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Alexandr Litvenenko killed by polonium 210!

 
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Dec, 2006 10:16 am
hamburger wrote:
while the amounts that are being offered are very small quantities , i wonder if larger quantities are available "by special order" Shocked ?
i wouldn't be surprised if polonium is available for those willing to pay the right price ?
The company selling minute amounts of polonium get it from Oak Ridge who supply to each order. (Its got a half life of 138 days so it has to be produced and used fairly quickly). If they suddenly received an order for $20m worth, enough to kill someone or make a radiological bomb, they might suspect something was up.
............

The poster plumbdumb above does make the interesting point that the autopsy results were immediately classified. No surprise here, especially after the leak from the hospital (by someone who saw the radiograph and phoned the BBC) and immediate broadcast that Litvinenko had swallowed 3 "two pence piece sized" packages lodged in the stomach upper intestine and colon, one of which appeared to have ruptured. This happened so quickly that they couldnt suppress it. This startling discovery was never mentioned again, nor was it in the press next day. Why?

Also I never heard that Litvinenko was a passenger in Rakayev's Mercedes, where did Plumboy get that info?

Just heard that the Scotland Yard officers who went to Russia following the Po trail, requested permission to interview a couple of interesting characters when the Russian authorities stepped in and said nyet. Still I believe Moscow is quite nice at this time of year for some unusual Christmas shopping. Laughing
0 Replies
 
NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Dec, 2006 06:34 pm
It seems like a very expensive way to kill someone. Cyanide would be much cheaper and quicker.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Dec, 2006 06:39 pm
And I was thinking earlier, suppose he was smuggling, and needed to hide the polonium, nicely wrapped in some capsules... just swallow them. Gag a bit, and bite one by mistake..

defecate sometime later, and retrieve...

urk!!!
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Dec, 2006 06:43 pm
Interesting idea, but the timing wasn't right, I don't think.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Dec, 2006 09:52 am
Police Detain Litvinenko's Italian Contact


December 24, 2006 -- Italian police today reportedly arrested the Italian contact of poisoned former Russian security agent Aleksandr Litvinenko.

Italian news reports say that Mario Scaramella was detained at Naples airport as he returned from London.

Rome prosecutors have been investigating him for arms trafficking and violating state secrets.

Scaramella met with Litvinenko in London the day the Russian fell ill. Litvinenko died of radiation poisoning last month.



Link
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Dec, 2006 10:56 am
Re: Results of post-mortem examination on Mr Litvinenko
plumbunt wrote:
Results of post-mortem examination on Mr Litvinenko


On Friday, a post-mortem examination on Mr Litvinenko was held. Don't you find it suspicious that the results were right away classified? It looks like Scotland Yard does not want some new mind-blowing information get to the public before they find a way to handle it. As for me, I think that the examination proved what was obvious - Litvinenko died after he was exposed with lethal gamma rays of polonium-210 at some so far unknown place which is presumably a confidential radiological laboratory in the London outskirts that Chechen network uses to make a "dirty bomb" at. After the exposure, Litvinenko was brought back to London in the Mercedes that belongs to Chechen leader Zakaev. I make this assumption because his car was added to the list of 12 places of London contaminated with polonium-210. Therefore, the results of examination sustain a theory that points out Litvinenko's close co-operation with Chechen network and his assistance in obtaining polonium 210 for a dirty bomb. When the bomb was finished, Zakaev ordered to make away with Litvinenko by some means or other that would put under suspicion Russian president Putin. It was very convenient to murder Litvinenko because he was a very well known critic of Russian president. Surely, British authorities would not like this truth come out, that's why they are shadowboxing. This information will once again discredit British authorities in terms of their decision to grant political asylum and residence permit to Zakaev. If they had extradited him when Moscow enquired for it, today there would be no polonium-210 in London, no Litvinenko's mysterious death and no dirty bomb that must be somewhere in London ready to go off!


I reckon Litvinenko was smuggling Po210 by swallowing packages, when one burst.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Dec, 2006 11:02 am
That's what I had gotten to thinking, but have been thrown off by declarations that it wasn't suicide. Perhaps I should reread those, in that it may well have been done by himself, but not suicide-on-purpose.
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Dec, 2006 11:11 am
IF Litvinenko was in fact moving Po about, swallowing a package would be safe and undetectable. Po210 does not give off gamma radiation. Its true that the post mortem results are secret. Its also true that there has been NO further mention WHATSOEVER of x rays showing packages in his gut apart from the original leak from the hospital to the bbc. Why?
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Dec, 2006 04:23 pm
I presume Steve, assuming it wasn't a hoax to begin with, that it is because those who you voted into authority, not me-I don't vote, have deemed it to be against that national interest which is what they were elected to pursue.

