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Pontius Navigator
19th Jul 2018, 13:01
A_Van,

"Pour encourager les autres "

VP959
19th Jul 2018, 13:36
Had the Skripals been declared enemies of the state and therefore legitimate targets for a freelance assassination ?

I'm not at all sure, TBH, but he had been convicted of treason and served part of a prison sentence in Russia before being part of a "spy exchange" and released to the UK.

I would have to say that in all probability his conviction for treason probably makes him an "enemy of the state" in the eyes of many of his fellow countrymen, especially as he worked in the security service.

On the other hand, the Russians chose not to execute him for treason and gave him a relatively short prison sentence, and I would have thought that if the Russian state wanted him dead they could have pretty easily found a way to arrange that whilst he was still a prisoner there. It's one reason that I think the attack on him wasn't directly controlled by the Russian state, but probably by some of his former colleagues who felt very strongly that he'd betrayed them and their country.

G-CPTN
19th Jul 2018, 14:11
Police (?) are claiming that news of identified suspects is 'premature' and official announcements will be issued 'when they are ready'.

Sallyann1234
19th Jul 2018, 15:13
I had also wondered why he hadn't been executed right away for treason.
But the most likely scenario seemed that he had been deliberately kept alive as exchange material.

er340790
19th Jul 2018, 15:14
I need to register that one before Givenchy does!!! :E

KelvinD
19th Jul 2018, 15:16
Not only are the police running the "premature" angle, HM Government are saying it is all untrue. Mind you, that was at least an hour ago so that should be due for a reversal pretty soon.

DaveReidUK
19th Jul 2018, 15:24
HM Government are saying it is all untrue.

I don't think the Government have actually said that it's not true, only (according to a tweet by the Minister of State for Security at the Home Office, Ben Wallace) that it's speculation. The two aren't mutually exclusive. :O

jez d
19th Jul 2018, 15:47
An interesting hypothesis from Philip Ingram, former Army intelligence officer:

"My view is that the primary reason behind it was to send a message out to dissenters - and Sergei Skripal was chosen because he was based in Salisbury and that gave the Russians plausible deniability by saying, oh it must have leaked from Porton Down, because it's just up the road"

Effluent Man
19th Jul 2018, 16:18
Of course another possibility is that the perps have been identified but they don't fit the anti Putin agenda.

Pontius Navigator
19th Jul 2018, 16:37
Of course another possibility is that the perps have been identified but they don't fit the anti Putin agenda.
Ah, of course.

But can THEY ensure that the dozens of people who identified them will keep quiet?

KelvinD
19th Jul 2018, 16:52
DaveReid: You are correct re Wallace. I was going by a report on BBC TV which may have been premature. So, Mr Wallace thinks he is Trump2 does he? Sod the old fashioned idea of statements to the House; Twitter will do!

grateful_pax
19th Jul 2018, 17:07
My personal view is that the attack on the Skripals was very personal, and connected to his betrayal. As to why do it now, then that could be something as simple as his former colleagues now reaching retirement age and being free to act.
I think the weapon was chosen to send a message to traitors - his attackers wanted the world to think this was Russia seeking vengeance for betrayal. There's a long history of the old KGB using weird and wonderful toxins to assassinate people, going back decades.

Well, let's assume that's true. I'd say that there's a hell of a question: if a rogue ex-KGB operative could stole such a dangerous substance from govt facility, what would stop others from making a few bucks out of that?
How much is the liter of A234 on Kabul's black market? Why bother to place an explosive device on a plane if all you actually need is a brainwashed guy with ~10 ml of A234 with an aerosol dispenser...
Moreover, doing such a thing is surely an unfriendly act towards assassin's ex-boss. He definitely would have an incentive to sell half of the stolen A234 to some crazy guys from middle east to make waters a bit muddier and to escape from possible vengeance.
Having said that, I think it's pretty obvious that "rogue ex-KGB maverick" theory is likely to be slashed by the Occam's razor.
There's one important detail in the 1st attack. It was perfectly aligned with arrival of Yulia Skripal to her father. She flew to LHR 3-Mar, and they were poisoned the next day, 4-Mar.
I would say that those who did this, deliberately targeted not only Sergey but Yulia too. Kind of a message to anyone who is considering to become a betrayer and has a daughter.

A_Van
19th Jul 2018, 17:18
There was little point, and substantial international opprobrium, in the Duma passing a law making the murder of those considered enemies of the state outside Russia legal if they didn’t intend to use it.....


Can you please provide a proof link (i.e. official document) about Duma passing such a law? I am just curious being sure that if that would have been done (or even seriously discussed), local liberals would cry pretty loud to be heard by everyone here...

VP959
19th Jul 2018, 17:27
Can you please provide a proof link (i.e. official document) about Duma passing such a law? I am just curious being sure that if that would have been done (or even seriously discussed), local liberals would cry pretty loud to be heard by everyone here...

It was initially a Directive passed on 19th March 2003 that refers specifically to the European Union and Western Europe and was signed by the head of counter-intelligence of the FSB. It established a new unit to carry out such work, and set a date for this new unit to become operational of 1st May 2004.

Later, in 2006, new laws were passed, as described in this BBC article from that time: BBC NEWS | Europe | Russia law on killing 'extremists' abroad (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6188658.stm)

A_Van
19th Jul 2018, 17:30
A_Van,

"Pour encourager les autres "

Je ne le crois pas ;) If so, another target would have been chosen. There are many Russian defectors and traitors in UK and US who continue their anti-state activities. Or even wealthy criminal elements that have stolen millions from the state and now live in luxury neiboughoods in London crying in media that they are "victims of the regime". Scare those folks would make much more sense to the state than making a clumsy attempt to punish a retired and forgotten person.

A_Van
19th Jul 2018, 17:43
It was initially a Directive passed on 19th March 2003 that refers specifically to the European Union and Western Europe and was signed by the head of counter-intelligence of the FSB. It established a new unit to carry out such work, and set a date for this new unit to become operational of 1st May 2004.

Later, in 2006, new laws were passed, as described in this BBC article from that time: BBC NEWS Europe Russia law on killing 'extremists' abroad (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6188658.stm)

Thanks. But what I see is that (quoting) "... the upper chamber of the Russian parliament - the Federation Council - approved a law which permits the Russian president to use the country's armed forces and special services outside Russia's borders to combat terrorism and extremism" - seems to be a pretty universal approach. A so called "coalition" invaded Syria under such laws.

All the rest in the BBC article is nothing but interpretations and guessing on potential secret extensions. Nothing is written and cannot be written about a "license to kill" in a formal Russian law.

racedo
19th Jul 2018, 17:55
If it turns out that the perpetrators are Russian, I think the media would be well-advised to not assume that Russian = Russian government.

I can't see what Vladimir Putin would have to gain right now by authorising such an attack, but I can see that there could be some powerful Russians who would have a very strong personal motive for wanting revenge against Sergei Skripal. I get the feeling that Putin cannot always maintain control of some of the powerful people in Russia, and that a large part of his "tough man" approach is aimed at bringing loads of powerful mavericks under control, probably including some his former colleagues in the security services. I'm not 100% convinced he has all of them under control even now, perhaps one of our members resident in Russia might like to comment on this.

UK has shown itself incapable of controlling its own security services so why do people assume other countrys can.

racedo
19th Jul 2018, 17:58
There was little point, and substantial international opprobrium, in the Duma passing a law making the murder of those considered enemies of the state outside Russia legal if they didn’t intend to use it.....

Right

So House of Commons have never passed a law where there is no intention of using it.

Its called OPTICS for the media nothing more.

racedo
19th Jul 2018, 18:02
She was living in a 'hostel' implying she was hard up.
If they sat in QE Park in Salisbury and she happened to notice a a perfume spray in the grass, maybe labelled 'Chanel' or 'Dior', she's going to pick it up and spray a bit on herself to see what it's like isn't she.
She then snogs him and anything on her face is going to be transferred.
The above is purely my own theory, but the spray could also have been used on the Skripal's doorknob then be thrown away where she found it..
Posted 11 Jul.
Was I right?

It would imply that said bottle has lain there in March / April / May / June and NOBODY disturbed it until 2 people whom society carried little of maanged to find the magical botttle.

Now if was winter and councils were not cleaning, clearing, planting and pruning during dark winter I would understand but it wasn't.

Appears to be a planted item to bolster a weak case and if they died HMG cares as much for them as it did when they alive.

VP959
19th Jul 2018, 18:06
Thanks. But what I see is that (quoting) "... the upper chamber of the Russian parliament - the Federation Council - approved a law which permits the Russian president to use the country's armed forces and special services outside Russia's borders to combat terrorism and extremism" - seems to be a pretty universal approach. A so called "coalition" invaded Syria under such laws.

All the rest in the BBC article is nothing but interpretations and guessing on potential secret extensions. Nothing is written and cannot be written about a "license to kill" in a formal Russian law.

I agree about the rest of the stuff in the BBC article, it was driven by hysteria following the murder of Litvenenko, I'm sure. However, it seems that the definition of "terrorist" and the definition of "armed forces" is a little flexible.

Take the case of Litvenenko. His murderers we easily identified as they left a trail of radioactive polonium everywhere they went, contaminating many areas in London and on their route back to Russia. Were those attackers members of the Russian armed forces? We don't know, but there has been no assertion that they were. Was Litvinenko a "terrorist"? Almost certainly not, by any conventional definition. Yet his killers remain free from any risk of extradition and it seems they will never be brought to justice, either here in the UK or in Russia.

Litvinenko's death is far from being the only suspicious death here in the UK where there is a strong suspicion, or firm evidence, that someone from Russia was the perpetrator. None have ever been charged and the Russian state refuses to accept any attempts to either apply justice within Russia or to allow the extradition of such suspects so they can face a fair trial.

It seems that the real world interpretation of the original FSB Directive from 2003, plus the law allowing the Russian government to permit extrajudicial killings outside Russia, using the pretext that they needed to do this as a counter terrorism measure, is that the Russian state is actively protecting those who commit murders here, whether on the instruction of the Russian state or not.

It will be interesting to see what happens if the suspects in the attack on the Skripals, who are also responsible for the injuries sustained to Police Detective Sergeant Bailey, the death of Dawn Sturgess and the injuries sustained by Charlie Rowley, are positively identified as Russians and traced back to Russia. Will the Russian state allow their extradition to the UK to face trial? Somehow I doubt it, but I would like to be proved wrong, if only because I believe not allowing them to face trial here would severely impact international relations with Russia, and that, in my view, would be a very retrograde move.

VP959
19th Jul 2018, 18:12
It would imply that said bottle has lain there in March / April / May / June and NOBODY disturbed it until 2 people whom society carried little of maanged to find the magical botttle.

Now if was winter and councils were not cleaning, clearing, planting and pruning during dark winter I would understand but it wasn't.

Appears to be a planted item to bolster a weak case and if they died HMG cares as much for them as it did when they alive.

I suggest you go and have a walk around Queen Elizabeth Gardens and familiarise yourself with the area and the paths that run from it across the water meadows to Harnham. I also suggest that a look at the rather appalling litter problem in Salisbury over the past year might bring some understanding to what's been going on, together with the added challenges of having areas of the city cordoned off for long periods (and some still are cordoned off).

I reasonably regularly ride my bike along the elevated path to the mill at Harnham and can say for sure that there is litter in the dry drainage trenches either side of that path that has probably been there for years. Salisbury is, regrettably, not a tidy city, and it's as much as the council cleaning service can do to clear up after the Friday and Saturday night clubbers have messed up the streets, let alone clean the far reaches of a large parkland area.

racedo
19th Jul 2018, 18:17
I agree about the rest of the stuff in the BBC article, it was driven by hysteria following the murder of Litvenenko, I'm sure. However, it seems that the definition of "terrorist" and the definition of "armed forces" is a little flexible.

Take the case of Litvenenko. His murderers we easily identified as they left a trail of radioactive polonium everywhere they went, contaminating many areas in London and on their route back to Russia. Were those attackers members of the Russian armed forces? We don't know, but there has been no assertion that they were. Was Litvinenko a "terrorist"? Almost certainly not, by any conventional definition. Yet his killers remain free from any risk of extradition and it seems they will never be brought to justice, either here in the UK or in Russia.

Litvinenko's death is far from being the only suspicious death here in the UK where there is a strong suspicion, or firm evidence, that someone from Russia was the perpetrator. None have ever been charged and the Russian state refuses to accept any attempts to either apply justice within Russia or to allow the extradition of such suspects so they can face a fair trial.

Is this UK definiotion of a "fair trial"................... tell that to family of Al Meghrabi convicted of Panam bombing.
or Birmingham 6, Guildford 4, maguire family, Judith Ward, Winston Silcott and the list goes on.

Russia DOES NOT extradite its citizens abroad................... then again neither does Germany or Japan or China or France.

Russian Govt made it clear that if evidence available it would prosecute in a Russian court, Uk Foreign Office refused this option.

Claiming because someone is Ex Military or Police services that somehow State is responsible is interesting on, therefore my distant relatives can sue HMG as it was an ex forces member who killed their father. Or does this only apply to Russia.


It seems that the real world interpretation of the original FSB Directive from 2003, plus the law allowing the Russian government to permit extrajudicial killings outside Russia, using the pretext that they needed to do this as a counter terrorism measure, is that the Russian state is actively protecting those who commit murders here, whether on the instruction of the Russian state or not.

It will be interesting to see what happens if the suspects in the attack on the Skripals, who are also responsible for the injuries sustained to Police Detective Sergeant Bailey, the death of Dawn Sturgess and the injuries sustained by Charlie Rowley, are positively identified as Russians and traced back to Russia. Will the Russian state allow their extradition to the UK to face trial? Somehow I doubt it, but I would like to be proved wrong, if only because I believe not allowing them to face trial here would severely impact international relations with Russia, and that, in my view, would be a very retrograde move.

UK Govt has allowed the carrying out of attacks on people in Irish Republic....................... remind me again what Uk law is this allowed under.

VP959
19th Jul 2018, 18:22
Is this UK definiotion of a "fair trial"................... tell that to family of Al Meghrabi convicted of Panam bombing.
or Birmingham 6, Guildford 4, maguire family, Judith Ward, Winston Silcott and the list goes on.

Russia DOES NOT extradite its citizens abroad................... then again neither does Germany or Japan or China or France.

Russian Govt made it clear that if evidence available it would prosecute in a Russian court, Uk Foreign Office refused this option.

