NewsGerman factory fire: Investigators point to possible Russian sabotage

German factory fire: Investigators point to possible Russian sabotage

A fire at a German factory. Investigators point to Russia.
A fire at a German factory. Investigators point to Russia.
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25 June 2024 07:11

Deutsche Welle reports that, according to German investigators, the fire at the Diehl arms factory in Berlin, which produces weapons including those for Ukraine, was likely an act of Russian sabotage.

In May, a fire broke out at the Diehl Metal Applications factory on the outskirts of Berlin. Initially, the most plausible cause was deemed an accident. However, German law enforcement suspects that Russian saboteurs are responsible for the blaze. Their motive is believed to be disrupting the supply of weapons and ammunition to Ukraine. The factory produces IRIS-T air defence systems, which protect Ukrainian cities from Russian attacks.

According to the insurer's report, the company announced that the cause of the fire was a technical issue. However, a representative from Diehl stated that "theoretically", the technical issue could have resulted from an act of sabotage.

German police have launched an investigation. Investigators claim that no possible cause can be ruled out. The fire likely originated in an area accessible to few employees. Additionally, the fire destroyed all video recordings.

Is there evidence of Russia's involvement?

"In the case of the Diehl factory, electronic communication was intercepted that supposedly provided proof of Russian sabotage. However, the court did not consider this as evidence in the case, which prevents a definitive accusation," say two German investigators, as reported by DW. The intercepted information allegedly leaked to the German government via intelligence from one of NATO's allies.

One of the investigators noted that, in light of recent events, many incidents classified as accidents should be reconsidered from the perspective of sabotage.

The attack was carried out by "experienced professionals", reported the "Wall Street Journal," citing investigators' statements. According to these reports, Russia had recruited civilians, mainly with criminal backgrounds, through social media platforms such as Telegram. They were paid in cryptocurrencies for their work.

European authorities had refrained from publicly accusing Moscow for fear of escalating the conflict. However, privately, intelligence officials claim that Russia is targeting civilian and military facilities in Europe, as well as people involved in efforts to assist Ukraine, indicates DW.

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