They might consider it as pointless as well as they did with the recent abandonment of the SFO's investigation into the Saudi airplane arrangements which seems to have been well buried by the Ipswich incident.

Given the circumstances I rather doubt another government would have taken any other view.

Why do you wish to know why NO further mention WHATSOEVER of x rays showing packages in his gut apart from the original leak from the hospital to the bbc has been forthcoming?
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Dec, 2006 08:23 am
spendius wrote:
...
Why do you wish to know why NO further mention WHATSOEVER of x rays showing packages in his gut apart from the original leak from the hospital to the bbc has been forthcoming?
I have a primitive and probably naive wish to be told the truth. The Government dont think people can handle it. That we might panic or head for the hills. But I think there is more to poor mr Litvinenko's death than a simple case of alpha radiation poisioning from man made radioactive polonium 210. In the meantime I'm on me bike.
0 Replies
 
Paaskynen
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Dec, 2006 08:21 am
What interests me is why Polonium was used to kill Litvinenko. Radioactive materials are clumsy as murder weapons and possible assassins must be very careful not to get contaminated themselves. Furthermore, many radioactive materials are traceable to a specific reactor/plant. We already know the trail leads to Russia. With the amount of Polonium used to kill Litvinenko it was bound to show up in post mortem tests, smaller amounts would have killed him more slowly, but might have gone unnoticed. Why did the killers want to leave such a clear sign that the man was assassinated with the poison coming from Russia. There can be two main suspicions:

1. An as yet unknown party in Putin's camp wants to send a clear signal that nobody is to mess with the new czar of all Russians.

2. Opponents of Putin wanted to kill a known opponent of Putin and put the blame on Putin.

I do believe both sides are ruthless enough to have done the deed.
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Dec, 2006 09:02 am
thats a very perceptive analysis paaskynen.

I'm coming to the conclusion that he was not deliberately poisoned but was involved in a smuggling operation that went wrong.

There are so many questions unanswered.

For instance why did the UK COBRA cabinet committee go into emergency session when Litvinenko became ill?
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 May, 2007 01:40 pm
Well, the English here at least will know by now that the British authorities have fingered the perpetrator of Litvinenko's poisoning: former KGB-agent Andrei Lugovoi.

The Brits have demanded his extradition; the Russians have refused.

As for Paaskynen's question - why the clumsy choice for radioactive poisoning? - this short Guardian article from last week sums it up pretty neatly:

Quote:
The polonium-210 trail that police say led to Moscow

Once contaminated, the killer left radiation traces wherever he went

May 23, 2007
The Guardian

The case against Andrei Lugovoi is based upon the police examination of the trail of polonium-210 which stretches 1,560 miles from Moscow to London and back again.

Until the point at which the radioactive isotope was detected, it must have appeared to be a poisoner's dream.

It is colourless, odourless and transparent. It can be carried through airports, because it emits alpha energy, and security scanners search for gamma energy. And polonium poisoning is so rare that few hospitals could be expected to test for it.

Once it was detected, however, a few hours before Alexander Litvinenko died, the polonium became a police officer's dream.

In pouring the solution which held the polonium into Litvinenko's teapot at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair, central London, the killer appears to have contaminated himself. He then left a trail of radiation wherever he went - in restaurants, hotel rooms, taxis and airports. Whenever he shook hands, touched a light switch, opened a briefcase or handed over a bank note he was spreading the polonium, and leaving a trace which police were able to follow. Quickly, Scotland Yard counter-terrorism command detectives were able to identify the hotel rooms in which the killer slept, the restaurant tables where he dined, and the aircraft seats in which he sat. Credit card receipts and airline tickets all pointed to Mr Lugovoi.

Others with whom the killer came into contact left traces of radioactivity from the polonium, but at a much lower level. And anyone who ingested the polonium excreted minute amounts through their sweat glands, but again with a much lower level of radiation. The trail could go only in one direction. As one person contaminated another, the level of radioactivity would go from a higher to a lower level. The police were able to trace the killer as he travelled from Moscow to London, and back again.

Most polonium-210 is produced in Russia, and little is exported. Some is sold to the US, however, and the FBI is thought to have examined characteristic impurities in the polonium that killed Litvinenko, and matched them with impurities in batches imported by the US. As a result, Scotland Yard is thought to know not only which nuclear reactor produced the poison, but the exact date of production.


