Rus­sians ex­pelled over plot to hack poi­sons lab

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS -

GENEVA: Dutch in­tel­li­gence ser­vices have ar­rested two al­leged Rus­sian spies on sus­pi­cion of plan­ning to hack a Swiss lab­o­ra­tory in­ves­ti­gat­ing the poi­son­ing of dou­ble agent Sergei Skri­pal.

The two agents, be­lieved to be work­ing for Rus­sia’s GRU mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence ser­vice, tar­geted the Spiez lab­o­ra­tory near Bern, Switzer­land’s Dutch­based NRC news­pa­per said.

They were ar­rested in The Hague “early this year” and de­tained by Dutch mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence, work­ing with sev­eral other coun­tries, be­fore be­ing ex­pelled from the Nether­lands.

How­ever, Rus­sian For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Lavrov con- demned the re­ports, say­ing he could not be­lieve the ar­rests would not have been picked up at the time by the me­dia.

Ac­cord­ing to sources within the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the pair car­ried equip­ment to hack into the lab­o­ra­tory’s com­puter net­work, NRC re­ported.

At the time, Spiez was analysing data re­lated to poi­son gas at­tacks in Syria, as well as the March 4 attack us­ing the nerve agent Novi­chok on Rus­sian dou­ble agent Skri­pal and his daugh­ter in Sal­is­bury, Eng­land.

The lab­o­ra­tory does an­a­lyt­i­cal work for the Or­gan­i­sa­tion for the Pro­hi­bi­tion of Chem­i­cal Weapons, the global chem­i­cal arms watch­dog.

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