Claiming because someone is Ex Military or Police services that somehow State is responsible is interesting on, therefore my distant relatives can sue HMG as it was an ex forces member who killed their father. Or does this only apply to Russia.



UK Govt has allowed the carrying out of attacks on people in Irish Republic....................... remind me again what Uk law is this allowed under.

Comparing what the UK has done decades ago with what Russia is doing now isn't really either a fair comparison or justifiable. We are where we are today, the miscarriages of justice in the past that you have raised have been acknowledged and settled. They do not in any way justify actions being taken now.

flash8
19th Jul 2018, 18:55
Investigators had narrowed down the suspects around 12 days ago to between two and four people, including a woman, from CCTV footage, with two carrying and administering the nerve agent, and others providing backup.

Looking forward to seeing this CCTV "evidence", despite cameras nowadays using FHD and greater resolution and even older cameras having high resolution I suspect we will be shown some grainy ultra low resolution ambiguous footage supplemented by a lot of supposition. I hope I am wrong.

racedo
19th Jul 2018, 19:01
Comparing what the UK has done decades ago with what Russia is doing now isn't really either a fair comparison or justifiable. We are where we are today, the miscarriages of justice in the past that you have raised have been acknowledged and settled. They do not in any way justify actions being taken now.

What is Russia doing now ?
Its laws are clear and apply to all citizens, something HM FO know.

As for Miscarraiges of Justice............... the establishment fought to ensure every misscarraige of justice was not allowed until; there was so much evidence.

There are current miscarraiges that will come out in time.

flash8
19th Jul 2018, 19:26
Russia had a bad rap for many years, when I arrived here back in '99 it really was hugely corrupt and could be dangerous, although as I were often reminded by Russian friends they'd treat me with kid gloves if arrested fearing the consequences. Much has changed since then and bribery (something that was very much part of daily life in 1999) has been pretty well controlled at least by the State. I'd be relieved of $100 for minor offences back in the early millennium (not carrying a passport/completed registration) on the spot, now it would be unheard of. Putin has (despite the Liberal media insistence) cleaned up a lot, he definitely saved Russia in my (and many if not most Russians) opinion from an awful fate, the Yeltsin era going out of control into civil war. Life isn't easy here for many but he made it easier, and the lawlessness (and 1990's assassinations) are a fading memory.

It frustrates me that many paint Russia in a negative light, I always say come to Moscow for a few weeks and see for yourself. I've known some people leave after a few days they can't stand it... but most are enchanted and can't wait to return. We drink tea just like you as well.

I believe Racedo recently visited.. .but he didn't call me!

And the women are beyond beautiful ))

pilotmike
19th Jul 2018, 19:30
... if the independent OPCW accredited labs reach the same conclusion then that removes pretty much any doubt that the latest poisoning was unrelated to the Skripal attack.
Did you really mean that? I believe the opposite to be the case.

racedo
19th Jul 2018, 20:03
It frustrates me that many paint Russia in a negative light, I always say come to Moscow for a few weeks and see for yourself. I've known some people leave after a few days they can't stand it... but most are enchanted and can't wait to return. We drink tea just like you as well.

I believe Racedo recently visited.. .but he didn't call me!

And the women are beyond beautiful ))

You did say that if i needed help I should call you................ was appreciated.

However any time needed help I found Russian citizens very quickly coming forward and offering to help..................... not the Tourism and WC Volunteers as they were wonderful as well.
This was the ordinary Russians who time and again came forward.

On 1st long distance train journey where we hadn't printed the ticket............... Russians told lady looking after carraige that if we were not let on with electronic ticket then train wouldn't go, she said it was the rules but they not having any of it.
These were people with kids heading for holidays. Train lady said would call police but bluff called when guy said nope I will and walked off to do so.
She relented as they were clear train was going nowhere and they would record and post online about Russian Railways unhelpful to WC visitors.
We on train and lady came for a selfie later on as well.

In Volgograd we had Russian family offer to take us to Mamayev Kurgan as he thought we were staying out of town where we were staying beside it but would have done so.

I have numerous examples and we visited a lot of cities and met many other WC fans saying same thing that again and again.

Met Poles who worried about welcome but everywhere they went they made feel welcome again and again, same with Germans.
Americans concerned but then realised they treated no different to anybody else........................ some bought 1 ticket to a game because they got Fan ID whoch was Visa instead of 4 week wait and $400.

As for security, no entry to major train station without bags being scanned. Police everywhere and a Russian lady who spoke English said this is the norm, we now feel safe where 20 yrs ago we didn't and the money spent on improving the cities for everyone.

flash8
19th Jul 2018, 20:52
You did say that if i needed help I should call you................ was appreciated.
Well, glad then you had no need :)

Interesting thing here is whilst the average Brit (I don't count Brit JB members as average though!) spews anger towards Russia and Russians, the average Russian is always happy to help a Brit, or an American or whatever.

I am really curious now though back on subject about this so called CCTV of the suspects, as I previously said why are my expectations so low as to expect fuzzy low-resolution 1960's 405 line quality (in 2018) backed up by dubious government fed supposition? I really hope I am wrong but somehow doubt it.

BlankBox
19th Jul 2018, 21:29
Police ID'd Russians for Skripal poisonings: British media | CBC News (http://www.cbc.ca/news/thenational/national-today-newsletter-uk-poisoning-russia-novichock-1.4752296)

...look's like the jigs up...:E

DaveReidUK
19th Jul 2018, 21:37
"Police have identified two suspects in the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN on Thursday.

The pair left the UK in the wake of the attack on what is believed to have been a commercial flight, the source added.

Their departure was revealed in a coded Russian message to Moscow sent after the attack, which was intercepted by a British base in Cyprus, the source said."

CNN: Suspects in Novichok case flew out of UK in wake of attack, source says (https://edition.cnn.com/2018/07/19/uk/novichok-poisoning-suspects-identified-intl/index.html)

flash8
19th Jul 2018, 21:41
officers have matched CCTV footage taken near Skripal's Salisbury home with video recorded of people entering and leaving the country around the March 4 attack, using facial recognition technology. If that is the case they'll have very high resolution images way beyond domestic from the airport security architecture, so one hopes they will show these to us, after all, they certainly can't be sensitive in any way. I think the term is "believe it when I see it", although even then one has to have reservations because the entire narrative isn't exactly convincing.Their departure was revealed in a coded Russian message to Moscow sent after the attack, which was intercepted by a British base in Cyprus, the source said."

Ah yes, add a bit of cloak and dagger to enthral the public, irrespective of its veracity of course, as if they'd reveal they had broken Russian crypto and a SIGINT base location :)

Why not simply send an innocuous plaintext message?

longer ron
19th Jul 2018, 21:43
Interesting thing here is whilst the average Brit (I don't count Brit JB members as average though!) spews anger towards Russia and Russians, the average Russian is always happy to help a Brit, or an American or whatever.



I have never heard anybody even comment on Russians ever - politicians - yes of course they are fair game in any country LOL
You get the good the bad and the ugly in every country - generally the 'normal' people have the same general interests in life (ie live peacefully and make a little bit of money )

flash8
19th Jul 2018, 21:48
I have never heard anybody even comment on Russians ever
Oh, I have, and you only need to view the Western media portrayal of Russian women to understand how highly they think of Russians, this filters into the public conscience.

longer ron
19th Jul 2018, 21:52
Oh, I have, and you only need to view the Western media portrayal of Russian women to understand how highly they think of Russians, this filters into the public conscience.
I think you are being over sensitive - Russia is just another country to most people,it is not a country that pops up on a daily discussion anywhere I have worked or lived ;)

flash8
19th Jul 2018, 21:59
Well, longer ron, perhaps you have a point, as my life does centre around Russia its easy to get trapped in that circle :)

I did however speak to some UK colleagues recently and they were unanimous that Russia was the source of this poisoning and got quite defensive when I asked them for any evidence. My point here is to take a critical view at the evidence (to the exclusion of everything else) and then draw conclusions. I did try and explain this to them but their minds were already closed, the UK government and media had done sterling work. judge and jury.

To date there has been NO evidence whatsoever Russia was responsible.

Awaiting this new "evidence" keenly.

whale1776
19th Jul 2018, 22:04
Lovely to see all the Putin apologists out again. Chatting to the 6 Russians that I work with has been instructive. They have a different outlook on life in Russia under Putin and none of them ever want to go back while he is in charge. They would also like to see their whole families leave but it is not feasible currently.

Also nice to see comments made from people who obviously have no idea about Salisbury itself, luckily being corrected by someone with local knowledge. Although that really makes no difference as they will not admit their error, that's not how the apologists work.

longer ron
19th Jul 2018, 22:04
Instead of trying to convince us who did not do it - perhaps best to wait until we know for sure LOL
I will go walking in my town tomorrow and nobody will be talking about Russia.
We might be discussing the price of whisky/she got a nice ar5e/she got nice t1ts/income tax/ugly cow who is our first minister etc.
We will not be discussing Russia or Sergei.
Anyway - bedtime or the boss will give me an earbashing - rgds LR

racedo
19th Jul 2018, 22:21
"Police have identified two suspects in the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN on Thursday.

The pair left the UK in the wake of the attack on what is believed to have been a commercial flight, the source added.

Their departure was revealed in a coded Russian message to Moscow sent after the attack, which was intercepted by a British base in Cyprus, the source said."

CNN: Suspects in Novichok case flew out of UK in wake of attack, source says (https://edition.cnn.com/2018/07/19/uk/novichok-poisoning-suspects-identified-intl/index.html)

This crap and coded message stuff was pushed out in March and not even shared with their NATO allies when they asked.

Seems someone is making a story fit now.

A_Van
20th Jul 2018, 05:41
Longer ron,

It is absolutely understandable that 99.99...% people in UK do not talk about and even mention Russia in their everyday life. The same here: even when guys around start chatting about politics they usually discuss US, Germany and some other countries, but not UK.
But this topic is related to Russia, like it or not. Just do not read it if it irritates you.

Coming back to the subject, it seems to me that among many alternatives one should first of all filter those that match two points: "who benefit" and "why select such a strange and complicated way of murdering".

IMHO, groups of wealthy Russian emigrants (read, criminal elements) living in London who stole money from various public Russian budgets/funds, transferred them abroad and then followed them before being caught and sentenced, "meet all the criteria". Most of them are in the "most wanted" lists that Russian courts sent to UK claiming their extradition. It was not a threat for them until recently when the UK started a campaign to screen all the fortunes of rich foreign folks asking for justification of sums exceeding 50K or so. Very good start, IMHO. I suppose those Russians started shaking. But losing even a major part of wealth in fines and confiscations by British authorities is a much lesser evil than extradition to Russia. And the latter may become quite realistic if the (British) court rules that those "poor refugees" are not "victims of the bloody regime" but trivial thieves. BTW, such things sometimes happen with Spain, France and other "harbors". But it is also needed that relationships between the two countries (here, UK and Russia) were at least neutral. And this is the area where they could play some game and benefit a lot if the tension zooms and any cooperation on the governmental level would become impossible.With this regard selection of a former spy (who they are not linked to at all, and this would pose difficulties to investigators) and such a publicly dangerous way of attack looks logical. The immediate reaction would be considering all this as "a revenge from a terrible regime" and, secondly, it would be very loud because chem. weap. is used. And obviously this plan works fine, so far.
Considering such customers/beneficiaries also explains why the attempt was executed so clumsy and unprofessionally. Indeed, though those guys do have a hell of money (and thus can buy such rare and dangerous substances at whatever price), they can't get access to professional "killing machines", either inside Russian or UK special services. But they did not need it. It looks like it did not really matter for the plotters what would happen to S.Skripal, whether he would die or survive. Generating noise and hysteria was the goal and it was achieved. Therefore, hiring any ordinary criminal murderers would be OK. And let them leave lots of traces all around the place.
Hope that Scotland Yard will be able to figure everything out without being politically biased.

Krystal n chips
20th Jul 2018, 06:14
" Indeed, though those guys do have a hell of money (and thus can buy such rare substances at whatever price), they can't get access to professional "killing machines", either inside Russian or UK special services. But they did not need it. It looks like it did not really matter for the plotters what would happen to S.Skripal, whether he would die or survive. Generating noise and hysteria was the goal and it was achieved. Therefore, hiring any ordinary criminal murderers would be OK.
Hope that Scotland Yard will be able to figure everything out without being politically biased "


Now that's a very good point. You see, whilst we have been the recipients of local knowledge combining detailed forensic analysis, deductive reasoning. covert ops and possible methodology along with geopolitics, thus far one simplsitic question that doesn't appear to have been asked is this.

Why discard the perfume jar on land when there are several convenient rivers in the locality and..... one "plop" and it's gone.

KelvinD
20th Jul 2018, 06:43
Here's another question that, as far as I know, has not yet been answered. The Russians have repeatedly offered to assist with investigations, ever since the original Skripal attack and the UK government have either ignored them or said 'No'. So the question is; why? If the government do not trust the Russians to provide a fair and balanced input to any investigation, would it not be sensible to accept the Russian offer and then rubbish their efforts while they are in the tent?

longer ron
20th Jul 2018, 06:49
Longer ron,

It is absolutely understandable that 99.99...% people in UK do not talk about and even mention Russia in their everyday life. The same here: even when guys around start chatting about politics they usually discuss US, Germany and some other countries, but not UK.
But this topic is related to Russia, like it or not. Just do not read it if it irritates you.
.

It does not irritate me at all Mon Ami....

I usually keep an eye on this thread to have a good laugh at some of the ludicrous conspiracy theories expounded by certain posters on here :)
My comment was just that we do not discuss normal Russian people in a negative way at all,Politicians are a different matter and one would be extremely naive to trust Putitin and his henchmen ;).
If you look back at my posts on this subject I do not make any ludicrous accusations against anybody,I am happy to wait for concrete proof/body of evidence to appear.

Rgds LR

longer ron
20th Jul 2018, 06:55
" I
Why discard the perfume jar on land when there are several convenient rivers in the locality and..... one "plop" and it's gone.

Trouble is the perp in this case probably realised how deadly the container was and just got shot of it as quickly as possible (and out of sight of any passers by ?),chucking it in a river might well have been more difficult to do covertly,and anyway of course the perp probably would not care 2 hoots about 'collateral damage'/innocent victims.

VP959
20th Jul 2018, 06:59
Longer ron,

It is absolutely understandable that 99.99...% people in UK do not talk about and even mention Russia in their everyday life. The same here: even when guys around start chatting about politics they usually discuss US, Germany and some other countries, but not UK.
But this topic is related to Russia, like it or not. Just do not read it if it irritates you.

