The FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned officials to increase security and to do additional checks for possible Russian operatives appearing as political advisers working in U.S. politics for the upcoming November’s elections.
According to The Associated Press, the report which was produced in February warned of the possibility that Russian operatives could secretly make contact with U.S. candidates or campaigns indirect attempts to influence U.S. politics, though it reportedly cautioned that officials “have not previously observed Russia attempt this action against the United States.”
The warning included examples of Russian operatives participating in political campaigns throughout the African continent.
Specifically, the report mentioned operatives tied to Russian billionaire Yevgeny Prigozhin, a figure with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was active in around 20 African countries, officials said.
“Russia has sought to take advantage of countries that have perceived loopholes in laws preventing foreign campaign assistance,” the report read, according to the AP.
U.S. intelligence agencies previously came to the conclusion that Russian agencies had interfered in the 2016 election, and the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report in 2019 detailing the country’s efforts to boost now-President Trump and damage his opponent, Hillary Clinton, during the 2016 campaign.