The Guardian also attached a brief summary of the opposing conspiracy theories involved:

Quote:
Conspiracy theories point to president or dissident

Wednesday May 23, 2007
The Guardian

There are two major theories to explain the motives for Alexander Litvinenko's murder last November - and at least one further minor one.

Theory one

The Kremlin ordered his murder. This, the most obvious explanation, was put by Litvinenko's associates after his death, though it is strenuously denied by the Kremlin.

By this theory Mr Lugovoi, a former KGB agent, was hired to murder Litvinenko. The motive was revenge - with Litvenenko regarded as a traitor by his former colleagues in Russia's powerful federal security services.

The method chosen was poison - a favourite KGB tactic perfected during the cold war. In this case, however, it is not clear whether Mr Lugovoi realised that polonium-210 would leave behind a radioactive trail, or whether he thought that he had hit upon the perfect murder.

In his book, Litvinenko accused Vladimir Putin of being involved in organised crime when he was head of Russia's domestic security service, and of involvement in the Moscow apartment bombings in 1999 in which several hundred people died. According to theory one, Litvinenko's murder was intended to send a chilling warning to critics of Mr Putin's who are living abroad: keep your head down or pay the ultimate price.

Who gave the murder order is not clear. Most believe it unlikely to be the president himself. Instead, suspicion falls on hawkish elements within the state keen to engineer a crisis between Russia and the west.

Theory two

Boris Berezovsky had Litvinenko killed to discredit Mr Putin. This is the most common view in Russia. It is vehemently denied by Mr Berezovsky, but is assiduously repeated on state-run TV stations and media.

By this theory, Mr Berezovsky, the Kremlin's public enemy number one, had Litvinenko killed as part of a negative PR operation to embarrass and humiliate Russia. Mr Berezovsky has lived in exile in Britain since 2002, when he fell out with Mr Putin. He has made no secret of his desire to overthrow the Russian regime, telling the Guardian in April, admittedly well after the death of his friend Litvinenko in November, he was plotting a violent revolution against the state. Supporters of this theory say Mr Berezovksy had far more to gain from the murder than did Mr Putin.

The killing has poisoned Russia's relations with Europe at a time when inflamed over a series of bilateral issues, and creates a diplomatic rift that cannot be healed. It has also made Mr Berezovsky's extradition to Russia - as demanded by Moscow - impossible; in the wake of the murder, no British court is likely to agree to send him back.

Theory three

The murder of Litvinenko was a non-state level operation by Mr Lugovoi for reasons not clear - he took it upon himself, out of either patriotic or criminal motives. Almost certainly the operation was bungled, so the theory goes, with Mr Lugovoi unaware suspicion would fall immediately on him.

He and fellow businessman Dmitry Kovtun both claim Litvinenko poisoned them, and they are the true targets.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 May, 2007 01:49 pm
Below: a useful summary overview of the context of Litvinenko's murder.

From the mysterious bomb explosions in 1999 that left hundreds dead, were blamed on the Chechens but never solved, and carried Putin to election victory, to "the adoption of a law last summer which authorised the security services to kill 'extremists' inside or outside Russia on the orders of the country's senior leadership" - with the definition of 'extremism' including "being 'libellously critical of the Russian authorities'."

Quote:
Death of a dissident: Moscow's murky assassins

The Kremlin denies sending agents to murder Alexander Litvinenko. President Putin says the Cold War is over, the KGB has reformed. But the case has put Russia's sinister spies back in the spotlight, and Diplomatic Editor Anne Penketh finds they never really left us

The Independent
27 May 2007

On a cold, windy night in September 1999, a white Zhiguli drove into the yard of an anonymous block of flats on the outskirts of Ryazan, south-east of Moscow, transporting an unusual load.

Three people dragged three heavy sacks into the basement. A resident sounded the alarm, but the two men and a woman had vanished, leaving behind the sacks which were discovered to contain sugar, explosives and a detonating device. An attack that would have blown up the 12-storey building on Novosyolov Street had been foiled.

Former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko believed that the botched Ryazan attack was the work of the Russian security services, and wrote a book with an exiled Russian historian with the intention of proving it. His theory was that the Ryazan incident, and two other bombings in Russian cities, were carried out and blamed on the Chechens in order to start the second Chechnya war. The conflict propelled Vladimir Putin - Mr Litvinenko's boss when he betrayed his KGB vows by appearing at a Moscow news conference to denounce his own organisation - into the Russian presidency.

