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Military 'can't rule out' sighting was foreign sub

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17:07 CET+01:00
The Swedish Armed Forces said Thursday that it can't rule out the possibility that a submarine from a foreign power was behind suspicious activity detected in the Gothenburg archipelago in September.

“We can't rule out that foreign intelligence activity has taken place in the Gothenburg archipelago,” naval inspector Jan Thörnqvist told the TT news agency.

The military drew the conclusion after analyzing information about inexplicable observations in the waters off of Sweden's west coast made on September 12th.

Ships from Sweden's 3rd Naval Warfare Flotilla, based in Karlskrona, as well as the 4th Naval Warfare Flotilla, and the Amphibious Regiment from Berga outside of Stockholm were deployed to the area following reports of suspicious activity thought to be submarine possibly spying on Sweden.

A few days following the incident, Thörnqvist said he couldn't rule the activity as being caused by a submarine intrusion or “a fish of some kind”.

“We have now completed an extensive anaylsis and what we're saying now is that we can't rule out that foreign intelligence activity took place in the Gothenburg archipelago in the beginning of September,” Thörnqvist told TT on Thursday.

“But we're not verifying that it was an intrusion.”

Citing national security concerns, Thörnqvist refused to go into detail about how the analysis was carried out or whether there are any concrete leads.

By “foreign intelligence activities”, the military means phenomena which the Armed Forces didn't cause and which lack any natural explanation.

Thörnqvist also didn't specifically mention a submarine.

“It could have been something remote controlled, manned, unexplained which we haven't got any clue about,” he told TT.

“We're now trying to put our entire effort into an operational context and we're doing further analysis within a larger perspective. We don't plan on commenting on the results.”

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