Sweden’s government has announced that an official investigation into the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline has concluded that a state actor was most likely behind the explosions.
In a Thursday announcement, Swedish Public Prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist, who heads the ongoing investigation, revealed details of the months-long probe.
“The clear main scenario” is that a state-sponsored group was behind the explosions, Ljungqvist stated.
While not ruling out any scenario at this point, he said the conclusion is based on the explosives used, which are rare and not widely available outside of governments and their militaries.
“We are carrying out a number of concrete investigative precautions… Our hope is to be able to confirm who has committed this crime, but it should be noted that it likely will be difficult given the circumstances,” Ljungqvist said. He also acknowledged that the crime is “difficult to investigate,” given that it “took place 80 meters [262 feet] under the water.”
Sweden’s neighbor Denmark is also investigating the September 26, 2022 incident.
However, two of the leaks that resulted from the explosions underwater in the Baltic Sea occurred in Sweden’s economic zone.
Sweden hasn’t completely ruled out that it could have been an independent group, according to the AP.
Separately, Ljungqvist told Swedish media that prosecutors’ main line of investigation is on whether a state actor was behind the explosions, given the substantial resources and skills needed to carry out such an attack.
“We aren’t ruling out that there could be non-state actors capable of doing this,” Ljungqvist told the Swedish news agency TT.
“But then we’re dealing with very few companies or groups.
“Considering all the circumstances, our main (investigation) track is that it is a state that is behind it.”
Despite allegations from other Western officials, the Swedish prosecutor has previously expressed doubts over Russia’s guilt.
The news comes after investigative reporter Seymour Hersh said last month that U.S. intelligence has been spreading false propaganda about the explosions.
According to Hersh, U.S. Intel planted the story of the “pro-Ukraine partisans” who supposedly rented a small yacht to carry out the attack.
The story was spread in mainstream outlets in order to shield the White House from deeper inquiries, Hersh claims.
Hersh’s sources also told him it was a CIA-U.S. Navy operation in coordination with Norwegian intelligence.
Democrat President Joe Biden’s administration officials deny the charge.