UCF Global Perspectives


Spanish Authorities Arrest Russian Programmer

Alejandro Turino, Intern, Europe and Russia

April 17, 2017

Spanish authorities in Barcelona arrested Russian computer programmer Pyotr Levashov, who was wanted by U.S. authorities, Russia’s embassy in Madrid said (UPI). Russian state-controlled news outlet RT reported that Spanish police acted on a U.S. international arrest warrant (The Hill). Within the coming month, Spain’s national criminal court will consider a U.S. extradition request for Levashov, who was detained at an airport last Friday (Telegraph). The U.S Intelligence Community believes the Kremlin directed an influence campaign to interfere in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, an effort to which Levashov is linked.

Levashov also ran what the U.S. State Department described as a global computer network that sent millions of spam emails worldwide each year (WP). Levashov’s wife told Russian Television that her husband was arrested over links to a computer virus that was allegedly used to influence the election (UPI). The FBI is investigating the alleged interference campaign, including any possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign. American authorities have 40 days from the date of Levashov’s arrest to make their case for extradition (Telegraph).


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