House Intelligence Chairman Raises Alarm on National Security Risk

( – The Republican head of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Mike Turner (OH), is raising the alarm on a new national security risk from Russia. His warnings come after US officials gathered intelligence that the former Soviet nation is developing anti-satellite weapons. The new technology isn’t yet in use, but Turner has urged his peers to review the data and consider their surveillance strategies.

The Associated Press reports that House Speaker Mike Johnson (LA), who is also aware of the threat, told reporters there’s no reason to panic. The Louisiana representative insisted that lawmakers are “working on it,” but he wasn’t able to disclose any other information. Turner claimed the matter is “urgent,” making it an issue all members of Congress should be addressing. He suggested his peers go to a SCIF — short for sensitive compartmented information facility — to familiarize themselves with the documents.

Targets on satellites are nothing new, with Russia and China allegedly having implemented numerous methods to take out US technology over recent years. They have reportedly attempted to jam and intercept feeds, shoot them out of orbit, blind their sensors, and even use robotic arms to tug them off orbit. The US Space Force, first launched in 2019, came in response to the growing need to defend America’s satellites, detect enemy missiles, and keep communications running smoothly.

Turner brought up the Russian threat without offering any advance warning to the Biden administration, apparently catching White House officials off-guard. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that he spoke to the Gang of Eight, noting Turner had veered from the standard practice with his open briefing. Times Now News explains that the Gang of Eight is a bipartisan group of senators composed of four Republicans and four Democrats who receive special briefs on classified material. The group is likely to be the most up-to-date on the privileged information.

ABC News states that the new weapon may be nuclear in nature. The Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which the US, Russia, and several other world leaders signed, bans placing weapons of mass destruction in space. Given that Russia has broken similar agreements in the past, Turner’s concerns could be valid.

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