Russia Accused of Recruiting Far-Right Extremists for Terror Attacks in NATO Countries

Russia's GRU military intelligence service is accused of recruiting far-right extremists to carry out terrorist attacks in NATO countries, including the UK. Intelligence sources claim GRU agents and Wagner mercenaries are responsible for a series of attacks across Western Europe and the US.

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Nitish Verma
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Russia Accused of Recruiting Far-Right Extremists for Terror Attacks in NATO Countries

Russia Accused of Recruiting Far-Right Extremists for Terror Attacks in NATO Countries

Russia's military intelligence service, the GRU, has been accused of recruiting far-right extremists to carry out terrorist attacks in NATO countries, including the United Kingdom. Intelligence sources claim that GRU agents and members of the Wagner mercenary group have been responsible for a series of attacks across Western Europe and the United States over the past six months.

Why this matters: This alleged recruitment of far-right extremists by Russia's military intelligence service poses a significant threat to global security and stability, as it could lead to an escalation of violence and terrorism in NATO countries. Furthermore, it highlights the need for increased cooperation and vigilance among NATO member states to counter Russian aggression and protect their citizens.

An intelligence source stated, "The GRU are cultivating a network of Right-wing terrorists to deploy against Nato targets. These attacks are already happening and have been going on for a while in various Nato countries and the UK is definitely on the target list." The attacks are allegedly targeting infrastructure facilities and have the potential to cause significant damage.

Russia is believed to be targeting right-wing extremists because of their pro-Russia, pro-Putin, and violent ideologies. Intelligence officials say there is covert contact between right-wing groups in different countries that Russia is exploiting. Thomas Haldenwang, head of German domestic intelligence, warned last month that "We assess the risk of [Russian] state-controlled acts of sabotage to be significantly increased."

The allegations come in the wake of the UK expelling Colonel Elovik Maxim, the Russian defense attaché believed to be a GRU operative. Britain has also removed diplomatic status from several Russian premises as part of efforts to counter malign Russian activity across Europe. Mark Galeotti, director of Mayak Intelligence, said, "As the West continues to pile pressure on Russia, we should not be surprised by a pushback."

Russia's increased sabotage operations are seen as a form of retaliation for Ukraine's intensified attacks on Russian soil. The Kremlin is believed to be using organized crime gangs to carry out proxy terrorist attacks while remaining below the threshold of open conflict with the West. The UK, US, and Australia have recently sanctioned a senior Russia-based leader of the notorious LockBit cybercrime gang.

The revelations of Russia's alleged recruitment of far-right terrorists come as NATO stages a show of strength in Estonia amid mounting concerns over Russian aggression in Europe. The 2018 Salisbury poisonings, attributed to Russian agents, led to the expulsion of dozens of Russian spies from the UK. As tensions continue to escalate, the risk of further Russian sabotage and terrorist attacks across NATO countries remains high.

Key Takeaways

  • Russia's GRU accused of recruiting far-right extremists for terrorist attacks in NATO countries.
  • Attacks allegedly target infrastructure facilities, causing significant damage.
  • Russia exploits right-wing groups' pro-Russia, pro-Putin, and violent ideologies.
  • Intelligence officials warn of increased risk of Russian sabotage and terrorist attacks.
  • NATO countries must increase cooperation and vigilance to counter Russian aggression.