The DEFCON Warning System™

Ongoing GeoIntel and Analysis in the theater of nuclear war.  DEFCON Level assessment issued for public notification.  Established 1984.

World War War III May Already Have Started—in the Shadows

Britain’s signals intelligence spy chief raised eyebrows this week with warnings that Russia is coordinating both cyberattacks and physical acts of sabotage against the West. There’s evidence to back her claims—and the West may be returning the favor. Coming soon after FBI Director Christopher Wray warned that China is targeting American infrastructure, it looks like the world is not only fracturing once again, but that the hostile blocs are engaged in covert warfare.

“We are increasingly concerned about growing links between the Russian intelligence services and proxy groups to conduct cyberattacks as well as suspected physical surveillance and sabotage operations,” Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) Director Anne Keast-Butler told an audience at the United Kingdom government-sponsored CyberUK 2024 conference. “Before, Russia simply created the right environments for these groups to operate, but now they are nurturing and inspiring these non-state cyber actors in some cases seemingly coordinating physical attacks against the West.”

Keast-Butler, whose agency is comparable to the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), also called out China, Iran, and North Korea as cybersecurity dangers. But naming Russian officials as being behind “physical attacks” raises the stakes. Sadly, her claims are well-founded.

“A 20-year-old British man has been charged with masterminding an arson plot against a Ukrainian-linked target in London for the benefit of the Russian state,” CBS News reported last month. That wasn’t an isolated incident.

“In April alone a clutch of alleged pro-Russian saboteurs were detained across the continent,” The Economist noted May 12 in describing what it called a “shadow war” between East and West. “Germany arrested two German-Russian dual nationals on suspicion of plotting attacks on American military facilities and other targets on behalf of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency. Poland arrested a man who was preparing to pass the GRU information on Rzeszow airport, the most important hub for military aid to Ukraine. Britain charged several men over an earlier arson attack in March on a Ukrainian-owned logistics firm in London whose Spanish depot was also targeted.”

The GCHQ chief’s warnings coupled with reality on the ground are alarming in themselves. Worse, they come after FBI Director Christopher Wray issued similar cautions in April about China.

Read more at Reason

Ongoing Geointel and Analysis in the theater of nuclear war.


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The DEFCON Warning System is a private intelligence organization which has monitored and assessed nuclear threats by national entities since 1984. It is not affiliated with any government agency and does not represent the alert status of any military branch. The public should make their own evaluations and not rely on the DEFCON Warning System for any strategic planning. At all times, citizens are urged to learn what steps to take in the event of a nuclear attack.