Mr Litvinenko, who fled Russia in fear of his life in 2000, two years after revealing that he had been ordered to assassinate the Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, is dead. In a murder that could have come straight out of a John le Carré novel, he was poisoned last November by drinking tea containing a radioactive substance, polonium- 210. Last week the Crown Prosecution Service announced that the suspect wanted for his murder is another former security agent, Andrei Lugovoi, whose extradition from Moscow is now being sought. The question that remains to be answered is whether Mr Litvinenko's murder was a state-sponsored assassination - a charge which the Kremlin strenuously denies.

Once KGB, always KGB, goes a Russian saying. "This is unfortunately not a joke. This organisation in real life doesn't allow people to leave it," says Yuri Felshtinsky, the Russian historian specialising in the security services who wrote Blowing Up Russia with Mr Litvinenko and now lives in exile in the US.

The two most prominent KGB defectors in the West, Oleg Gordievsky and Oleg Kalugin, are convinced that the KGB's successor agency is behind the Litvinenko murder. Russia experts say that the KGB, with its disregard for the value of human life, has failed to reform since communist times, and its penetration of society at home and abroad is as strong as ever.

"The successor agencies still have a lot of similar procedures as before in terms of secrecy and non-transparency. They believe they have the right to act without public control. Their esprit de corps remains the same - they are more loyal to themselves than to their own family," says Yuri Fedorov, an analyst with the think tank Chatham House.

The Soviet intelligence agencies, known by their various acronyms beginning with the foundation of the Cheka in 1917, were always in the murder business. From the killing of Leon Trotsky with an ice pick in 1940 to the umbrella poisoning of the Bulgarian journalist Georgi Markov and the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II, the target list is long and exotic.

"The greatest threat to the future of the KGB is its own past," British intelligence scholar Christopher Andrew wrote in 1990 as he published Soviet-era secrets with Mr Gordievsky in KGB, The Inside Story. "From its headquarters in Dzerzhinsky Square it directed during the Stalinist era the greatest peacetime persecution and the largest concentration camps in European history." That era has been mercifully consigned to the history books. But there are signs that Mr Putin, a KGB colonel who was a spy in East Germany where the communist regime was the harshest in the Soviet bloc [not quite true - think Ceasescu's Romania - nimh], has overseen an expansion in the influence of security services after the democratic chaos of the Yeltsin years.

The early 1980s [..] saw the most dangerous period of East-West tension since the Cuban missile crisis 20 years earlier [..]. In Russia, foreigners were placed under surveillance, intimidated and harassed, and subjected to travel bans. Car tyres would mysteriously be let down overnight; telephones would ring with no caller and it was assumed that flats were bugged. Their buildings were guarded just as much to screen Russian visitors - warned against meeting foreigners - as for the safety of the residents.

The Russians were themselves at the mercy of KGB informers, placed inside every apartment block and workplace. Working relationships were distorted by the fact that a lowly employee such as a driver might in fact be a KGB officer who expected deference.

The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 presented both a challenge and an opportunity for the KGB. Its domestic agency, where Mr Litvinenko worked in its special anti-organised crime unit, is now known as the Federal Security Service (FSB). The SVR is the Foreign Intelligence Service.

Many former officers have put their knowledge to good use in private industry and security, but also in politics and the murky world of the black economy. Inside Russia, there has been a power grab by the former KGB associates of Mr Putin who wield considerable political influence as they have moved into the boardrooms of state-run companies.

Olga Kryshtanovskaya, director of the Moscow-based Centre for the Study of Elites, analysed the CVs of 1,016 leading political figures. Her list included the departmental heads of the presidential administration and all members of the government. She found that 26 per cent had reported serving in the KGB or its successor agencies. However, further analysis of unexplained gaps in their CVs pointed to a massive 78 per cent having such connections.

Harassment of foreigners is again a feature, as British ambassador Tony Brenton can attest. The embassy had noisy demonstrators from the pro-government Nashi youth group picketing the Moscow embassy for months after the envoy attended an opposition meeting in St Petersburg last July.

But above all, the successor to the KGB is back in the assassination business thanks to the adoption of a law last summer which authorised the security services to kill "extremists" inside or outside Russia on the orders of the country's senior leadership. The definition of "extremism" includes being "libellously critical of the Russian authorities". The number of Russian intelligence agents based in London has remained at Cold War levels, according to MI5, with some 30 agentsnow said to be operating. But many other operatives are presumed to be deployed under cover. The Russian exile community is a particular target; prominent exiles including Mr Berezovsky and Chechen rebel spokesman Ahmad Zakayev live in fear of assassination.

