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Norway says Russian spies are ensnaring its politicians in sex traps

The Norwegian flag flutters at half-mast on the roof of the parliament building in Oslo July 23, 2011. Norwegian police searched for more victims on Saturday after a suspected right-wing zealot killed at least 92 people in a shooting spree and bomb attack that have traumatised a once-placid country. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay (NORWAY - Tags: CIVIL UNREST CRIME LAW IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR2P73Q
Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay
Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Norwegian authorities say that Russians are blackmailing government workers, including MPs, into revealing state secrets by tricking them with duplicitous gifts like vodka and attractive women—a well-known strategy from the Cold War era.

The head of counterintelligence for Norway’s Police Security Service, Arne Christian Haugstøyl, told state broadcaster NRK (link in Norwegian) that a growing number of Norwegians have been coming forward to report they have fallen into traps set by Russian spy agencies. He called the trend ”alarming” and said Norwegian officials “must be more aware of” the problem.

According to the Local, Haugstøyl suspects that Norwegians are particularly susceptible to being bamboozled when they are abroad, saying its people are too trusting when traveling outside the country. He also said that the number of blackmailing cases may be larger than authorities can account for ”because some people will undoubtedly feel the pressure is so large that they will not report it to us, or to their employer when they return” from a trip abroad.

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