US media is reporting that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the head of the US intelligence community, is planning to set up a “Foreign Malign Influence Center” in order to counter foreign influence operations in the country. According to a Politico report:
April 26, 2021 The nation’s top spy agency has begun work to establish a hub to combat hostile foreign meddling in U.S. affairs, following multiple assessments that Russia and other countries have sought to sway elections and sow chaos among the American people. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence will create the Foreign Malign Influence Center “in light of evolving threats and in support of growing policy and congressional requirements,” an agency spokesperson said Monday in a statement to POLITICO. The center will be a clearinghouse for intelligence related to malign influence from multiple government agencies and provide assessments and warning of such activities. Its creation comes after repeated warnings by American officials and congressional lawmakers that foreign efforts to influence the U.S. are likely to continue in coming years.
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Last month, we reported about a declassified US intelligence report concluding that during the 2020 US presidential elections, Russian President Putin authorized a range of influence operations aimed at supporting Donald Trump, denigrating Joe Biden, and furthering divisiveness in the US. The report also suggested that while Iran carried out similar election influence campaigns, China ultimately decided not to deploy such efforts.