Migrants who crossed the Russian border were given espionage tasks – NRK Norway – Overview of news from different parts of the country

Migrants who crossed the Russian border were given espionage tasks – NRK Norway – Overview of news from different parts of the country

The message comes in the last chapter PST's own podcast “Shhh.”.

Atle Tangan, Unit Head of Counter Intelligence at the BST, talks about the importance of having the history of the Security Service with them in their work.

Tangen highlights the migration flow at the Storskog border station in Finnmark in 2015.

The PST spent considerable resources searching for foreign intelligence in the subsequent migration stream. We found that too. “We found out there that foreign services sent people on missions,” Duncan says on the podcast.

After more than 5,000 asylum seekers crossed the Storskog border in autumn 2015, a large number of bicycles were left on the Norwegian side.

Photo: Knut-Sverre Horn / NRK

BST:- fChanged accordingly

When asked by NRK, Dangan confirms that PST has never gone public before, but he does not want to say what happened to those who were exposed.

Adele Duncan

Adele Tangan is the Section Head of the Counter Intelligence Department at BST.

Photo: Vilde Helgeson / NRK

Those involved were looked after and dealt with in different ways. “I don't want to say anything about their nationality,” says the unit head of PST.

These are still interesting conditions for PST. Illegal intelligence against refugees and recruiting refugees to Norway to carry out illegal intelligence here is still relevant. That's why we can't go into detail about it right now, says Adele Tangan.

– Is it espionage?

I wouldn't use the word spies about the people we found. These are not intelligence agents in the traditional sense, but individuals who have been tricked or intimidated by intelligence agencies to undertake missions for them. It shows the challenges we face and what methods are used. It's still a real problem, Duncan says.

Cycled across the border

What happened in 2015, among others, was that Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis cycled from the Russian side to the Norwegian border, applying for asylum by the hundreds every week.

Karen-Anna Eggen stands in front of bright red brick buildings in a brown coat and white T-shirt.  She has loose brown hair that falls to her shoulders.  She smiles at the camera.

Russian researcher Karen-Anna Eggen works at the Institute for Security Studies in Oslo.

Photo: Mathias Moene Rød / NRK

Researcher Karen-Anna Eggen is writing her PhD on Russian information conflict and gray zone operations.

She thinks this is PST's most interesting information.

I am not surprised by what we know about the type of Russian actor. They may have realized that the refugee flow of 2015, if not initiated by Russia, was certainly something they could use for their own benefit at some point. This applies to us and then to Finland. Eggen tells NRK.

Refugees sent across the border may have been threatened to cooperate and return information, the researcher says.

If you do not agree to cooperate with us, they may give notice that you will not cross the border. They have done it to get an overview on the Norwegian side and check what the stress reaction is. He says no wonder Russian researcherOne.

From documents previously obtained by NRK from the PU, the Norwegian police's immigration unit, it appears that the total number of asylum seekers who crossed the border in 2015 was 5,464.

– The FSB has steel control over the border area

Karen-Anna Eggen points out that it is The Russian security service FSB is responsible Border control and «Conducts the program» in the north.

Before you get to the Norwegian border crossing, you have to go through three border crossings with one check at each post. It's no secret that in the North, there are military areas, so they have extra good control over who is in that area. Steel controls who moves in the area. Without the will and knowledge of the FSB many would not have made it to the border.

Something happened last year at the Finnish border The researcher believes that 2015 is a test. She still didn't think that would happen at Storskog now.

Until then, it is not in Russia's interest to send refugees across Norway. The last remaining border crossing into Europe is still open and Russia has to send people in, be they civilians or spies. So Eggen says it might be in their best interest to keep the border open in the north.


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