Coming back to the subject, it seems to me that among many alternatives one should first of all filter those that match two points: "who benefit" and "why select such a strange and complicated way of murdering".

IMHO, groups of wealthy Russian emigrants (read, criminal elements) living in London who stole money from various public Russian budgets/funds, transferred them abroad and then followed them before being caught and sentenced, "meet all the criteria". Most of them are in the "most wanted" lists that Russian courts sent to UK claiming their extradition. It was not a threat for them until recently when the UK started a campaign to screen all the fortunes of rich foreign folks asking for justification of sums exceeding 50K or so. Very good start, IMHO. I suppose those Russians started shaking. But losing even a major part of wealth in fines and confiscations by British authorities is a much lesser evil than extradition to Russia. And the latter may become quite realistic if the (British) court rules that those "poor refugees" are not "victims of the bloody regime" but trivial thieves. BTW, such things sometimes happen with Spain, France and other "harbors". But it is also needed that relationships between the two countries (here, UK and Russia) were at least neutral. And this is the area where they could play some game and benefit a lot if the tension zooms and any cooperation on the governmental level would become impossible.With this regard selection of a former spy (who they are not linked to at all, and this would pose difficulties to investigators) and such a publicly dangerous way of attack looks logical. The immediate reaction would be considering all this as "a revenge from a terrible regime" and, secondly, it would be very loud because chem. weap. is used. And obviously this plan works fine, so far.
Considering such customers/beneficiaries also explains why the attempt was executed so clumsy and unprofessionally. Indeed, though those guys do have a hell of money (and thus can buy such rare and dangerous substances at whatever price), they can't get access to professional "killing machines", either inside Russian or UK special services. But they did not need it. It looks like it did not really matter for the plotters what would happen to S.Skripal, whether he would die or survive. Generating noise and hysteria was the goal and it was achieved. Therefore, hiring any ordinary criminal murderers would be OK. And let them leave lots of traces all around the place.
Hope that Scotland Yard will be able to figure everything out without being politically biased.

All along I've made the point that this most probably wasn't a Russian state-sponsored attack, for some of the reasons you've mentioned. As I understand it, before Putin brought things under some semblance of control, Russia was a bit like the Wild West, where enterprising criminals had made themselves a great deal of money by taking advantage of the chaos after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the consequent lack of any coherent government in Russia. We know that in the mid-1990's security at Shikhany was virtually non-existent, former government employees were not being paid and the general atmosphere was one where powerful criminals could grab what they wanted.

We know that a lot of former Soviet Union made weapons flooded the illegal arms trade in this period, and we know that a fair quantity of nuclear material seemed to just go missing, too, so it seems reasonable to assume that other weapons may also have been taken at the same time, perhaps including a range of chemical agents. We have no way of knowing what may have been taken, as there was a gap between the collapse of the former Soviet Union and Russia agreeing to CWC inspections, and it seems that there were no accurate inventories as to what had once been held, either.

In addition to the idea that ex-pat Russian criminals chose to carry out this attack in this way in order to discredit the present Russian government, I would guess there is also the possibility that they may have done it in order to gain favour, albeit covertly, as a part of a deal to be allowed back to Russia. From what little I know, the Russian government seems to take a pretty hard line with those it sees as criminals who have fled Russia to set up big business empires in places like the UK. Also, from what little I know, most Russians seem to have a very strong attachment to their country and may well be deeply upset at not being allowed to go back there.

The weight of circumstantial evidence that this was an attack carried out by non-governmental criminal individuals, almost certainly Russian, acting for one of a range of personal motives, seems high to me. They may well have mimicked the sort of assassination methods that may have been used by the operatives from Laboratory 1, Laboratory 12 and Kamera of the KGB, and later the laboratories of the SVR that took over assassination by poisoning in 1991.

The difference between former Soviet Union poisonings and more recent attacks that have been linked to Russia, is the level of competence. In general the KGB were very good at what they did. The same cannot be said for attacks made in the past ten years or so - they seem almost amateurish by comparison, and that alone suggest they may not have been undertaken by the Russian state, with it's long experience of these types of assassination methods, but by criminals seeking to copy the old KGB/SVR techniques, but who lack the field experience and training to do the job properly.

Krystal n chips
20th Jul 2018, 07:11
Trouble is the perp in this case probably realised how deadly the container was and just got shot of it as quickly as possible (and out of sight of any passers by ?),chucking it in a river might well have been more difficult to do covertly,and anyway of course the perp probably would not care 2 hoots about 'collateral damage'/innocent victims.

Yes, but surely they would have been made aware of the lethality of the contents prior to dispensing them originally...it would be a bit embarrassing if they had dropped dead so to speak with the jar in their possession and, whilst chucking the bottle into the Avon in the centre of town wouldn't exactly be covert, you don't have to travel very far to be in rural England where the chances of being seen are remote, even more so at night.

B Fraser
20th Jul 2018, 07:13
Why discard the perfume jar on land when there are several convenient rivers in the locality and..... one "plop" and it's gone.

I'm no expert but a trail of dead fish, ducks, swans etc. downstream may have caused a bit of interest. At this point, the container would no longer be clean on the outside. With the equivalent of a grenade in your hand with the pin out, what would you do ? There would be a significant incentive to get rid of it extremely quickly. Don't discount the real possibility that the assailant was in a state of mild panic.

A_Van
20th Jul 2018, 07:19
Trouble is the perp in this case probably realised how deadly the container was and just got shot of it as quickly as possible (and out of sight of any passers by ?),chucking it in a river might well have been more difficult to do covertly,and anyway of course the perp probably would not care 2 hoots about 'collateral damage'/innocent victims.

Fully agree. The murderers were probably just instructed that the substance was very dangerous (as they did not die, neither were hospitalized themselves) and were told "to get rid of it" ASAP without directly mentioning a river or a pond, etc. Thus, they might simply drop it under a bush in a park.

Krystal n chips
20th Jul 2018, 07:24
I'm no expert but a trail of dead fish, ducks, swans etc. downstream may have caused a bit of interest. At this point, the container would no longer be clean on the outside. With the equivalent of a grenade in your hand with the pin out, what would you do ? There would be a significant incentive to get rid of it extremely quickly. Don't discount the real possibility that the assailant was in a state of mild panic.

True, and I had actually considered the criteria you correctly propose, but, and I also accept the valid rationale about "mild panic "....if they had carried the jar for so long prior to dispensing it and, without seemingly any harm to themselves at the time, then a bit of homework prior to the operation would have enabled them to find a suitable location to deposit the bottle. Maybe I shouldn't have specifically said "river " in this respect.

G-CPTN
20th Jul 2018, 07:31
A sample of a nerve agent in a perfume bottle would have had to have been transferred from its original container - a dangerous act requiring sophisticated handling facilities not readily available - not just a simple act of pouring a liquid from a carboy or using a pipette . . .

How would you explain that?

VP959
20th Jul 2018, 07:47
A sample of a nerve agent in a perfume bottle would have had to have been transferred from its original container - a dangerous act requiring sophisticated handling facilities not readily available - not just a simple act of pouring a liquid from a carboy or using a pipette . . .

How would you explain that?

I would suggest that there never was a transfer of agent to the perfume bottle outside a reasonably decent lab facility. Such a facility doesn't need to be that well-equipped - just a fume cabinet with extraction air treatment plus decontamination agents readily to hand, none of which would hard to rig up. Once the agent was in the perfume bottle my guess is that the bottle would have been well sealed, externally decontaminated and probably bagged for additional safety.

Once the bottle had been used to deliver the agent then that's a whole different level of risk. It would almost certainly be externally contaminated with agent, as would the gloves the perpetrators would have had to be wearing - a fingertip smear of this stuff is enough to make someone seriously ill or even die. Getting rid of it quickly would have been imperative, but no criminal is going to want to discard a potential murder weapon anywhere close to the scene of a crime, so would have had to hold on to it until reaching somewhere they could chuck it away. The analogy I'd use is that it would be a bit like carrying a grenade fitted with a long time delay fuse, where the pin's out and the handles released and you have no idea when it's going to kill you, just that it sure as hell is the longer you keep it in your hand.

The river is very public where it's accessible through the park, and there are usually a fair number of people around that area, as well as lots of ducks and swans. However, once you get away from the river there are lots of places where it could be easily discarded without being seen, and probably "lost" amongst the general build up of litter around those areas. I'm not sure if the area is open again yet or not, but if it is I'll try and take a bike ride across it this weekend and take some photos to illustrate what the area is like.

Krystal n chips
20th Jul 2018, 08:03
A sample of a nerve agent in a perfume bottle would have had to have been transferred from its original container - a dangerous act requiring sophisticated handling facilities not readily available - not just a simple act of pouring a liquid from a carboy or using a pipette . . .

How would you explain that?

Erm, it was dispensed at source perhaps ?...saves all the inconvenience of establishing a local lab for the purpose after all.

B Fraser
20th Jul 2018, 08:14
I would guess that the bottle was loaded at source and then sealed for the journey. That seal would have been opened at the point of delivery after which, it would have been extremely dangerous to handle hence ditching it quickly would have been a priority. The neighbours dustbins would have been out of the question for obvious reasons hence the need to find somewhere covert to ditch it with little chance of it being discovered. The location was possibly the best combination of speed and security.

G-CPTN
20th Jul 2018, 09:40
Erm, it was dispensed at source perhaps ?...saves all the inconvenience of establishing a local lab for the purpose after all.
When?

Hasn't the original facility been closed for decades?

A_Van
20th Jul 2018, 09:52
...

In addition to the idea that ex-pat Russian criminals chose to carry out this attack in this way in order to discredit the present Russian government, I would guess there is also the possibility that they may have done it in order to gain favour, albeit covertly, as a part of a deal to be allowed back to Russia.

From what little I know, the Russian government seems to take a pretty hard line with those it sees as criminals who have fled Russia to set up big business empires in places like the UK. Also, from what little I know, most Russians seem to have a very strong attachment to their country and may well be deeply upset at not being allowed to go back there.



You hit the nail in general case. Take e.g., Boris Berezovsky. Before his death, he wrote a letter to Putin with confessions and excuses asking for permission to return to Russia. And he had tons of dirt concerning the Russians in UK, especially those linked to governmental structures. And while Putin and his men were evaluating the Boris' offer, the latter was found dead in his bath. General opinion is that it was because he had good knowledge also on methods of MI-6 and CIA (there were quite some people in his mob linked to those agencies). Therefore, everything was arranged in UK without too much noise. The coroner's quick verdict was "suicide", and that's all. While all who knew B. personally said that he would be the last man to commit that.

However, in the partuclar case of Skripal,it looks unlikely because the "value of his scalp" for Kremlin is zero.




....
The difference between former Soviet Union poisonings and more recent attacks that have been linked to Russia, is the level of competence. In general the KGB were very good at what they did. The same cannot be said for attacks made in the past ten years or so - they seem almost amateurish by comparison, and that alone suggest they may not have been undertaken by the Russian state, with it's long experience of these types of assassination methods, but by criminals seeking to copy the old KGB/SVR techniques, but who lack the field experience and training to do the job properly.

Correct. Can't say better.

VP959
20th Jul 2018, 10:20
When?

Hasn't the original facility been closed for decades?

Not sure of the current status of Shikhany, inspectors haven't been allowed near the place for years, I believe. It doesn't need a complex lab to just dispense some agent from one container to another. A fume cabinet with an air decontamination system is needed (one way is to just rig up an air extraction system that blows the extracted air through a hot furnace - not hard to jury rig). Decontamination agents have to be at hand, but these are simple and easy to obtain; essentially an acid dip followed by an alkali dip followed by washing with water. Some simple lab glassware, plus gloves, masks and protective clothing would be needed (nothing more elaborate than a lab coat and apron, though, if the person knew what they were doing). The process of transferring a quantity of agent from a stock container to the perfume bottle would be one of breaking the seals on the stock container and it's outer safety container (within the fume cabinet), dispensing the agent to the bottle with a pipette, sealing all bottles of agent, putting the pipette inside a bag for later decontamination and sealing it, decontaminating the outside of all containers, and sealing them up inside clean secondary containers for safety. The potentially contaminated material, like the pipette, old outer container, gloves etc would be double bagged and incinerated.

This is the sort of job that could be done by someone that has good lab safety and handling skills in a jury-rigged facility without too much trouble. I have a home-made fume cabinet and enough lab glass ware to do the job, set up in my garage workshop. All I'd need in addition is a furnace to decontaminate the extracted air plus the decontamination chemicals (easy enough to buy from ebay, as would be the lab glassware needed). My guess is that if the perpetrators had access to a quantity of A234 taken from Shikhany, they almost certainly also had access to people with the skills and facilities needed to handle and dispense it safely.

currawong
20th Jul 2018, 10:33
The Russians have repeatedly offered their assistance in the matter.

Now is their big chance.

If faces, names and dates are now known as the UK has claimed, the rest should be relatively simple.

VP959
20th Jul 2018, 10:41
The Russians have repeatedly offered their assistance in the matter.

Now is their big chance.

If faces, names and dates are now known as the UK has claimed, the rest should be relatively simple.

I agree, but I think there is a significant trust issue between our governments that makes this unlikely. There are good reasons for this lack of trust, in that we've seen previous cases where the Russian government has done nothing to help, in fact has actively blocked, previous criminal investigations of murders carried out in the UK, most probably perpetrated by Russian nationals.

Much as I think a lot could be gained by having an international investigation that included members from the Russian government, I very much doubt that it's going to happen in reality.

Pontius Navigator
20th Jul 2018, 10:51
(as they did not die, neither were hospitalized themselves) .
That is an assumption and not a proven fact.

We know that death was not instantaneous.

We were told the assassin left the country.

It is possible that they subsequently died in circumstances that were not, in themselves, suspicious and therefore unreported.

A_Van
20th Jul 2018, 10:52
.....

If faces, names and dates are now known as the UK has claimed, the rest should be relatively simple.


Hmmm, if camera footages show how suspicious people manipulate with the Skripal's door knob dispersing or moisturing something, then it's indeed not difficult to identify them and interrogate "properly".

But if there are any Russians caught on camera in the streets of Salisbury, no matter on what day, it is not an evidence.

currawong
20th Jul 2018, 10:57
Given both states are members of Interpol, faces names and dates known, the profile of the case, I suggest it might be difficult for Russian authorities to shrug their shoulders and deny they know who got off a particular flight on a particular day.

Not without a fairly large loss of face anyway.

