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WSJ: Russian sabotage groups suspected for arson attack on plant producing air defense systems for Ukraine

The fire, which erupted in early May, resulted in substantial financial losses estimated in tens of millions of euros for Diehl, the Germany’s plant.
Russian sabotage defense factories
A fire at the Diehl Defense factory near Berlin broke out on Photo: Berlin Fire Department
WSJ: Russian sabotage groups suspected for arson attack on plant producing air defense systems for Ukraine

Russian sabotage groups are behind an arson attack on the Diehl metal plant in Berlin, where air defense systems for Ukraine are produced, sources from security agencies told The Wall Street Journal.

The fire, which broke out in early May, brought the company tens of millions of euros in losses.

Over 200 firefighters worked for several days to extinguish the blaze, which completely destroyed the technical facility on the second floor of the factory building.

Anonymous sources from security services said that the suspected arson in May could be part of Russian sabotage efforts aimed at disrupting arms and ammunition supplies to Ukraine.

German police officially stated that the investigation into the fire is ongoing. A technical issue was considered an initial reason behind the blaze.

Last week, Thomas Höer, CEO of Diehl Metal Applications, stated that the company’s insurance assessment reached a similar conclusion regarding the cause of the fire. However, German security authorities suspect that experienced professionals were behind the incident.

According to representatives from the security service, Russia increasingly recruits civilians, primarily criminals, through Telegram for such attacks. These individuals are paid in cryptocurrency, and some may not even be aware that they are working for Russia, said sources.

They added this system resembles an underground economy for sabotage and terrorism where criminals are recruited like Uber drivers.

Diehl, a German company, manufactures IRIS-T air defense systems. Earlier in June, the company announced plans to produce ten IRIS-T systems annually.

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