenges in a realistic near-future operational environment.”
The participants examined different scenarios, including a case of “stoppage of gas flow after a gas pipeline explosion”. In that case study, “preliminary findings suggest that it may have been vandalism and not an accident”—an eerie echo of the recent vandalism of the Nord Stream pipeline.
Norwegian domestic security officials announced the arrest of the 37-year-old suspect earlier this week, saying he posed a “threat to fundamental national interests”.
Hedvig Moe, deputy chief of the Norwegian Police Security Service, told Norwegian media there were concerns that “he may have acquired networks and information about Norwegian politics in the north”. Even if the information the man obtained did not directly compromise Norway’s security, it could be misused by Russia, she said. Authorities did not release the time of his arrest.
Details of the case are still emerging. Giamaria was doing research at the Arctic University of Norway. As of October 25, he was enrolled as a researcher at a university think tank called “The Gray Zone”. It is no longer listed on their site.
Before moving to Norway, he lived in Canada, where he present Carleton University and University of Calgary. While in Ottawa, accordingly, he volunteered to canvass for political campaigns World news. He received his Masters from the University of Calgary’s Center for Military, Security and Strategic Studies in 2018.
In 2019, he wrote an article for the Canadian Naval Review. The ArticleTitled “Third Base: The Case for CFB Churchill,” it argues in favor of establishing a naval base in Canada’s north.
The case comes months after another suspected Russian “illegal” was arrested in the Netherlands. In that case, an alleged Russian spy claimed to be Brazilian for an internship at the International Criminal Court. He had earlier studied in America.
“Illegal” diplomats operate without cover, building cover stories over time, often for years. In a high-profile 2010 case, the U.S 10 Russian activists arrested who had been living in the United States for several years while secretly reporting to Moscow’s foreign intelligence agency.