VP959
20th Jul 2018, 11:08
Given both states are members of Interpol, faces names and dates known, the profile of the case, I suggest it might be difficult for Russian authorities to shrug their shoulders and deny they know who got off a particular flight on a particular day.

Not without a fairly large loss of face anyway.

It's happened before. Take the murder of Litvinenko as an example. The suspected murderer and his accomplice were identified, as they left a trail of radioactive polonium behind them, and one them even fell ill later, but recovered. Their identities are know, and the main suspect, Andrey Lugovoy, is now a politician, a deputy of the State Duma. There is very little doubt that he was involved in the murder of Litvinenko, and almost certainly the person who administered the polonium to Litvinenko's drink, with a lot of evidence to support that accusation. However, there's no chance whatsoever that he will ever find himself in a British court accused of murdering a British citizen (Litvinenko has claimed asylum here before his murder).

If the perpetrator(s) of the Skripal attack turn out to be Russian citizens, as claimed, I just don't believe that Russia will allow them to be extradited to face charges here of the murder of a British citizen, plus the attempted murder of two other British citizens. Whether they choose to act on the charge of attempted murder in the UK of a Russian citizen (Yulia Skripal) I don't know, but I somehow doubt it.

currawong
20th Jul 2018, 11:28
I remain optimistic, VP959. Surely the Russians will do the right thing...

VP959
20th Jul 2018, 11:49
I remain optimistic, VP959. Surely the Russians will do the right thing...

I'd hope that they would, but a lot will come down to how much evidence the UK government is prepared to give to the Russian government. Bearing in mind that some of that evidence, perhaps the most compelling part of it, reveals a fair bit about our own military capability when it comes to countering chemical agents, I have doubts as to whether we would want to be that open with the Russian government, or, for that matter, many other governments around the world.

One issue is trust and particularly how trusting we may be that information given in confidence would remain so, and not be passed to Russian allies, for example. Knowing our capabilities, and those of the OPCW accredited labs that have also provided confidential evidence, may well be very valuable to a country like Syria, for example, so could we trust the Russian government to not pass on those elements of the evidence?

Despite the ups and downs of the British-American "special relationship", there is an extremely high degree of trust when it comes to handling shared information like this. The same doesn't apply with any other state as far as this particular topic is concerned, AFAIK. That itself creates a potential problem, as revealing our knowledge, in the form of evidence derived from the forensic investigation part of this attack, would probably have to be with some form of consent from the US, given that close working relationship. Whether that would be given or not I have no way of even guessing - who knows how the Putin - Trump thing will play out and what its consequences may be.

TEEEJ
20th Jul 2018, 12:43
....... as if they'd reveal they had broken Russian crypto and a SIGINT base location :)

The main sites in Cyprus were in the public domain from the 1970s after a trial of UK Armed Forces Personnel.

https://web.archive.org/web/20070607034318/http://ukcoldwar.simplenet.com/nuclear/civildefence/abctrial/

https://cryptome.org/2012/01/0060.pdf

The main sites were also in the public domain during the 1980s for another trial of UK Armed Forces Personnel.

http://www.duncancampbell.org/menu/journalism/newstatesman/newstatesman-1985/Lurid%20imaginations%20of%20show%20trial%20prosecutors.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayios_Nikolaos_Station

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Troodos

Following video in Greek but contains English commentary in parts from journalist Duncan Campbell who visits the sites.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOuw5eUcQao

Edward Snowden documents have confirmed the sites in Cyprus.

35. Cyprus hosts a wide range of UK and US intelligence facilities:

36. Comint (Comsat, HF) and Masint collection/SD at Ayios Nikolaos in the Eastern Sovereign Base Area (SBA);

37. Masint transmission currently at Akrotiri, with an unmanned facility also at Cape Gata (both in the Western SBA); and

38. Golf Troop Comint (V/UHF) and Elint/SPACOL/FIS/Proforma collecttion and SD at Troodos, a Retained Site.

From

Cyprus GCHQ (http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2189963-cyprus-gchq.html)

https://snowdenarchive.cjfe.org/greenstone/cgi-bin/library.cgi?site=localhost&a=p&p=about&c=snowden1&l=en&w=utf-8

https://snowdenarchive.cjfe.org/greenstone/cgi-bin/library.cgi

racedo
20th Jul 2018, 17:05
Well as now everybody seems to readily accept that a perfume bottle was the source of the poisoning so therefore the "GEL" theory applied to the door handle of their home starts to unravel very very quickly.

Seems like someone hasn't thought this through very well.

G-CPTN
20th Jul 2018, 17:23
Charlie Rowley leaves hospital. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44906333)

VP959
20th Jul 2018, 17:26
Well as now everybody seems to readily accept that a perfume bottle was the source of the poisoning so therefore the "GEL" theory applied to the door handle of their home starts to unravel very very quickly.

Seems like someone hasn't thought this through very well.

Perhaps best to re-read some of the posts describing this agent, or better still, get hold of the physical properties of it, so you can understand what it's like, physically. The compound in question is Ethyl [(1E)-1-(diethylamino)ethylidene]phosphoramidofluoridate and is openly listed in some literature.

In short, and repeating what's already been said here several times, this particular agent is somewhat like a medium viscosity, rather clear, oil in general appearance, but it is significantly denser. Much like oil, it is persistent, so when spread or smeared on a surface it will tend to remain there as a film. Like oil, it won't readily wash away with water. It has a boiling point of 228.1°C at standard pressure and is about 10% denser than water.

I believe that the attack method was not inherently flawed - as we have seen, direct skin contact with small quantities can kill. I think we need to bear in mind that the attack on the Skripals was on 4th March, when it was still a bit chilly, and it's quite possible that they were wearing gloves and so didn't get immediately contaminated, but may have been contaminated by later intermediate transfer from the outside of gloves. That may also explain why Det Sgt Nick Bailey only seemed to get a lower exposure despite touching their door handle directly. It seems possible that, had the Skripals been wearing gloves, then much of the agent may have been wiped off by them, reducing the residue on the door handle. The agent contaminating the Skripals by secondary contact, from touching the outside of gloves, fits well with the very long delay between their initial exposure, at the time they left the house, to the onset of symptoms in The Maltings. The delay before the onset of symptoms was much greater for the Skripals than it was for either Det Sgt Nick Bailey or Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, by a factor of around double.

Had the attack been planned for a month or two later, when the chances are that the target would not have been wearing gloves, then the outcome may well have been very different and one, or both, of the Skripals may have died.

Lascaille
20th Jul 2018, 17:37
Well as now everybody seems to readily accept that a perfume bottle was the source of the poisoning so therefore the "GEL" theory applied to the door handle of their home starts to unravel very very quickly.

Seems like someone hasn't thought this through very well.

Are you criticising people for not being able to see the future?

flash8
20th Jul 2018, 18:11
Suspect "Charlie" will flog his story to the highest bidder (unless he's already been paid off) so will be interesting to hear what he will say.

currawong
21st Jul 2018, 03:40
VP959 you would be describing the technical? For use it may take on the characteristics of a carrier/diluent. Not sure the operational variant would be pure undiluted technical grade product.

Pontius Navigator
21st Jul 2018, 07:12
Flash, whether he can remember anything or not. Sure to be a good 'un.

ORAC
21st Jul 2018, 07:51
Originally Posted by racedo https://www.pprune.org/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (https://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/606204-sergei-skripal-post10201717.html#post10201717)
Well as now everybody seems to readily accept that a perfume bottle was the source of the poisoning so therefore the "GEL" theory applied to the door handle of their home starts to unravel very very quickly.

I for one presume that a perfume bottle - rather than any other sealed container - was used as a disguise in case of any inspection by airport security. A vial with a skull and crossbones on it, for example, likely to raise suspicions....

G-CPTN
21st Jul 2018, 07:55
I wonder in what sort of a container (and how large) the original batch was/is stored - and why it continues to be kept.

VP959
21st Jul 2018, 09:41
I wonder in what sort of a container (and how large) the original batch was/is stored - and why it continues to be kept.

If I was to hazard a guess, as it was only ever produced as an experimental agent and was never developed into a chemical weapon (probably because it has many of the problems and disadvantages as a weapon that VX has, but is more toxic), then I would say that Shikhany probably only ever produced a relatively small quantity, no more than about 500mls, and most probably less than that, maybe 250mls or so.

It wouldn't be normal practice to retain small samples like this; the general rule is to minimise the amount of really toxic stuff you have to store, unless you have a very good reason for retaining it - it's far safer and easier to just prepare and purify a new sample if you need it than have the hassle of safely and securely storing stuff for later use. If I had to guess, I would say that there may have been a Soviet era instruction from Lab 1, Lab12 or Kamera to retain all the unused novichok programme agents (there are over 100) in case the KGB/SVR had a use for them in their assassination programme. We know that many toxins were tested on prisoners to see how effective they might be as assassination weapons during the Soviet era, it seems possible that some agent was retained for this purpose. It is even possible that this is how some of the A234 left Shikhany; perhaps it was taken to one of the above KGB/SVR facilities for prisoner testing.

We do know from the 1995 inspection that various agents were still stored at several sites, including Shikhany, though the unclassified report doesn't list them.

Heathrow Harry
21st Jul 2018, 10:07
I for one presume that a perfume bottle - rather than any other sealed container - was used as a disguise in case of any inspection by airport security. A vial with a skull and crossbones on it, for example, likely to raise suspicions....

Not if it was the 02:00 from Malaga...............

VP959
21st Jul 2018, 10:25
I for one presume that a perfume bottle - rather than any other sealed container - was used as a disguise in case of any inspection by airport security. A vial with a skull and crossbones on it, for example, likely to raise suspicions....

If I had to guess I'd say they didn't fly in to the UK with it, but brought it in either on the ferry or on Eurostar. There's virtually no airline-type security on either, so the risk of being apprehended would have been pretty close to zero.

racedo
21st Jul 2018, 13:47
I agree, but I think there is a significant trust issue between our governments that makes this unlikely. There are good reasons for this lack of trust, in that we've seen previous cases where the Russian government has done nothing to help, in fact has actively blocked, previous criminal investigations of murders carried out in the UK, most probably perpetrated by Russian nationals.

Much as I think a lot could be gained by having an international investigation that included members from the Russian government, I very much doubt that it's going to happen in reality.

Uk is not exactly known for its help and support of other countrys.................. France complained for a decade of Uk support for Alergians resident in London involved in terrorism in France and Algeria and Uk did nothing including ignoring Extradition warrants.

Russia has sought Russians who have stolen money from Russia but UK gives them asylum because they claim they hate Putin.

Russia has offered to try Russians in a Russian court for crimes comitted abroad but UK FO doesn't want to get involved, perhaps becuase it would they cease to have an excuse to blame.

racedo
21st Jul 2018, 13:49
Perhaps best to re-read some of the posts describing this agent, or better still, get hold of the physical properties of it, so you can understand what it's like, physically. The compound in question is Ethyl [(1E)-1-(diethylamino)ethylidene]phosphoramidofluoridate and is openly listed in some literature.

In short, and repeating what's already been said here several times, this particular agent is somewhat like a medium viscosity, rather clear, oil in general appearance, but it is significantly denser. Much like oil, it is persistent, so when spread or smeared on a surface it will tend to remain there as a film. Like oil, it won't readily wash away with water. It has a boiling point of 228.1°C at standard pressure and is about 10% denser than water.

I believe that the attack method was not inherently flawed - as we have seen, direct skin contact with small quantities can kill. I think we need to bear in mind that the attack on the Skripals was on 4th March, when it was still a bit chilly, and it's quite possible that they were wearing gloves and so didn't get immediately contaminated, but may have been contaminated by later intermediate transfer from the outside of gloves. That may also explain why Det Sgt Nick Bailey only seemed to get a lower exposure despite touching their door handle directly. It seems possible that, had the Skripals been wearing gloves, then much of the agent may have been wiped off by them, reducing the residue on the door handle. The agent contaminating the Skripals by secondary contact, from touching the outside of gloves, fits well with the very long delay between their initial exposure, at the time they left the house, to the onset of symptoms in The Maltings. The delay before the onset of symptoms was much greater for the Skripals than it was for either Det Sgt Nick Bailey or Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, by a factor of around double.

Had the attack been planned for a month or two later, when the chances are that the target would not have been wearing gloves, then the outcome may well have been very different and one, or both, of the Skripals may have died.

So in your opinion is the viscosity as claimed the same as one of a perfume in a perfume dispenser.

racedo
21st Jul 2018, 14:01
It's happened before. Take the murder of Litvinenko as an example. The suspected murderer and his accomplice were identified, as they left a trail of radioactive polonium behind them, and one them even fell ill later, but recovered. Their identities are know, and the main suspect, Andrey Lugovoy, is now a politician, a deputy of the State Duma. There is very little doubt that he was involved in the murder of Litvinenko, and almost certainly the person who administered the polonium to Litvinenko's drink, with a lot of evidence to support that accusation. However, there's no chance whatsoever that he will ever find himself in a British court accused of murdering a British citizen (Litvinenko has claimed asylum here before his murder).

If the perpetrator(s) of the Skripal attack turn out to be Russian citizens, as claimed, I just don't believe that Russia will allow them to be extradited to face charges here of the murder of a British citizen, plus the attempted murder of two other British citizens. Whether they choose to act on the charge of attempted murder in the UK of a Russian citizen (Yulia Skripal) I don't know, but I somehow doubt it.

Russia as I have made the case numerous times does not extradite its citizens, same as many other countries.
Article 61

1. A citizen of the Russian Federation may not be deported from Russia or extradited to another State.

2. The Russian Federation shall guarantee to its citizens protection and patronage abroad.

Russia has indicate a willingness to prosecute Russian citizens for crimes outside of Russia but UK FO refuses to take up that option......................... wonder why ?

VP959
21st Jul 2018, 14:03
So in your opinion is the viscosity as claimed the same as one of a perfume in a perfume dispenser.

No.

Perfume is generally in a light alcohol carrier that is less viscous than water and easy pumped through an atomiser spray. A234 is more like an oil, more viscous and denser than water and unlikely to be able to be easily pumped out of an unmodified perfume bottle spray.

If the perfume bottle had a "dabber" type applicator, like this randomly chosen example:

https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.gmforum.com-vbulletin/570x427/il_570xn_708469529_pkua_64702ccb26a6210978665e65727e3322e10b 0fa4.jpg


Then it would seem relatively easy (and safe) to apply the agent to the door handle using the dabber, dipped into the contents of the bottle. This would seem to me to be the lowest risk way of delivering the agent from a perfume type bottle, but who knows if the attackers took the lowest risk approach or not.

racedo
21st Jul 2018, 14:14
No.

