Dutch PM defends decision not to arrest Russian spies

Mikhail Svetlov via Getty Images               The NCSC has judged the Kremlin is behind the actions of the GRU

The announcement from the justice department's national security division on Thursday comes after Dutch officials said they had disrupted a Russian cyberattack on the global chemical weapons watchdog.

Prosecutors said that the Russians also targeted a Pennsylvania-based nuclear energy company and an worldwide organization that was investigating chemical weapons in Syria and the poisoning of a former GRU officer.

When Dutch agents swooped on April 13 they found electronic equipment in the boot of the vehicle to intercept the OPCW's wifi and log in codes, including an antenna hidden in the back of the auto and facing the chemical weapons watchdog.

London has accused two of GRU's officers of poisoning former double-agent Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in March, using a perfume bottle containing the powerful nerve agent Novichok.

"Basically, the Russians got caught with their equipment, people who were doing it, and they have got to pay the piper".

On April 13, these men were discovered by Dutch authorities and sent back to Russian Federation.

He showed passports identifying the Russians as Alexeksei Morenets, Evgenii Serebriakov, Oleg Sotknikov and Alexey Minin.

Last week, Bellingcat identified one of the two individuals said to be responsible for the United Kingdom poisoning of Sergey and Yulia Skripal and the death of Dawn Sturgess as Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga of the GRU.

It was also active in Malaysia targeting authorities investigation the downing of flight MH17.

Its foreign ministry has said a statement would follow shortly after it dismissed the earlier allegations from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands as "Western spy mania. picking up pace".

"And targeted Malaysian government institutions, including the attorney general's office and the Royal Malaysian Police".

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The GRU was nearly certainly behind those attacks, Britain said, as well as attacks on Ukraine's Kyiv metro and Odessa airport, Russia's central bank, two Russian media outlets, and an unidentified small UK-based television station.

Dutch officials said they had found a trove of evidence including an antenna, a laptop and even a taxi receipt from the GRU HQ to Moscow airport. "Putin's corrupt greed has turned the GRU into an amateurish bunch of jokers".

But British government sources said the NCSC has assessed with "high confidence" that the GRU was "almost certainly" behind the DNC hack that some Hillary Clinton supporters claimed helped tip the U.S. election in Donald Trump's favour.

"They were wrong. Working together with our partners in nations that share our values, we can expose the truth for the world to see".

US Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division John Demers listens during a press conference to announce an indictment charging seven Russian military officers with malicious cyber activities against the USA and its allies at the Department of Justice in Washington.

Following these hacks, the personal medical information of more than 250 athletes from 30 counties was illegally released online.

British sources said the GRU was also behind BadRabbit ransomware that caused disruptions on the Kiev metro.

August 2017: Private medical files belonging to global athletes, including Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, were published online. WADA stated publicly that this data came from a hack of its Anti-Doping Administration and Management system. He told US President Donald Trump during a July summit in Helsinki that talk of Russian Federation meddling in the 2016 election was "nonsense".

Between July and August 2015 multiple email accounts belonging to a small UK-based TV station were accessed and content stolen.

"This statement is irresponsible", the embassy said.

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