By Micaela Burrow for Daily Caller News Foundation
A Swedish prosecutor investigating the suspected Nord Stream sabotage now says that a state actor is the most likely party responsible, ruling out many favored theories, Reuters reported.
The new line of thinking appears to contradict intelligence leaked in early March suggesting suggesting that pro-Ukraine — or at least anti-Russia — saboteurs orchestrated the attacks, with prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist telling Reuters that a state actor’s involvement is the “absolute main scenario.” German officials suspected the Andromeda sailing yacht played a key role in ferrying explosive materials and perpetrators to the site of the explosions, but U.S. and European officials later wondered whether the vessel was a decoy, the Washington Post reported on April 3.
“We believe it will be rather difficult to determine who did this,” Ljungqvist told Reuters. “The people who did this have probably been aware that they would leave clues behind and probably took care so that the evidence would not point in one direction, but in several directions.”
The blast occurred at 80 meters below the surface, complicating investigation attempts, Ljungqvist told the outlet.
However, the probe has unveiled the type of explosive used and excluded a number of potential actors, he said.
The U.S. and European allies initially suspected that Russia completed the suspected sabotage operation on the Nord Stream pipelines, which restricted the flow of Russian oil, but refrained from formally pointing fingers as an investigation continued. But, they found no evidence.
Additionally, U.S. journalist Seymour Hersh published a controversial report based on a single anonymous source saying that elements of the CIA, U.S. Navy and White House coordinated the attack under the cover of NATO military exercises.
U.S. and European intelligence spent months reviewing the Andromeda theory, growing increasingly skeptical that the yacht was the only vessel involved in the explosions and may have actually functioned as a decoy, the Post reported, citing officials familiar with a German-led investigation. The volume of explosives used, distance between the blast sites and depth of the waters would challenge even the most skilled divers and prove exceptionally difficult to carry out undetected, officials said.
“There are certain companies that have certain special missions that mean they could, in theory, carry this out,” Ljungqvist said, according to Reuters. “We don’t rule out anything, but that it is a state actor who is directly or at least indirectly behind this is of course our absolute main scenario, given all the circumstances.”
Questions have arisen regarding the Polish or Ukrainian government’s role in the attacks, according to the Post.
“I don’t want to comment on any specific report but I can conclude that many of the hot theories can be easily ruled out based on what we know from the investigation,” Ljungqvist added.
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