Perfume is generally in a light alcohol carrier that is less viscous than water and easy pumped through an atomiser spray. A234 is more like an oil, more viscous and denser than water and unlikely to be able to be easily pumped out of an unmodified perfume bottle spray.

If the perfume bottle had a "dabber" type applicator, like this randomly chosen example:

https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.gmforum.com-vbulletin/570x427/il_570xn_708469529_pkua_64702ccb26a6210978665e65727e3322e10b 0fa4.jpg


Then it would seem relatively easy (and safe) to apply the agent to the door handle using the dabber, dipped into the contents of the bottle. This would seem to me to be the lowest risk way of delivering the agent from a perfume type bottle, but who knows if the attackers took the lowest risk approach or not.

Thanks

The media reports are that it was a spray bottle of perfume.............................. the info from this continually appears to shift as if someone backstepping a story or as I have said, making it up as they go along.

VP959
21st Jul 2018, 14:32
I'd not trust the media, as they've consistently been shown to have just made stuff up or misreported stuff, perhaps because they are always rushing to get the story out. Nothing I've read that's purported to come from a reliable source says anything other than "a small bottle"; I think even the assumption that it was a perfume bottle hasn't been confirmed by a reliable source, the best we have is that "it was thought to be a perfume bottle". It would seem to make sense if it was a perfume bottle, as it's a good disguise, could be easily sealed (if of the type above then some hot wax around the stopper would seal it up as a one-of-use safety seal) and has a built-in applicator that would be adequate for the task.

annakm
21st Jul 2018, 14:54
It’s very easy to buy pump dispensers for heavier and more viscous liquids like body creams etc. Any high street chemist has them. Ironically, they are are often marketed as ideal for travel and conforming to airport security.

Heathrow Harry, your aside by about Malaga airport amused me. I often pass through there for business/pleasure and regularly note that it appears there merely is a nod to security, although in their defence, maybe more happens behind the scenes.

Andy_S
21st Jul 2018, 15:13
Russia has sought Russians who have stolen money from Russia but UK gives them asylum because they claim they hate Putin.

How much money have Putin and his cronies stolen from Russia?

KelvinD
21st Jul 2018, 15:22
As I said earlier, the reports of the woman having traces on her face as well as the ear and hands would, to me at least, indicate a spray. I have known some strange women in my time but never one that would knowingly daub perfume on her face. Spraying the stuff behind the ear, on the other hand, would possibly result in an overspray, causing some to fall on the face.

KelvinD
21st Jul 2018, 15:32
Nothing I've read that's purported to come from a reliable source says anything other than "a small bottle"
The brother of Mr Rowley told news sources that his brother had told him it came from a perfume bottle. The police then changed their stance from "it was a small bottle" to "Can't confirm or deny".
So, who knows?

whale1776
21st Jul 2018, 15:35
Russia as I have made the case numerous times does not extradite its citizens, same as many other countries.
Article 61

1. A citizen of the Russian Federation may not be deported from Russia or extradited to another State.

2. The Russian Federation shall guarantee to its citizens protection and patronage abroad.

Russia has indicate a willingness to prosecute Russian citizens for crimes outside of Russia but UK FO refuses to take up that option......................... wonder why ?
Because the liklihood of them convicting a Russian citizen on this basis is approximately zero, that's why.

flash8
21st Jul 2018, 15:47
How much money have Putin and his cronies stolen from Russia?

Dunno, but can tell you Capital Flight under Yeltsin was totally unrestricted. Nowadays it is quite difficult to export large sums and corruption itself has diminished greatly in my (albeit limited) experience. Putin has clamped down hugely, including eliminating the infamous Tax Police that once visited a bar I was drinking in and left carrying crates of Vodka as "gifts". When my drunk mate made a sarcastic comment in broken Russian (he was very drunk) they took him outside and kicked his ass good, the bad old days.

Nowadays corruption and capital flight is likely at an all time low, it is almost unheard of now to be relieved of cash by hungry cops (at least in Moscow, elsewhere are laws upon themselves), back in '99 there were nights I was $200 out of pocket being stopped twice in a taxi on the way home.

Doubt this was the Russian state, they have better things to do, doubt it was the UK either I guess, likely some other state actor or freelancers.

A_Van
21st Jul 2018, 16:11
VP959,

Your idea about gloves that provided some protection during the original contact and resulting in residual poisoning which was i) delayed and ii) not lethal really explains the issue. I wonder why there is no offical information on that. It's definitely not confidential and would not make harm to investigation. However, I have some doubts that Russian people would wear gloves when it was +2 C in the morning and +8 C in the afternoon on that day. I start looking for my gloves on the shelf when the temperature drops below -10 C and so do many people in Moscow region...

One more question on the substance. OK, it is crystal clear that hiding it in a perfrum bottle would help pass through customs easily. But, as correctly mentioned above (and similar to what I read in chemical professional publications) the stuff is like a heavy oil and unlikely smells well. If the lady (who unfortunately died) picked up a bottle and tried to spray the liquid, it should not have resulted in spray. OK, she might have gone further and unscrew the tip but, again, it would not smell right and, logically speaking, she would have to garbage it (especially as it was picked up in a street). Would that be enough for a fatal end?

Racedo and flash8: I agree with your comments.

VP959
21st Jul 2018, 16:20
VP959,

Your idea about gloves that provided some protection during the original contact and resulting in residual poisoning which was i) delayed and ii) not lethal really explains the issue. I wonder why there is no offical information on that. It's definitely not confidential and would not make harm to investigation. However, I have some doubts that Russian people would wear gloves when it was +2 C in the morning and +8 C in the afternoon on that day. I start looking for my gloves on the shelf when the temperature drops below -10 C and so do many people in Moscow region...

One more question on the substance. OK, it is crystal clear that hiding it in a perfrum bottle would help pass through customs easily. But, as correctly mentioned above (and similar to what I read in chemical professional publications) the stuff is like a heavy oil and unlikely smells well. If the lady (who unfortunately died) picked up a bottle and tried to spray the liquid, it should not have resulted in spray. OK, she might have gone further and unscrew the tip but, again, it would not smell right and, logically speaking, she would have to garbage it (especially it was picked up in a street). Would that be enough for a fatal end?

Racedo and flash8: I agree with your comments.

Sergei Skripal had been living here in Salisbury a fair time, maybe he was becoming more English! I wear gloves when it's 2 deg C...

The agent is a clear, fairly viscous, fairly dense, liquid with no noticeable odour. There's a possibility that it may have been a used perfume bottle, in which case there may have been some residual perfume odour, perhaps, we really just don't know. The reliable reports are saying that both the most recent victims had high concentrations on their hands, with Dawn Sturgess reportedly having around 10 times the concentration on her hands that the Skripals had. That suggests the bottle was opened, perhaps by her, and that perhaps Charlie Rowley only touched the outside of the bottle. It's all really guess work though, as very little reliable information is being released.

If the attackers came into the UK by sea or Eurostar there would have been virtually no checks on something like this. They could have flown in with it, and if in hold baggage I doubt that it would be given a second glance by any security check. If it was cabin baggage then I suspect there would have been a significant chance that it may have been checked, but whether the agent would have been detected, or the bottle seen as suspicious, I don't know. I think if it were me I'd not have risked flying in with the agent, but would have come in by ferry, as that's a virtually zero risk way of bringing something like this into the UK.

whale1776
21st Jul 2018, 16:52
Dunno, but can tell you Capital Flight under Yeltsin was totally unrestricted. Nowadays it is quite difficult to export large sums and corruption itself has diminished greatly in my (albeit limited) experience. Putin has clamped down hugely, including eliminating the infamous Tax Police that once visited a bar I was drinking in and left carrying crates of Vodka as "gifts". When my drunk mate made a sarcastic comment in broken Russian (he was very drunk) they took him outside and kicked his ass good, the bad old days.

Nowadays corruption and capital flight is likely at an all time low, it is almost unheard of now to be relieved of cash by hungry cops (at least in Moscow, elsewhere are laws upon themselves), back in '99 there were nights I was $200 out of pocket being stopped twice in a taxi on the way home.

Doubt this was the Russian state, they have better things to do, doubt it was the UK either I guess, likely some other state actor or freelancers.

And where do you think all this capital flight has now gone? Straight in Putin's pocket is the answer. As for corruption having disappeared in Russia, you must be on the vodka.

TEEEJ
21st Jul 2018, 17:25
VP959,

Your idea about gloves that provided some protection during the original contact and resulting in residual poisoning which was i) delayed and ii) not lethal really explains the issue. I wonder why there is no offical information on that. It's definitely not confidential and would not make harm to investigation. However, I have some doubts that Russian people would wear gloves when it was +2 C in the morning and +8 C in the afternoon on that day. I start looking for my gloves on the shelf when the temperature drops below -10 C and so do many people in Moscow region...



Perhaps Sergei liked to wear driving gloves? Perhaps kept in his jacket and donned before he left the house?

VP959
21st Jul 2018, 17:34
Perhaps Sergei liked to wear driving gloves? Perhaps kept in his jacket and donned before he left the house?

Fits the evidence - there was a fair bit of agent found on the steering wheel of his car, apparently, and he'd been driving around Salisbury a fair bit, up to the cemetery in the morning and then into the Central Car park at lunchtime. There seems to be a heck of a gap between initial exposure, which was probably around mid-morning, when they drove to the cemetery, and their collapse, which wasn't until after 4pm, after they'd spent the previous 2 1/2 hours in Salisbury, having a drink and then lunch.

VP959
21st Jul 2018, 19:46
Looks like the bottle may well have been found where suspected, discarded in Queen Elizabeth Gardens, Salisbury: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-44911949/police-intensify-salisbury-search-after-novichok-poisoning

The fact that there is a fairly big search going on makes me wonder if they are looking for other contaminated items, like gloves, perhaps. I had wondered why the park was still closed off when I tried to ride across it this morning; this explains it.

flash8
21st Jul 2018, 21:20
As I think VP alluded to (forgive me if I'm wrong) this isn't likely to be state sanctioned but perhaps freelancers. I'd imagine that if it were a state (of unknown origin) they would have spent millions on the operation and that would have included a proper disposal plan. Now that they have identified the suspects there should not really be much delays in revealing their identities to us, after all can't see any reason why they can't.

If this were the Russian state, then identifying them could make it a much more open and shut case in the public's eyes. My fears of course are they are going to wheel out the old 405 line fuzzy B&W 1960's era style footage... in 2018. As I think is pretty obvious the airport security architecture could pick out a blackhead on their noses... what is revealed remains to be seen.

As for corruption having disappeared in Russia, you must be on the vodka.
I feel I must reluctantly address this. I didn't say it has disappeared, it hasn't, but it is a lot less evident. I have been in Moscow (or based out of Moscow) for nearly twenty years (from 20 Dec 1999 16.00hrs to be precise), please clarify your credentials (and reading the Sun doesn't count). Oh yes, I do like Vodka, you must have read my profile.

A_Van
22nd Jul 2018, 12:04
Very much hope the Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury will soon be totally cleaned up and the risk of further poisoning will be next to zero.

Sorry for commenting an off-topic, but I have to say that I agree with flash8 about reduction of corruption in Russia. At all level, BTW. Some 8-10 years ago it was nothing outstanding to pay the road police some cash when they caught one for speeding or crossing a solid line, and then go. Not any more now. The same for business: until 2010-2012 it was not rare when businessed paid governmental contract officers some hidden "fees" (otherwise they could find a way to disqualify a company and give a contact to a "better guy"). Now, hundreds of such clerks rest behind the bars and the new generation is much less "thursty". Moreover, anti-corruption activities sometimes look like over-reaction and bring difficulties to business. It is nearly a common practice that tens of police officers arrive in the morning, take all the documentation and even HDDs out of PCs saying that "your company participated in a project where another subcontractor was found guilty, thus we are checking all other subcos, just in case". Yes, for them it is "just in case", while some sensitives women in finance get heart attack....

Sallyann1234
22nd Jul 2018, 12:14
Isn't this another case of "I'm safe on board, pull up the ladder!"?

After the breakup of the Soviet Union, vast fortunes were made by well-placed individuals grabbing industries and natural resources, and the political power that goes with them.
Now they are firmly in place they don't want the little men to take the same path and steal their share.

racedo
22nd Jul 2018, 12:44
Isn't this another case of "I'm safe on board, pull up the ladder!"?

After the breakup of the Soviet Union, vast fortunes were made by well-placed individuals grabbing industries and natural resources, and the political power that goes with them.
Now they are firmly in place they don't want the little men to take the same path and steal their share.

Not the impression I get, the thieves reside abroad under protection of Western Governments and they now claim they are anti Putin so they can keep their money.

Anything they claim is picked up by western media as "Truth"..................

whale1776
22nd Jul 2018, 12:48
As I think VP alluded to (forgive me if I'm wrong) this isn't likely to be state sanctioned but perhaps freelancers. I'd imagine that if it were a state (of unknown origin) they would have spent millions on the operation and that would have included a proper disposal plan. Now that they have identified the suspects there should not really be much delays in revealing their identities to us, after all can't see any reason why they can't.

If this were the Russian state, then identifying them could make it a much more open and shut case in the public's eyes. My fears of course are they are going to wheel out the old 405 line fuzzy B&W 1960's era style footage... in 2018. As I think is pretty obvious the airport security architecture could pick out a blackhead on their noses... what is revealed remains to be seen.


I feel I must reluctantly address this. I didn't say it has disappeared, it hasn't, but it is a lot less evident. I have been in Moscow (or based out of Moscow) for nearly twenty years (from 20 Dec 1999 16.00hrs to be precise), please clarify your credentials (and reading the Sun doesn't count). Oh yes, I do like Vodka, you must have read my profile.

If you believe that a mission of this magnitude would not be sanctioned by Putin then you have been drinking the kool-aid in your vodka for 20 years. As to my credentials, I have a number of Russian friends who would completely disagree with you (in fact, since they have read much of what you have written in this thread, vehemently disagree with you). But they are not Putin apologists like you and many others here so obviously you will dismiss them.

Pontius Navigator
22nd Jul 2018, 13:48
Surprised no mention of today's revelations in the Sunday Telegraph. Apparently the
Police are keeping Charlie in protective custody to avoid his story becoming embellished. However his brother, who has yet to see him, says the Dawn dabbed the perfume on both wrists, rubbed them together and then sniffed fhem, as you do. Charlie meanwhile handled the bottle which broke while he was handling it which is how he became contaminated.

