Former US Army Ranger sniper and Special Operations weapon sergeant-turned-journalist Jack Murphy is reporting that the CIA is using a European NATO ally’s spy service to conduct a covert operation within Russia but refusing to take credit for these acts of sabotage.
“The campaign involves long-standing sleeper cells that the allied spy service has activated to hinder Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine by waging a secret war behind Russian lines,” said Murphy. “Years in the planning, the campaign is responsible for many of the unexplained explosions and other mishaps that have befallen the Russian military-industrial complex since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February.”
Murphy said he confirmed the story with six American officials, including former intelligence, ex-military, and someone who has been briefed on the campaign.
Murphy said his sources “declined to identify specific targets for the CIA-directed campaign,” but there have been numerous unexplained incidents that might be attributed to sabotage since the Kremlin launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
An explosive device damaged a railway bridge Sunday in the Kursk region of Russia, which borders Ukraine. An ammunition depot in the Belgorod region burned after explosions were heard, and authorities in the Voronezh region said an air defense system shot down a drone. Explosions and fires occurred on April 25, 2022, at two oil storage facilities in Bryansk, Russia.
A fire that broke out in April at the central research institute of the Aerospace Defense Forces in Tver in central Russia killed over 20 people. A massive explosion saw flames and smoke billow up into the sky at a Russian chemical plant in Dzerzhinsk. Railway tankers containing solvents caught fire alongside the factory, which has made chemical weapons.
The US and NATO have steadfastly supported Ukraine’s defense with massive arms shipments and other supplies but the western allies have sought to remain out of the conflict.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed legislation into law today that punishes acts of sabotage with up to life in prison.
Since the outbreak of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there has been a wave of attacks against district military recruitment offices and infrastructure in Russia that intensified following Putin’s mass mobilization order.
In total, more than 75 public buildings were targeted up to November. Unidentified individuals have attempted to set fire to military enlistment offices in what are likely signs of protest against the war in Ukraine.
Moscow launched the attack when it failed to obtain a guarantee that its neighbor, a former Soviet state, would be permanently barred from joining the United States-led transatlantic military alliance
Western leaders rejected those demands and defended NATO’s “open door policy”, which grants any European nation the right to ask to join the alliance, which was founded by the US and its European allies to deter any expansion of the then-Soviet Union (USSR) following World War II.
In the decades since 1949, it has steadily expanded its orbit, bringing a swathe of central and eastern European states into its ranks after the USSR collapsed.
Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the US were its founding members but NATO has grown to include 30 members, some of them dangerously close to Russia.
Ukraine’s membership in the alliance would be a direct threat to Russia, because of NATO’s principle of collective defense – set out by Article 5 in NATO’s founding treaty – which means an attack against one member is considered an attack against all allies, committing them to protect one another.
“While no American personnel are involved on the ground in Russia in the execution of these missions,” Murphy said agency officials are commanding and controlling the operations, and despite using an allied intelligence service to give the CIA some “plausible deniability” any covert action taken by U.S. agencies must have presidential authorization.
He did not conclude that President Joe Biden approved the sabotage.
“After the U.S. intelligence community concluded that Russia had interfered with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, President Barack Obama signed such a finding for covert action against Russia before he left office, according to The Washington Post,” said Murphy.
“That 2016 finding also included language about sabotage operations, according to a former CIA official,” said Murphy. “Other former officials said that the current sabotage campaign would have required either an entirely new finding or an amendment to a pre-existing finding on Russia.”
Murphy said he didn’t name the NATO country whose intelligence services were being used in the report because “doing so might endanger the operational security of cells that are still operational inside of Russia.”
The report appeared on Murphy’s personal website, and in a note at the end of the piece, he explained why it wasn’t published by a media outlet.
“While working with editors at mainstream publications I was asked to do things that were illegal and unethical in one instance, and in another instance, I felt that a senior CIA official was able to edit my article by making off-the-record statements before he leaked a story to The New York Times to undermine this piece,” Murphy wrote.
“U.S. military forces have been engaged in unauthorized hostilities in many more places than American citizens know about,” said Lisa McCormick, who recently shared concern that the Pentagon has failed to disclose all its battlefields to Congress or the public.
“We made a terrible mistake sending soldiers to die in Afghanistan & Iraq, but most Americans remain unaware that US military forces are killing people in Somalia, Cameroon, Chad, Egypt, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Syria, Tunisia, or Yemen,” said McCormick, who earned almost four out of ten votes in New Jersey’s 2018 Democratic primary election, when she challenged US Senator Bob Menendez, the hawkish chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
McCormick questioned whether Menendez was aware of such activities and whether more dangerous adventures are planned that may draw the US directly into the conflagration.
“The US Constitution puts the authority to declare war exclusively in the hands of Congress, so it is disturbing to learn in published news reports that executive action is again so far out of hand,” said McCormick, who explained that while she supports Ukraine’s defense, the US was wrong to provoke Putin bay advancing NATO membership for the former Soviet state.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin called his full-scale Ukrainian invasion a ‘special military operation’ but he will probably drop the euphemisms if it turns out that the CIA is using a NATO ally’s spy network to conduct covert acts of sabotage in Russia, ” said McCormick. “The United States should be brave enough to be honest about our actions, smart enough to stay away from things that could start a nuclear war, and confident enough in our values to behave in a manner consistent with our ideals of a robust democracy, peaceful diplomacy, and smart development.”
“Former Secretary of State George Shultz once said, ‘The effectiveness of our foreign policy reflects our confidence in our beliefs and values and in our purposes and priorities as a society.’ Living up to those standards would avert problems that Senator Menendez seems eager to rush into,” said McCormick.