But in addition to traditional espionage activities involving political and military intelligence, the Russian security services now reflect the needs of a hi-tech world. Russia was accused earlier this month by Estonia of an unprecedented cyber attack on Estonian government websites in retaliation for the removal of a Soviet-era war memorial which drew violent protests from the Baltic state's ethnic Russian minority.

Does Russia's security service still spy on its own citizens? According to Mr Felshtinsky, it no longer needs to. Russian society has been cowed, he says, amid political restrictions and the unsolved murders of investigative journalists. "Putin when he came to power destroyed the NTV channel. It was the most popular station at the time. They couldn't control it so they destroyed it. As for political parties - they try to control them or ban them."

"It's the same with Yukos," he went on, referring to the break-up of Russia's oil giant after its owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky fell foul of the Kremlin by becoming involved in opposition politics. Mr Khodorkovsky, once Russia's wealthiest man, is now serving a nine-year jail term in Siberia for tax offences. "If they can't control you and they can't buy you, they destroy you," says Mr Felshtinsky.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 May, 2007 01:58 pm
By the way - I posted this a month or two ago on the Russia thread, but since the article is also specifically about the Litvinenko case I'll repeat myself here:

The New Yorker piece is way too long to post here itself, but is an absolute must-read for anyone who is interested in the politics in Russia's society.

If you want to know more about Politkovskaya, who is well portrayed in the article, and about the further darkening of the political clouds over Russia that her murder constituted, read this article.

If you want to know what Putin stands for and to understand the system he is building, you need to read this article.

It does a marvellous job of tracking the backstory, hearing the different sides, analysing what happened here, exactly, and how it came to be this way.

Click this link so you wont have to tell people, later, "I didn't know":

KREMLIN, INC.
Letter from Russia

Why are Vladimir Putin's opponents dying?


by Michael Specter
Issue of 2007-01-29
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 May, 2007 04:30 pm
I did read that, stunning article. With my brain's sketchy retentive powers, it wouldn't hurt me to read it again.

Steve41oo and I were wondering, back when Litvinenko was recently poisoned, about capsules found in Litvenenko's stomach, or said to be, in some initial report we both saw at the time - and not mentioned again - which led to thoughts of some smuggling possibility. Probably a red herring, but we both wondered.
0 Replies
 
malek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 May, 2007 04:37 pm
If this guy ever appears in a Brit Court, I will eat Mr Putin's underwear.
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 May, 2007 04:54 pm
malek wrote :

Quote:
If this guy ever appears in a Brit Court, I will eat Mr Putin's underwear.


since mr putin has refused to sent his underwear to malek , the case is essentially closed !
hbg
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jun, 2007 08:27 am
Lugovoy gave a press conference last week saying British intelligence killed Litvenenko.

This is an incredible story (thanks nimh for nyt article, havent read it all yet...), so incredible that most people cant get their heads round it.

What happened was an act of nuclear terrorism. If it was state sponsored against a citizen of another state, taking place on sovereign territory of another state, then there is no other word for it but nuclear warfare.

Thanks also to Osso for reminding me about the disc-like packages. On the morning Litvenenko died, or was very close to death, the BBC today program spoke with someone at the hospital. On live radio he broke the news about a number of small packages spotted in the body, one of which appeared to have ruptured. He had obviously seen radiographs. Clearly this was significant. However, no subsequent reference was made by the BBC or anyone else. This was real news, and someone somewhere suppressed it. I had actually forgotten this myself until Osso pointed it out.

So Litvenenko was poisoned by Po210...we have been told that so many times. Yet why was the autopsy done under conditions of extreme secrecy and the result classified? How many foreign bodies did they remove? What was found? No sorry thats an aspect of the story we dont talk about, because we're not supposed to know anything about it.

And had Litvenenko converted to Islam?

Well it doesnt matter because Lugovoi left a trace of polonium all the way from Moscow to London and back. Or was it London to Moscow and back?

He's the man. The British authorities just was Russia to change their constitution and extradite him so he can be given a fair trial and punished in London. Sounds reasonable. Except the Russians say nyet. But they insist and Putin says they are being silly and accuses Britain of giving citizenship to people actively trying to destabilise the Russian govt.

And whats Polonium used for? Well its a very strong alpha emitter. Mix it with beryillium and you get a lot of neutrons, ideal for starting a nuclear chain reaction.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jun, 2007 09:06 am
Steve 41oo wrote:
And had Litvenenko converted to Islam?

Question Question Question
0 Replies
 
 

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