Remember, the police took the bottle away when they searched his house.

So, broken or not? Not a very strong bottle of he broke it in his hands. Getting it on your hands from a broken bottle suggests heavier contamination than second hand or a dribble would give.

VP959
22nd Jul 2018, 14:04
I can see why the police would want to control any info that Charlie Rowley released to the media - my guess is that he would be looking for as much money as he could get for a story, and as a consequence may well embellish it, which might then cast doubt on the truth if it ever get's to court (which I doubt).

From what we've heard from reasonably reliable sources, Dawn Sturgess received a much greater dose than the Skripals, so that fits with her dabbing it on her wrists. The skin on the wrists is also thin and in close proximity to blood vessels, so the chances are she'd have received a significantly larger overall body dose in a relatively short period of time.

The "broken bottle" story doesn't add up, unless it was just part of the stopper that was broken, not a part that impacted on the seal. Charlie Rowley only seems to have received a relatively small dose, as he recovered very quickly, much quicker than either of the Skripals. That suggests he just picked up trace contamination from the outside of the bottle to me.

racedo
22nd Jul 2018, 14:54
If you believe that a mission of this magnitude would not be sanctioned by Putin then you have been drinking the kool-aid in your vodka for 20 years. As to my credentials, I have a number of Russian friends who would completely disagree with you (in fact, since they have read much of what you have written in this thread, vehemently disagree with you). But they are not Putin apologists like you and many others here so obviously you will dismiss them.

So ZERO then as expected.
What a surpise NOT.

Sallyann1234
22nd Jul 2018, 15:03
Not the impression I get, the thieves reside abroad under protection of Western Governments and they now claim they are anti Putin so they can keep their money.
Yes, a few of them have fallen out with the ruling clique and got out of Russia. But that hasn't broken the oligarchy by any means.

TEEEJ
22nd Jul 2018, 15:03
I can see why the police would want to control any info that Charlie Rowley released to the media - my guess is that he would be looking for as much money as he could get for a story, and as a consequence may well embellish it, which might then cast doubt on the truth if it ever get's to court (which I doubt).

Interesting to see if Russia Today dangle the biggest purse?

flash8
22nd Jul 2018, 15:18
Controlling Charlie doesn't give me a favourable impression, it implies yet again the narrative must be kept on track.

TEEEJ
22nd Jul 2018, 16:05
Controlling Charlie doesn't give me a favourable impression, it implies yet again the narrative must be kept on track.

The poor guy is no doubt in a vulnerable state. Goodness only knows what correspondence and offers he has received via his mailing address? (No doubt held by the mail service and eventually passed on to him). That will also include mail that the hospital has received on his behalf or that will no doubt have been received by his family and friends for passing on to him. All it takes is for some of these die-hard conspiracy theorists to get to him and before you know it he is on Russia Today being interviewed by the likes of George Galloway or some other useful idiot. Russia Today has enough of these conspiracy nut jobs on speed dial and no doubt they have been busy sending mail to him trying to entice him onto Russia Today.

VP959
22nd Jul 2018, 16:58
My guess is that his story is worth a fair bit of money, not just the immediate news value, but there must be people looking at writing books, film scripts, documentaries etc on this story. From what I can gather, those who recover from being poisoned by agents of this type often have lasting physical and psychological damage, plus, in this chap's case, he's dealing with the death of his partner and possibly some guilt if it was he who picked up the bottle, as has been suggested. I'd imagine that vulnerable would be a good description of the state he's in right now, and I doubt talking to the media would be at all positive for him, given the way the media tend to twist things. I can easily see one of the tabloid rags who didn't manage to get an exclusive from him trying to make a story out of his guilt at having picked the bottle up that ultimately killed his partner; it's just the kind of thing the gutter press might do.

Sallyann1234
22nd Jul 2018, 17:48
Controlling Charlie doesn't give me a favourable impression, it implies yet again the narrative must be kept on track.
I don't suppose that those looking after Charlie will be too concerned with your impressions. We can see yet again however that your own narrative is being kept on track.

Pontius Navigator
22nd Jul 2018, 18:30
It is quite possible that he remembers little if anything. It follows therefore that leading questions could form false memory of the event. A similar issue is said to occur with some psychologists delving into a person's early memories.
​​​​
I see from DT today 23/7 that he is in a safe house, as before, and his brother has only been permitted phone contact. The brother said Charlie had difficulty string a sentence together and seem very vague. That would certainly suggest he would be vulnerable to leading questions so controlling how he is question is vital to avoid false memory.

flash8
22nd Jul 2018, 18:31
We can see yet again however that your own narrative is being kept on track.
I hope so, my narrative is wanting to the truth, nothing more, nothing less, either way. If the Russians were responsible they should pay some sort of penalty, and if they weren't perhaps an apology at the very least for the abhorrent way they have been denigrated by buffoons in the UK government.

To me, having dug the ditch the UK government has little wiggle room to escape, they have backed themselves into a corner. Notice how Sajid Javid stated he wasn't going to "jump to any conclusions regarding the new poisonings", reading between-the-lines in this instance is definitely enlightening as I suspect a shift in policy, whether because of the realisation of US/Russia closer relations (with the UK the odd one out) or because they realize they were wrong.. or a mixture of the two, or who knows.

The current UK government incumbents are a running joke (even within the UK), credibility isn't exactly their forte.

Lascaille
23rd Jul 2018, 13:58
Russia has indicate a willingness to prosecute Russian citizens for crimes outside of Russia but UK FO refuses to take up that option......................... wonder why ?

I strongly support their non-extradition policy. Foreign suspects extradited to the UK would probably agree they have more to fear from airsickness than injustice. I wonder how many UK suspects extradited to Liberia - the UK has a 'bilateral' extradition treaty with Liberia - would agree the same.

But your question is too simple. If the Russian state wishes to prosecute Russian actors for things they did outside of Russia they can start anytime. If they want justice let them investigate.

But prosecuting in Russia under Russian law based off the UK police's investigation results and having the FO sign it off cannot ever occur, of course, the concept makes no sense. How would relevant witnesses be compelled to appear? If Russian law said suspects had to be charged within 24 hours and UK law allowed 48 hours, would a statement taken after 30 hours be admissible? What about approved forensic procedures, approved laboratories? If the verdict was not guilty would double jeopardy apply? You just cannot take a body of evidence which was collected under the rules of one legal system and supports a prosecution under that same legal system and use it in another. It would never be justice. It is also not done, ever. Justice is always sovereign. So have the intelligence not to refer to it as an option. It would take ten years to codify the laws into any sort of implementation.

Pontius Navigator
23rd Jul 2018, 14:45
Lascaille, your argument is persuasive yet falls at the first fence.

You state that a citizen of State A cannot be persecuted for an offence in State B where the evidence is gathered according to the procedures in State B.

We know that British citizens are persecuted in UK for sex crimes committed in other States.

KelvinD
23rd Jul 2018, 15:12
And British criminals accused of offences in the US seem to go through a one-way valve. I don't remember numbers now but I seem to remember that US citizens accused of crimes in the UK are seldom, if ever, extradited to the UK but UK citizens are extradited to the US.

Lascaille
23rd Jul 2018, 16:11
Lascaille, your argument is persuasive yet falls at the first fence.

You state that a citizen of State A cannot be persecuted for an offence in State B where the evidence is gathered according to the procedures in State B.

We know that British citizens are persecuted in UK for sex crimes committed in other States.

And are they tried based on a docket of evidence that the British police were just handed? Or did the British police conduct their own investigation in partnership with the foreign force and arrange for the victims/witnesses to testify in British courts? I mean, I looked and I found about six named cases with three confessing after being caught for other stuff and the other articles mentioning 'joint operations' - one in Kenya, one in Cambodia, one in Thailand. In the Kenya case the victims testified here. The others confessed. I've seen articles which say 'British police flew out to take statements...'

So from my perspective your argument isn't addressing the "where the evidence is gathered according to the procedures in State B" part of my argument.

Pontius Navigator
23rd Jul 2018, 21:14
In absolute terms you are correct but it is not impossible that it could happen.

Lascaille
24th Jul 2018, 00:06
In absolute terms you are correct but it is not impossible that it could happen.

Dude you don't want to be on your side of the argument. It's not even a serious position. It's just a first-tier talking point for true believers to repeat as 'proof' that Russia 'wants justice' and that the UK has 'something to hide.'

atakacs
24th Jul 2018, 07:42
I don't suppose that those looking after Charlie will be too concerned with your impressions. We can see yet again however that your own narrative is being kept on track.
Yet as far as we know he is a free citizen. I guess some "coaching" is in order but if he wants to sell his story to the tabloids it is very much his prerogative.
As for the Skripals they have been efficiency disappeared...

Sallyann1234
24th Jul 2018, 08:28
Yet as far as we know he is a free citizen. I guess some "coaching" is in order but if he wants to sell his story to the tabloids it is very much his prerogative.
As for the Skripals they have been efficiency disappeared...
For which I expect they are suitably relieved.
They tried living openly - how did that work out for them? Litvinenko lived openly too - how did it go for him?
If I and my next of kin had narrowly escaped being murdered by foreign agents and suffered ongoing physiological damage, I'd want us to be "efficiently disappeared" too.

pulse1
24th Jul 2018, 09:33
My son's "in laws" have lived next door to an ex KGB man for years. He "efficiently disappeared" as soon as the Skripals were poisoned. He is happily back home now and apparently claims that he is from a different KGB era and is probably quite safe.

atakacs
24th Jul 2018, 11:42
For which I expect they are suitably relieved.
They tried living openly - how did that work out for them? Litvinenko lived openly too - how did it go for him?
If I and my next of kin had narrowly escaped being murdered by foreign agents and suffered ongoing physiological damage, I'd want us to be "efficiently disappeared" too.
An obvious different interpretation would be that they are kept off the radar against their will as of avoiding anything outside the official narrative.
I have obviously no idea one way or the other but the UK government has certainly showed too much enthusiasm to blindly charge in this utterly bizarre story to be above any suspicion.

Sallyann1234
24th Jul 2018, 12:01
An obvious different interpretation would be that they are kept off the radar against their will as of avoiding anything outside the official narrative.
I have obviously no idea one way or the other but the UK government has certainly showed too much enthusiasm to blindly charge in this utterly bizarre story to be above any suspicion.
There are several different interpretations, depending upon your point of view and prejudices.
But the people most closely involved will have very powerful personal motives to stay out of view.

VP959
24th Jul 2018, 13:22
There are several different interpretations, depending upon your point of view and prejudices.
But the people most closely involved will have very powerful personal motives to stay out of view.

If I were in their position I think I'd be demanding the highest level of security and protection the UK can offer, given the known threat they face. They will know better than anyone else who may well be behind the attack on them, and know how ruthless and determined those attackers can be, so to just ignore the threat and request that they just be left alone to live openly here in the UK would be like signing their own death warrant, I'm sure.

I wouldn't mind betting that the attackers are royally pissed off that they failed to kill them, and are probably not only angry, but have also lost face with their friends and colleagues for having botched the job. The probability that they will try and have another go and do the job properly has to be very high, I'd have thought.

atakacs
24th Jul 2018, 13:45
IThe probability that they will try and have another go and do the job properly has to be very high, I'd have thought.
Assuming, obviously, they are not hosted by the perpetrators...
Quite honestly apart for former colleagues having (possibly gravelly) suffered from the Skripal's treason I really don't see any reasonable scenario for someone comming after him now. And the utterly bizzare method (30 years old not really fit for purpose chemical compound if we are to believe you, and I happen to do so) makes the whole thing baffling, to the point that I would consider many scenarios otherwise strongly categoriesed as outlandish.

flash8
24th Jul 2018, 13:53
See Charlie has already flogged his story to the Sun.... that bastion of journalistic integrity and accuracy.

Not that he could add much...

Still, if he is to be believed, whoever committed this alleged atrocity must rank in the amateur leagues, which certainly dispels any Russian state connection, they may be nasty and evil in many peoples eyes, but competency cannot be disputed.

I am still intrigued over these so called suspects, whom obviously passing through an airport (as has been alleged by government sources), have high resolution images captured, I would have thought if they were on the Aeroflot to Moscow the UK Government would be bandying around their images as trophies... instead... nothing.

VP959
24th Jul 2018, 14:01
Assuming, obviously, they are not hosted by the perpetrators...
Quite honestly apart for former colleagues having (possibly gravelly) suffered from the Skripal's treason I really don't see any reasonable scenario for someone comming after him now. And the utterly bizzare method (30 years old not really fit for purpose chemical compound if we are to believe you, and I happen to do so) makes the whole thing baffling, to the point that I would consider many scenarios otherwise strongly categoriesed as outlandish.


The flaw in your theory is that the UK doesn't hold a sample of A234 that was manufactured at Shikhany in the 1980's, AFAIK.

It's not normal practice to hold samples of agents as toxic as this, so for your theory that the attack was a UK operation implies that UK operatives have somehow managed to gain access to A234 from Russia, bring it to the UK, carry out an attack that failed to kill the target(s), nearly killed a police officer, caused a great deal of political fallout (none of it positive as far as the UK's diplomatic position is concerned), then discard the container in a public park, where it was then picked up and poisoned two innocent people, killing one of them.

Frankly that sounds significantly less plausible than a group of pissed off Russian criminals, perhaps former colleagues of Sergei Skripal, using some Shikhany-manufactured agent they already held (possibly from the activities of the old KGB/SVR Lab 1, Lab 12 or Kamera programmes), coming over to Salisbury, dispensing A234 on Sergei Skripal's door handle, then making a getaway across town and through the park, where they discarded the bottle they used.

atakacs
24th Jul 2018, 15:06
Frankly that sounds significantly less plausible than a group of pissed off Russian criminals, perhaps former colleagues of Sergei Skripal, using some Shikhany-manufactured agent they already held (possibly from the activities of the old KGB/SVR Lab 1, Lab 12 or Kamera programmes), coming over to Salisbury, dispensing A234 on Sergei Skripal's door handle, then making a getaway across town and through the park, where they discarded the bottle they used.
Agreed

It still makes for quite a bizarre story.

In my opinion we are all missing a piece of the puzzle.

flash8
24th Jul 2018, 15:57
using some Shikhany-manufactured agent they already held (possibly from the activities of the old KGB/SVR Lab 1, Lab 12 or Kamera programmes),

As I once mentioned VP, I used to work for the DTRA on Task Order 10, the BWPP (Bioweapons Proliferation Prevention) Program, under (the sadly no longer with us) Roger Breeze, for three years, and this took me across the former Soviet Union working on PACS (Pathogen Asset Control System) and its infrastructure.

