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(L/R): Head of Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service Onno Eichelsheim, Minister of Defence Ank Bijleveld and British ambassador Peter Wilson attend a press conference of the Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD) at The Hague, The Netherlands, on October 4, 2018. - Dutch intelligence thwarted a Russian cyber attack targeting the global chemical weapons watchdog in April and expelled four Russian agents, the government said. The Russians set up a car full of electronic equipment in the car park of a hotel next to the Organisation for the Prohibition for Chemical Weapons in The Hague in a bid to hack its computer system, it said. (Photo by Bart Maat / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT        (Photo credit should read BART MAAT/AFP/Getty Images)
BART MAAT/AFP/Getty Images
(L/R): Head of Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service Onno Eichelsheim, Minister of Defence Ank Bijleveld and British ambassador Peter Wilson attend a press conference of the Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD) at The Hague, The Netherlands, on October 4, 2018. - Dutch intelligence thwarted a Russian cyber attack targeting the global chemical weapons watchdog in April and expelled four Russian agents, the government said. The Russians set up a car full of electronic equipment in the car park of a hotel next to the Organisation for the Prohibition for Chemical Weapons in The Hague in a bid to hack its computer system, it said. (Photo by Bart Maat / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT (Photo credit should read BART MAAT/AFP/Getty Images)
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SALISBURY, ENGLAND - JULY 05:  A police officer stands by a cordon in place at Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury after a major incident was declared when a man and woman were exposed to the Novichok nerve agent on July 5, 2018 in Salisbury, England. The couple, named locally as Dawn Sturgess 44, and Charlie Rowley, 45 were taken to Salisbury District Hospital on Saturday and remain there in a critical condition. In March Russian former spy Sergei Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia were poisoned with the Russian-made Novichok in the town of Salisbury. British Prime Minister Theresa May has accused Russia of being behind the attack on the former spy and his daughter, expelling 23 Russian diplomats in retaliation. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
Jack Taylor/Getty Images
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(CNN) —  

The Russian spy ship, the Viktor Leonov, was spotted 100 miles south east of Wilmington, North Carolina, in international waters, according to a US military official, just days after the vessel was seen leaving the capital of Trinidad and Tobago, Port of Spain.

Two US military officials said the Russian ship is being tracked by the destroyer USS Cole and other naval assets.

Outfitted with a variety of high-tech spy equipment and designed to intercept communications signals, the Viktor Leonov was observed operating in the Caribbean last week, a US defense official told CNN.

It was unclear at the time where the vessel was heading, but the official said the spy ship has typically traveled up the eastern seaboard near Cape Canaveral, King’s Bay, Norfolk and New London in the past.

All these locations are home to US naval installations.

A second official told CNN last week that based on historical patterns the ship is likely on a four-to-six month deployment off the East Coast where it will be conducting intelligence operations.

The Russian ship routinely performs this mission.

The ship sailed along the east coast of the United States in February and March of last year, lingering in international waters just off the coast of US naval installations.

Last March, the Viktor Leonov was spotted some 20 miles south of the US Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay near the Florida border, a US defense official told CNN.

In February, the US Navy spotted the same ship sailing 30 miles off the coast of Connecticut, the farthest north it had ever ventured, according to a US defense official. The Vishnya-class spy ship also conducted similar patrols in 2014 and 2015.