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Sweden's Navy On Site Before Nord Stream Explosions
Only 24 hours earlier, Sweden now confirms.
KARLSKRONA (Radsoft) — Sweden's warships scouted for two days in the areas where Nord Stream 1 and 2 were later exposed to sabotage. The searches were carried out Thursday to Saturday. By Monday night, when the explosions occurred, they'd left the area.
Sweden's armed forces confirmed that they were indeed on site in those areas 24 hours before the sabotage.
The information that Swedish warships were in the area 24 hours before the explosions was previously unknown. This is now confirmed by Sweden's navy.
'We've been in those areas and at those sites, we've carried out surveillance there', says Navy spokesman Jimmie Adamsson.
The data comes from Automatic Identification System (AIS) transmitters which send a vessel's identity, position, course, and speed, thus generating a 'trace' of the ship's course.
At 11:00 Thursday last week, Sweden's warships left the port of Karlskrona. Barely two hours later, the ships are on site at the area where three gas leaks are discovered four days later.
At 13:00 the same day, the AIS transmissions stop and do not resume until 11:00 the following day - offline for 22 hours.
At 11:00 on Friday, the warships are but a few kilometers west of the location of the three gas leaks. They then steer towards Simrishamn. At 18:00 they stop transmitting AIS data again when they're back at the location of the gas leaks.
At 23:56 on Friday, the AIS transmissions resume - but now the warships are at a new location in the southern area where the fourth gas leak will later occur.
The ships then head north along Bornholm's western coast to return to the more northern area where three gas leaks later occur. At 12:13 on Saturday, the ships stop transmitting AIS data again.
When the explosions occur on Monday at 02:03 and at 19:04, there is no AIS data available.
A large number of commercial vessels are in the area. In addition to the Swedish defence, Danish and German naval vessels have also manoeuvred east of Bornholm.
AIS data from these 24 hours shows that the transmitters are switched off when Sweden's warships approach the gas pipelines.
'We sometimes choose to have AIS turned on, and then we are visible. Sometimes we choose to have it turned off, and then we are not visible', explains Jimmie Adamsson to the Swedish media, who seem content with the explanation.
Jimmie refuses to say why Sweden's warships were in the areas, but instead offers the following.
'This area is always interesting because much of the traffic in and out of the Baltic Sea comes north or south of Bornholm.'
A reporter prods Jimmie.
'The interesting thing is that you're right there where the explosions later occur!'
And Jimmie replies:
'Our operations at sea are top secret, due to various events and the global situation, so we don't say much about what we're up to.'
'We carry out maritime surveillance with various types of vessels.'
Niklas Granholm, team leader at the Total Defence Research Institute, assesses that the Swedish warships acted deliberately.
'They were probably given some kind of scenario to be able to do this. There seems to have been some sort of Danish-Swedish coordination.'
'So this wasn't by accident?' asks the reporter.
'Nope, it doesn't look like that. There are too many coincidences.'
What information might they have been given?
'You can imagine that there's been other information, or that Sweden got an intelligence assessment that they've been able to use to deploy their resources at the right time and in the right place.'
'They could have received or acquired the information on their own - we have our own sensors that keep track of what's happening in the Baltic Sea.'
11:19: Sweden's warships leave Karlskrona. (1)
13:03: Ships on site where three explosions later occur. (2)
13:03: AIS shut down. (3)
11:03: AIS resumes.
11:03: Ships now west of earlier location.
11:03: Ships head for Simrishamn. (4)
13:42: Arrival Simrishamn. (5)
18:10: Ships now east of Simrishamn.
18:10: AIS shut down. (6)
23:56: AIS resumes.
23:56: Ships now southeast of Bornholm where the second explosion will occur.
23:56: Ships now follow around Bornholm's west coast. (7)
12:13: Ships now back on site of the three later explosions.
12:13: AIS shut down. (8)