Most of the ex-Soviet labs had minimal security, and in fact, were falling apart, if they contained anything of value I'd expect it could be nicked without any real effort and a few bribes. The Scientists were on $100 a month or so, a little more than our daily USG in-country per-diem rate.

As for the Russians, I did uniquely have a demonstration of their version of PACS in Moscow by some Russian Army Officers, whilst they shielded a lot of the screen from us (with cardboard!) it looked an extremely sophisticated piece of software, certainly my Russian colleagues were duly impressed. They seemed to be on the ball, but who knows.

A_Van
24th Jul 2018, 16:42
flash8,

Since you are familiar with "all this chemistry" (I am a retired military aviator and is rather a dumb in this science) can you please clarify the following:

1. It is said that A-23х family of agents was produced not in Shikhany only, but in some other labs across the former USSR, thus some "new states" could also neglect the security (not Russia only). E.g., here it is written about Nukus in Uzbekistan, which was finally cleaned up by the US (inclduing taking out all equipment and materials):

Craig Murray: The Holes in the Official Skripal Story - TruePublica (http://truepublica.org.uk/united-kingdom/craig-murray-the-holes-in-the-official-skripal-story/)

https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9D%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B8%D1%87%D0%BE%D0%BA_(%D0%BE%D1%82%D1% 80%D0%B0%D0%B2%D0%BB%D1%8F%D1%8E%D1%89%D0%B8%D0%B5_%D0%B2%D0 %B5%D1%89%D0%B5%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B2%D0%B0)

Can you comment that? What is your feeling?

2. It was said that since the formula is well-known, many labs across the globe could synthsize that agent. The countries "played" with these agents included Czeck rep, Germany, Sweden.... (not to say about US who definitely had it). Is it really possible to discriminate and identify the "manufacturer"? Common sense prompts that even if it is possible, the "checker" should have all the smaples to compare the testing one with "every bottle on the shelf". But then it means that the checker himself has the agent in his possession and could be a source of leakage....

3. Though I read several tiimes on this forum that the agent used in the Skripals case was linked to a Russian lab, I could not find any official document (preferably of OPCW, though IMHO it is not the ultimate source of truth) saying that clearly. Moreover, to my knowledge, both Porton Down in UK, and the OPCW lab involved (was it in Switzerlend?) said that they could not define the origin.
Do you have any latest trustworthy URLs with recent information on this matter?

Thanks in advance.

flash8
24th Jul 2018, 16:54
Since you are familiar with "all this chemistry"
Alas not, like you I am a "retired flyer" (albeit early) who worked for the DTRA in a technical capacity (that is deploying software), my chemistry barely scrapes 'O' level, VP is most certainly your man, all I can do is tell you of my experiences of the labs, their security and a little bit about the software.

Do have plenty of experience of both the NCDC (equivalent) in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and regional labs (such as Samarkand), and can say security was at the bottom of the agenda. Literally you could walk in off the street (and I have done!). The lab areas were a bit more secure, that is if you call keycodes secure...

At the time (late 00's) security wasn't really on the agenda surprisingly. I have seen grand schemes for new labs, but security wasn't really mentioned, they were more concerned with facilities and stuff like new IT equipment (never mind that the generators regularly ran out of fuel for power but that is another story).

Edited to say: Things have probably changed since then!

Mac the Knife
24th Jul 2018, 17:13
Why? A deliberately oddly botched "operation" to create FUD and distract from the upcoming Russian engineered Brexit and subsequent chaos - doing so by creating a spoof scenario so improbable that HMG and the press don't know what to think, let alone what to do.

To quote from another forum:

1. Putin intends to reach his strategic objectives and he uses various modes of "warfare" to achieve this - Military, technological, information, diplomatic, economic, cultural, criminal, and other tools which are all controlled by the state and deployed toward one set of strategic objectives.
2. Ukraine, Syria, Crimea are already in play, the Baltics and Middle East are being conditioned for action.
3. His success requires extensive use of information warfare, where the goal is not about creating an alternate truth, but eroding our ability to distinguish truth at all.
4. Intelligence preparation of the "battlefield" includes reducing the cohesion of the EU (Brexit and the rise of Nationalist powers), destabilizing NATO (internal dissent and break down of long standing commitments), and economic dependence on Russian utilities.
5. To have any chance of success, Putin requires the complicity of a western leader so naive, ignorant or corrupt (or all three) that they would not immediately discern the underlying intent of Putin's actions was for global destabilization, but instead think it was all about their "charismatic" leadership.
6. To launch that complicity, the obvious action was to secure an improbable election victory through information warfare.
7. To keep his agent in play, he then uses the fact that the election victory was a consequence of Putin's warfare as leverage against the recipient of that corrupt act (no pee tape or mountain of debt, just an election victory as a blackmail tool).

Mac

flash8
24th Jul 2018, 17:31
Why? A deliberately oddly botched "operation" to create FUD and distract from the upcoming Russian engineered Brexit and subsequent chaos - doing so by creating a spoof scenario so improbable that HMG and the press don't know what to think, let alone what to do.

I think you are right (except the Russian part that may or may not be true), I believe 100%, that whoever committed this act did so opportunistically based upon the chaotic state of the UK currently, also I believe Skripal was chosen perhaps because of his location (and not just because the guy is a traitor to his country) to sow more confusion. The subsequent poisonings could be seen as a (possibly) unexpected "bonus", even that could have been engineered for maximum benefit by placing the bottle where it could possibly be seen.

In other words the operation was engineered for impact on the UK, with the Skripals being mere pawns in the game.

atakacs
24th Jul 2018, 18:01
Though I read several tiimes on this forum that the agent used in the Skripals case was linked to a Russian lab, I could not find any official document (preferably of OPCW, though IMHO it is not the ultimate source of truth) saying that clearly. Moreover, to my knowledge, both Porton Down in UK, and the OPCW lab involved (was it in Switzerlend?) said that they could not define the origin.
Do you have any latest trustworthy URLs with recent information on this matter?
It gets better. According to VP959, who seems to know quite a bit about these compounds, it has been matched to a specific batch produced about 30 years ago.
Let me reiterate: apparently the authorities have a good confidence that the agent used to poison the Skripals was produced in a specific lab (then Soviet, now Uzbek) at a specific point in time 30 years ago.
Quite the story...
Now assuming this is true (and at this stage I'd be inclined to give credibility to VP959) it gives us quite a mystery as of what happened to this batch since then and how it ended poisoning the Skripals.

VP959
24th Jul 2018, 18:15
It gets better. According to VP959, who seems to know quite a bit about these compounds, it has been matched to a specific batch produced about 30 years ago.
Let me reiterate: apparently the authorities have a good confidence that the agent used to poison the Skripals was produced in a specific lab (then Soviet, now Uzbek) at a specific point in time 30 years ago.
Quite the story...
Now assuming this is true (and at this stage I'd be inclined to give credibility to VP959) it gives us quite a mystery as of what happened to this batch since then and how it ended poisoning the Skripals.

Just a quick correction, Shikhany isn't the test facility that was in what is now Uzbekistan, Shikhany was the development and synthesis facility that is still in Russia, in the closed town of Saratov Oblast. The Shikhany facility wasn't very well secured after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and unlike the Uzbek test facility (that was decontaminated by an international team) we don't know much about it other than what is in the inspection report from 1995.

It's speculation, but as mentioned before, there were people grabbing what they could to sell or make money when the Soviet Union collapsed, and it doesn't seem beyond the bounds of possibility that a criminal, or criminal gang, took chemical agents from Shikhany.

There seems to be very clear evidence from several independent OPCW accredited labs that the samples they took of the agent used in the SAlisbury attack was from a specific batch made in Shikhany. It's seems possible that we even know the identity of the chemist who produced and purified it, but that's as far as its development went. It wasn't a useful chemical weapon, for several good reasons (similar to those that mean that VX is not a good chemical weapon) was never given a novichok number and was never weaponised AFAIK. It's highly likely that Shikhany only ever made this one batch of the ethyl form of A232, as they seem to have been more focussed on four or five other agents that had more potential as weapons.

Mac the Knife
24th Jul 2018, 20:27
"In other words the operation was engineered for impact on the UK, with the Skripals being mere pawns in the game."

Yes, precisely. Although it could have been any Russian exile/refugee, Skripal lived conveniently close to Porton - quite enough to create an excellent "false-flag" confusion.

Putin is quite determined to recreate a powerful and dominant Russia out of the humiliating ashes of the USSR. His chief weapons are social media and the billions of "dirty" oligarch cash needing laundry by worldwide "money-washers" whose profits carry the intangible watermarks of "kompromat" potential.

He has polarised USA politics to an unprecedented extent, strengthened the Military/Industrial complex that Eisenhower warned of, created the bogeyman of the "Deep State" and given it all the FUD of the Illuminati, while fatally weakening the Republican Party who yet feel bound to him. The lethargic and chronically self-righteous Democrats never succeeded in establishing a rapport with the common man, fielded a competent yet overweening candidate whose casual and overconfident campaign was set up for a fall. The damage to America is unprecedented and whether it will ever return to the politics of consensus and cooperation is impossible to say.

A disparate NATO, whose troubles have been complicated by the EU's woes, and whose very raison d'être has seemed in doubt after the fall of the USSR, is in danger of fracture, fuelled not least by DJT's provocative remarks on the inequality of its members funding. The Fulda Gap is still there; and as witnessed by the annexation of the Crimea, Russia and it's restructured and modernised army have the will and capability to reoccupy several of it's ex-satellites if it judges necessary. NATO would be brushed aside.

The EU and Britain, while imperfect, will be seriously injured by any Brexit. This can be regarded as a triumph of Russian manipulation of Middle-Eastern and African conflicts to encourage emigration while stirring the European pot with covert support of Muslim extremists, right-wing parties and far-left fellow-travellers. The US/UK "special relationship" is long dead and an isolated Britain can forget about any US assistance.

Yes guys and gals, while you have all been fretting over your Facebook feeds and twittering about trivia, an intelligent, powerful and ruthless ruler has been hard at work. Mate in 5 moves I reckon.

Mac

flash8
24th Jul 2018, 21:02
"Charlie" has stated the perfume container was found boxed, aside that the box surprisingly survived the elements for so long, it does lead one to think perhaps this was actually a deliberate hands-off attempt to further muddy the waters by hoping somebody would pick it up. How it wasn't found earlier by half the police force is also curious.

Again, that they have clearly identified four suspects (three men, one woman) including (hi-res) airport footage makes me wonder why they aren't releasing these images into the public domain. They can't have their cake and eat it. If they now have proof we should be shown it.

racedo
24th Jul 2018, 21:06
"Charlie" has stated the perfume container was found boxed, aside that the box surprisingly survived the elements for so long, it does lead one to think perhaps this was actually a deliberate hands-off attempt to further muddy the waters by hoping somebody would pick it up. How it wasn't found earlier by half the police force is also curious.
.

Carboard won't keep its shape that long and there has been considerable bad weather since March.
Amazing how someone would think to wholly repackage something and leave it there.

Nige321
24th Jul 2018, 21:33
"Charlie" has stated the perfume container was found boxed, aside that the box surprisingly survived the elements for so long, it does lead one to think perhaps this was actually a deliberate hands-off attempt to further muddy the waters by hoping somebody would pick it up. How it wasn't found earlier by half the police force is also curious.

Again, that they have clearly identified four suspects (three men, one woman) including (hi-res) airport footage makes me wonder why they aren't releasing these images into the public domain. They can't have their cake and eat it. If they now have proof we should be shown it.

Really?
This is a huge murder investigation, not Rumpole of the bl00dy Bailey...

KelvinD
24th Jul 2018, 22:25
Come on Nige. Never watched Crimewatch or the likes of that? When police they have identified potential criminals, they shows their photos on the TV. They also are quite happy to show clips of offenders caught on CCTV. I am guessing they are keeping their powder dry for now and will no doubt release images when they feel the time is right.
Meanwhile, going back to the original case, following the UK government's almost hysterical outburst, accusing the Russian government of being responsible for the whole thing, isn't it about time they came up with and made public some sort of proof? I understand the OPCW analysis was released to the UK government in confidence. Why? Where would the harm be of the report was to say something along the lines of "We analysed the Salisbury samples and compared them to samples held elsewhere and found they definitely did/did not come from the same batch". In the event the report confirmed a positive (did come from the same batch), that would be another string to the government's bow and they would waste no time crowing "We told you so!" If, on the other hand, the report found in the negative, that would make the UK government look pretty foolish. Best perhaps to keep quiet and hope the stupid British public will grow tired and forget all about it.

NutLoose
24th Jul 2018, 23:40
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44947162

The man who found the bottle of the nerve agent Novichok which killed his partner said it was in a glass bottle within an "expensive-looking" box.Charlie Rowley, who was also poisoned, said he gave his partner Dawn Sturgess the box - which he believed to be perfume - as a present.Speaking to ITV News, (http://www.itv.com/news/2018-07-24/charlie-rowley-novichok-amesbury/) he said Ms Sturgess grew ill within 15 minutes of spraying the substance on her hands.

Ms Sturgess, 44, died a week later (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44760875) on 8 July in Salisbury Hospital.

Mr Rowley was discharged from the same hospital on Friday, 20 July, three weeks after being exposed to the nerve agent.

Amesbury poisoning: What we know so far (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44721558)
Police 'identify Novichok suspects' (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44883803)
Russian spy: What happened to the Skripals? (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43643025)

The 45-year-old believes he had the glass bottle at his home for a couple of days before giving it to his partner.

He described the bottle as having a plastic dispenser which was held in a cardboard box with a plastic moulding.

He said it looked expensive and that Ms Sturgess recognised the brand on the box.

In an interview with ITV News, he said: "I do have a memory of her spraying it on her wrists and rubbing them together."I guess that's how she applied it and became ill. I guess how I got in contact with it is when I put the spray part to the bottle... I ended tipping some on my hands, but I washed it off under the tap.

flash8
25th Jul 2018, 00:00
disguised as a legitimate perfume in a sealed box.
Now that is very interesting. Sealed no less apparently. Puts quite a new slant on this latest development.

