The Biggest Whodunnit of the Century

On September 26, 2022, at approximately 2:03 a.m. local time in the Baltic Sea off the southeast coast of the Danish island of Bornholm, the Nord Stream 2 underwater pipeline was rocked by a blast. That explosion, followed by a series of other targeted detonations on the older Nord Stream 1 pipelines some 17 hours later, were swiftly assessed to be the result of deliberate sabotage. The explosions off the Swedish and Danish coasts set off an international mystery with unimaginably high stakes. There are a variety of international players, including powerful nation states, who would have had the motive, capability, and opportunity to conduct such an operation.

This week on Intercepted, investigative journalist and author James Bamford takes us on a tour of what he calls “the biggest Whodunnit of the century.” Bamford is one of the most respected experts on U.S. intelligence operations and covert action. He is the author of several best-selling books, including “The Puzzle Palace: A Report on America's Most Secret Agency” and “The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA From 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America.” His most recent book is “Spyfail: Foreign Spies, Moles, Saboteurs, and the Collapse of America’s Counterintelligence.”

Last week, The Nation published a story by Bamford in which he argues that Ukraine and Poland should be viewed as the top suspects in the sabotage and that the U.S. government almost certainly knows exactly who bombed the pipelines and how. That story is titled “The Nord Stream Explosions: New Revelations About Motive, Means, and Opportunity.” 

Correction: May 17, 2023

A previous version of this episode incorrectly numbered the initial blasts on the Nord Stream 2 underwater pipeline at 2:03 a.m. The show description and audio have been updated.

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