A mother and a minor son from Frankfurt under investigation for the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipeline

Map of the accident site / Photo: Energystirelsen

The Federal Office for the Fight against Crime (BKA) searched an apartment in Germany and interviewed a woman as part of the investigation into sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipeline. What knowledge does the German media have?

It is probably one of the most explosive investigative procedures in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany, writes Deutsche Welle.

Federal prosecutors have been trying for months to shed light on the circumstances of the September 2022 attack on the Nord Stream gas pipeline. The investigation is being conducted on suspicion of "unconstitutional sabotage" at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. The Federal Office for the Fight against Crime and the Federal Police have been tasked with finding the perpetrators who destroyed the pipes of the German-Russian gas pipeline at a depth of about 70 meters below the surface of the sea.

A 15-meter-long yacht named "Andromeda" has been the focus of interest of German investigators for some time. She is suspected to have left the port of Rostock, on Germany's Baltic coast, at the beginning of September last year. The persons likely to have been on board at the time of departure apparently gave forged passports to the charterer of the vessel. During the investigation, BKA later discovered traces of explosives on that yacht.

From a yacht to the Ukrainian army?

Judging by an investigation by German public broadcasters WDR and NDR, as well as the daily newspaper Zdeutsche Zeitung, several clues related to the Andromeda rental allegedly lead to Ukraine and Ukrainian military circles.

First of all, in this context, a travel agency in Warsaw is mentioned, which apparently served only as a cover, that is, a forged Romanian passport which, according to the knowledge of the German investigative authorities, was apparently used by a young Ukrainian. He, on the other hand, is suspected of being connected to the Ukrainian army. In addition, the "target" investigators have some other people, who they consider to be possible helpers of the group that, as it is suspected, carried out the attack.

Search of a female witness

During the past week, as reported by the aforementioned German media, as part of the investigation into the circumstances of the attack on the Nord Stream in Frankfurt am Oder, the BKA conducted a search in the apartment of a person who does not have the status of a suspect. It is about the former partner of a suspected Ukrainian against whom a specific investigation is being conducted. She was interrogated, and according to the German media, her mobile phone was confiscated.

The witness and the Ukrainian suspect apparently have a common child. As further stated, they lived together for some time. BKA investigative authorities, judging by media reports, took a sample of that child's DNA to compare it with the DNA found on the Andromeda yacht. In this way, they intend to check if the suspected Ukrainian was really on that ship in September last year.

The spokeswoman of the German Federal Public Prosecutor's Office confirmed that "25. May, in Frankfurt am Oder, a search was carried out at the apartment of a person who is not a suspect." Additional details about the course of the investigative procedure are not disclosed. The Federal Office for the Fight against Crime did not want to comment when asked by the German media team.

The investigation continues

Apart from the German investigative procedure, an investigation into the circumstances of the attack on the Nord Stream gas pipeline is currently being conducted in several other European countries. Danish and Swedish authorities are dealing with the case, but almost nothing is known about the current status of the investigation in those two countries. The competent state prosecutor's office in Sweden recently only briefly announced: "We have a good picture of what happened at the scene of the crime, that is, how the action was carried out.

In addition, in recent months, multiple media outlets have reported on suspicious Russian warships that were near the pipeline shortly before the Nord Stream explosions. In part, he said, those ships had turned off their signals so they couldn't be located.

Sources in German security circles state that this is not unusual when it comes to Russian warships, adding that they do this regularly in the Baltic Sea area. NATO can still track the route of these ships. German investigators also examined those traces, that is, they analyzed satellite images and radio signals.

For now, according to the investigative authorities, the most concrete clue in the investigation is the yacht "Andromeda" - although the possibility is not excluded that the investigators are actually being "led" on a wrong and false trail, i.e. the rental of the "Andromeda" was for the so-called "False Flag" operation.

BND skepticism

Official comments from the relevant German state authorities have sounded rather reserved lately. At a recent event in Berlin, Bruno Kahl, president of the BND (secret service for foreign operations), said that we should not hope for a quick clarification of the circumstances of the attack on the gas pipeline.

"No country in the world, no intelligence service in this world, is currently in a position to do that specifically" – that is, to shift responsibility for the attack to someone specific.

Kahl said this at the meeting of the Federal Academy for Security Policy (Bacs), while adding that there are "indications that lead in all possible directions."

Federal government spokesman Steffen Hebstreit also declined to say anything specific last week:

"We can say something meaningful about this only when we have certain indications, that is, clear evidence of who is behind the act," he said.

However, Hebestrei added that it was clear that a "significant amount of criminal and possibly terrorist energy" was needed to carry out such an action.

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