Random Image Display on Page Reload

U.S. briefs Canada, other allies about security concern involving Russia

The U.S. has informed Congress, as well as Canada and other allies about a pressing national security concern involving Russia.

Senior source with direct knowledge of briefing confirms Canada was among allies briefed

The U.S. Capitol is seen in a file photo from August 2023.

The U.S. has informed Congress, as well as Canada and other allies about a pressing national security concern involving Russia.

The New York Times, citing unnamed officials, reported Wednesday that the U.S. revealed new intelligence about Russian nuclear capabilities that could pose an international threat. A senior source with direct knowledge of the briefing confirmed that Canada was among the allies briefed by the U.S. on the issue.

Citing a current and a former U.S. official, the newspaper reported the new intelligence was related to Russia's attempts to develop a space-based anti-satellite nuclear weapon. ABC News also reported that the intelligence had to do with such a capability.

Current and former officials said the nuclear weapon was not in orbit, the Times reported.

The intelligence came to light after Representative Mike Turner, Republican chair of the U.S. House of Representatives intelligence committee, issued an unusual and cryptic statement on Wednesday warning of a "serious national security threat."

"I am requesting that [U.S.] President [Joe] Biden declassify all information relating to this threat so that Congress, the Administration, and our allies can openly discuss the actions necessary to respond to this threat," Turner said in the statement, providing no further information.

Turner's statement was released in the midst of intense debate in Congress over how the United States should be dealing with global threats from Russia and other rivals, with security hawks urging greater global involvement. Some lawmakers most closely allied with former U.S. president Donald Trump advocated for a more "America First" approach to world affairs.

Political tensions over Ukraine support

Turner recently returned from leading a bipartisan congressional delegation to Ukraine, after which he warned his fellow lawmakers that time was running out for Ukraine in its fight against Russian invaders.

The Biden administration has been ramping up its criticism of House Republicans for possibly blocking a $95-billion US bill passed by the Senate that would supply aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. Supporters of the bill argue that a major reason for the United States to back the government in Kyiv is to push back against threats from Russia that extend beyond Ukraine.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, a staunch Trump ally who says he will not rush to allow a vote on the Senate bill, told reporters at the Capitol there was no need for public alarm. "Steady hands are at the wheel. We're working on it and there's no need for alarm," he said.

Democratic Rep. Jim Himes, the ranking member of the House intelligence committee, said in a statement that the classified information is "significant" but "not a cause for panic."

Senators Mark Warner and Marco Rubio, the Democratic chair and Republican vice-chair of the Senate intelligence committee, issued a joint statement saying their panel has the intelligence in question and has been "rigorously" tracking the issue.

The White House and lawmakers expressed frustration at how Turner raised his concerns. His announcement appeared to catch the Biden administration off-guard.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters at the White House that he already had been due to brief Turner and other senior congressional leaders on Thursday. Sullivan did not disclose the topic or provide any other details related to Turner's statement.

*****
Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

Check Also

MMDA augments SONA security: We are 100% ready

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) assured the public that security measures are “100 percent …