Lantern10
25th Jul 2018, 00:03
Crowley told ITV (http://www.itv.com/news/2018-07-24/charlie-rowley-novichok-amesbury/) he had found the bottle boxed and wrapped in cellophane, which made him think it was "quite safe".

https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/it-s-very-careless-of-them-novichok-victim-on-finding-poison-bottle-20180725-p4ztew.html

VP959
25th Jul 2018, 06:57
Just how reliable are any of these media stories?

Personally I don't think we can read much into them beyond the basics. Remember this agent doesn't just interfere with the synapses between neurons that control muscles, it also screws up synapses in the brain, and so casts doubt on the reliability of what anyone might remember, especially from the time around the attack, when there is a reasonable chance that temporary memory hadn't yet been processed into permanent memory. Add in the impact of the trauma, guilt and grief that Charlie Rowley must be suffering and I doubt that anyone can refer to his memories as being accurate or reliable.

VP959
25th Jul 2018, 07:07
"Charlie" has stated the perfume container was found boxed, aside that the box surprisingly survived the elements for so long, it does lead one to think perhaps this was actually a deliberate hands-off attempt to further muddy the waters by hoping somebody would pick it up. How it wasn't found earlier by half the police force is also curious.

Again, that they have clearly identified four suspects (three men, one woman) including (hi-res) airport footage makes me wonder why they aren't releasing these images into the public domain. They can't have their cake and eat it. If they now have proof we should be shown it.

First off, the location where I suspect he found the bottle has lots of relatively sheltered locations, a lot of which have a significant litter build up, as the council have cut the litter clearance budget a lot in recent years (as I'm sure visitors to Salisbury will have noticed).

Secondly, most high-end perfume boxes are either plastic, or plastic coated cardboard of some kind - it's how they get the nice shiny finish and logo. I would guess that such a container may well withstand modest exposure to bad weather, especially as we've not exactly had loads of bad weather here since early March, anyway (I know, because I planted a load of trees in February and have had to water the things every day since - there haven't been many days where there's been enough rain to water them)

The reason it wasn't found earlier was because no one searched across Elizabeth Gardens. I know that for a fact as I ride across the path to Harnam most weekends and there was no police or search activity that far South of the city. All the search activity focussed on the area from where the Skripals collapsed, near the city centre, around places they had visited on foot close to where they parked in the Central Car Park and North to their home. It seems they had no reason to look at areas to the South of the city.

G-CPTN
25th Jul 2018, 07:30
Given the timing of events, I would expect that any packaging surrounding the bottle would be found within the dwelling where the so-called perfume was applied - supporting or contradicting any claims from the victim.

fitliker
25th Jul 2018, 07:50
Did the glass perfume bottle match the original perfume makers bottles , or was the poison perfume bottle sourced from the counterfeiting industry bottle supplier ?

stagger
25th Jul 2018, 07:57
Just how reliable are any of these media stories?

Personally I don't think we can read much into them beyond the basics. Remember this agent doesn't just interfere with the synapses between neurons that control muscles, it also screws up synapses in the brain, and so casts doubt on the reliability of what anyone might remember, especially from the time around the attack, when there is a reasonable chance that temporary memory hadn't yet been processed into permanent memory.

I know very little about Novichok agents - but the brain is something I do know about - so it is worth noting the following...

- If, as is widely reported, Novichok agents are acetylcholinesterase inhibitors - then their mechanism of action involves preventing the breakdown of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
- Most importantly, this will affect neuromuscular junctions in the peripheral nervous system (causing muscle contractions).
- The formation of long-term episodic memories (memories for events) depends critically on a different neurotransmitter system - the glutamate system (glutamate is the most important excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain).
- While acetylcholine does have some roles in the brain, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (albeit far less potent ones) have been shown to improve cognitive function and memory formation in animal studies, and they are actually used clinically to treat memory deficits in conditions such as Alzheimer's.

So while I wouldn't rule out the possibility that exposure to a large dose of a potent acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, such as a Novichok agent, could disrupt memory formation - I don't think it would be appropriate to assume that without evidence that this is the case. Such evidence might exist - but I assume it's not published in the regular scientific journals that I read!

VP959
25th Jul 2018, 10:46
I know very little about Novichok agents - but the brain is something I do know about - so it is worth noting the following...

- If, as is widely reported, Novichok agents are acetylcholinesterase inhibitors - then their mechanism of action involves preventing the breakdown of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
- Most importantly, this will affect neuromuscular junctions in the peripheral nervous system (causing muscle contractions).
- The formation of long-term episodic memories (memories for events) depends critically on a different neurotransmitter system - the glutamate system (glutamate is the most important excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain).
- While acetylcholine does have some roles in the brain, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (albeit far less potent ones) have been shown to improve cognitive function and memory formation in animal studies, and they are actually used clinically to treat memory deficits in conditions such as Alzheimer's.

So while I wouldn't rule out the possibility that exposure to a large dose of a potent acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, such as a Novichok agent, could disrupt memory formation - I don't think it would be appropriate to assume that without evidence that this is the case. Such evidence might exist - but I assume it's not published in the regular scientific journals that I read!

Thanks for that, I wasn't aware that it wasn't as effective on the memory system in the brain.

The agents developed under the novichok programme aren't particularly novel or unique, they are all variations on roughly the same range of compounds, organophosphates, as used in everything from older types of sheep dip, insecticides etc, through to VX. Some, like A232/Novichok-5, is similar to VX in many ways, but probably more toxic. It's ethyl analogue, A234, was never weaponised and given a formal Novichok agent designation, and seems to have remained just a lab curiosity as far as I can tell.

A232/Novichok-5 was developed into a weapon probably because in very crude form it can be delivered as a binary, but there's not a lot to suggest that development ever went beyond initial testing, most probably at the Chemical Research Institute near Nukus, in what is now Uzbekistan. There's no evidence I can find that suggests A234 ever left Shikhany, other than by illicit means, as seems to be the case with the recent attack.

Pontius Navigator
25th Jul 2018, 11:22
The box was cardboard.
The bottle was in cellophane.
The box was encased in plastic.

The agent was in a glass bottle and there was a plastic dispenser.

He got it on his hands when the bottle broke.
He got it on his hands when he fitted the plastic dispenser.

So many variations as to make it impossible to discern the truth.

atakacs
25th Jul 2018, 20:19
According to ITN Journalist Rupert Evelyn (via Craig Murray website):



Mystery deepens.
Did we hear anything about a match (or not) between the agents used in the two poisoning incidents ?
Same product? Exact same signature?

Sallyann1234
25th Jul 2018, 22:17
Did we hear anything about a match (or not) between the agents used in the two poisoning incidents ?
Same product? Exact same signature?

The international inspectors will be reporting in due course when they have examined their samples.
Or are they all in on the conspiracy? :ugh:

flash8
25th Jul 2018, 22:57
The word conspiracy is bandied about liberally by many who use it in a derogatory context. That the Government cannot be trusted is pretty well established by most folk who have had direct experience of being lied to.

As for the Skripal case the issue I have is that nothing has been proven to implicate the Russian state beyond Boris Johnson (gravitas personified) shooting his mouth off, same with the rest of the incumbents, who really should have had far more sense. Nothing at all. Now many people swallow this because to be quite blunt they haven't the ability to reason otherwise. Still...

I am also somewhat disturbed about this entire modus operandi and the established narrative surrounding this case. We know little because all we have been told are selectively leaked tidbits like a dripping tap by the relevant authorities. None of these factoids (such as the four suspects identified) have been given any substantive element.

Again, "finding" a discarded unopened perfume bottle in its sealed packaging after a significant search of a likely unprecedented nature doesn't sound correct, and if I were to hazard a guess as I stated it could very well be the perfume was purchased/liberated from a store where it had been placed by yet unknown. If this were the case I think most folk would agree that this information could never under any circumstances could be placed in the public domain. So we are fed an alternate version. Now, I might very well be wrong, however, the former scenario is way, way more likely than the latter in my opinion. Charlie could only be coached so much... keep it as accurate as possible.

Additionally the subtle denigration of the characters of Charlie and his partner as "druggies","alcoholics" and "down and outs" scouring the pavement for trinkets sits oddly with their economic status, that they were painted as marginalised from the start should always be a warning flag.

This whole case stinks to high heaven.

And before I am accused yet again of being an apologist for Russia, I really don't think that the Russian state were involved in this, but if they were, in that unlikely event they should pay any penalty. And now the UK have (allegedly) identified the four suspects, what is stopping them running a full frontal attack? Would be a welcome detraction from the Brexit fiasco.

That Sajid Javid wasn't "jumping to any conclusions" in this new development to me implies he is trying to subtly backtrack. Too late for that.

Sallyann1234
26th Jul 2018, 08:56
I agree with you entirely that the appearance of the contaminated perfume bottle at this late stage is extremely suspicious, and looks very like someone trying to muddy the waters. As to who might have motives for doing that, of course that is a matter for speculation since it is likely impossible to prove.
​​
On the matter of identifying the suspects captured on cctv leaving the country, you can't have it both ways. You criticised the way that Russia was blamed for the original attack without sufficient evidence, but now you want the government to reveal the identity of suspects while they are still building a case against them.
If their names were revealed now, you would immediately be asking "Where's the evidence?". Well I don't think you are going to be given that opportunity.

Fitter2
26th Jul 2018, 09:08
At the risk of thread drift,
And before I am accused yet again of being an apologist for Russia, I really don't think that the Russian state were involved in this, but if they were, in that unlikely event they should pay any penalty.
how soon are Russia going to pay any penalty for shooting down MH17?

​​​​​​​

atakacs
26th Jul 2018, 09:37
The international inspectors will be reporting in due course when they have examined their samples.
Any idea when that might be?
I seem to remember that the initial findings where made public much faster...

A_Van
26th Jul 2018, 09:42
I agree with you entirely that the appearance of the contaminated perfume bottle at this late stage is extremely suspicious, and looks very like someone trying to muddy the waters. As to who might have motives for doing that, of course that is a matter for speculation since it is likely impossible to prove.
​​
........ .

Yes, it is quite strange. I wonder how reliable is information from Charlie R. that he found the box in a good shape? If it is true then it could not be there for 4 month in an open air and thus the poisoner(s) put it there not long ago. But this would mean that i) bad guys are still around and ii) they are not afraid of being caught though being aware that hordes of police and secret services are still reaching the area. Looks quite unlikely....
The original version sounds more realistic, IMHO: he simply picked up a bottle that he saw in the grass/bush/pile of garbage. And the rest is his fantasy was just to make things (and himself) look more "luxury".

Pontius Navigator
26th Jul 2018, 10:14
A_Van, there are as many versions in the media as there are media outlets. My earlier post listed the varying descriptions of the packaging; some unsourced here and others from papers. Where there are differences it suggests that the journalists have filled in the blanks.

The one thing that rings true is that Charlie is said to have said that he can't remember where he found the bottle.

It was Mrs PNs informed opinion that he would remember little of the events leading to the poisioning. He would be open to constructing a narrative based on any questions that he was asked and himself filing in blanks through rationalisation.

Krystal n chips
26th Jul 2018, 11:01
With all the expertise on here, and certainly with the deductive reasoning associated with the bottle, thus far the term "disinformation " seems to have been overlooked.

As for the poor soul who survived the encounter with a nerve agent, then again, before the media got anywhere near asking him questions, it's not unreasonable to expect he may well have been offered, lets call it "guidance" as to his replies.

Sallyann1234
26th Jul 2018, 12:23
With all the expertise on here, and certainly with the deductive reasoning associated with the bottle, thus far the term "disinformation " seems to have been overlooked.

As for the poor soul who survived the encounter with a nerve agent, then again, before the media got anywhere near asking him questions, it's not unreasonable to expect he may well have been offered, lets call it "guidance" as to his replies.
Victims of serious crime are routinely offered support, called, strangely enough, "Victim Support".

In addition in a case like this with political overtones the authorities would be failing if they did not give him advice as to his future conduct and security, But I suspect the biggest influence on Charlie's behaviour will be the Sun's offer of a large sum of money for an attractive story, coached by their reporters.

Pontius Navigator
26th Jul 2018, 16:08
With all the expertise on here, and certainly with the deductive reasoning associated with the bottle, thus far the term "disinformation " seems to have been overlooked.By whom? .
Russia unleashed an “extensive” disinformation operation in Britain after the Salisbury spy attack, with thousands of suspected robotic accounts spreading doubt and conspiracy on the internet.... It is understood that an estimated 2,800 such online accounts are suspected of posting material about the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, according to monitoring reports prepared for the government. Messages posted by the suspect accounts are thought to have been interacted with 75 million times and to have reached at least 7.5 million people in Britain.

Sallyann1234
26th Jul 2018, 16:51
Do those numbers include the ones here on pprune?

flash8
26th Jul 2018, 16:57
It is understood that an estimated 2,800 such online accounts are suspected of posting material about the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, according to monitoring reports prepared for the government. Messages posted by the suspect accounts are thought to have been interacted with 75 million times and to have reached at least 7.5 million people in Britain.
Of course PN, we only have the governments word on this. That there are troll farms I have no doubt, unfortunately for us we can't retaliate here, very few Westerners speak Russian and most that do write it poorly and would easily be caught out by grammar, myself included and I arguably speak pretty good Russian. The opposite of course is that also most Russians that speak English do not have anywhere native skills especially in writing - they'd be picked up a mile off - so I suspect the UK figure are somewhat inflated.

And yes, SallyAnn I registered in 2004 just for this very moment.... ever heard of sleeper cells?

G-CPTN
26th Jul 2018, 17:27
Come on, guys get logical about this . . . (https://www.pprune.org/10205468-post1897.html)

Krystal n chips
26th Jul 2018, 17:31
Victims of serious crime are routinely offered support, called, strangely enough, "Victim Support".

In addition in a case like this with political overtones the authorities would be failing if they did not give him advice as to his future conduct and security, But I suspect the biggest influence on Charlie's behaviour will be the Sun's offer of a large sum of money for an attractive story, coached by their reporters.

I am aware of victim support but he's not exactly an everyday victim of an everyday crime and I'm surprised he's been allowed to sell his story so soon after discharge when the case is on-going and, as you say, has political ramifications.

There again, just being the devils advocate here, despite the " expertise" on here proposing these are "open and shut "cases, anybody with an enquiring mind.....and this is not a personal comment directed at yourself......will have long since not been entirely happy with the official UK explanations offered to the public. And what better way to continue this than using a rag like the Sun as a source to discredit the alleged nationality of the offenders. This does not mean I am suggesting the UK was complicit in these events, but, does mean I don't accept the official versions of events as being wholly accurate.

Equally, I think it would be fair to assume those conducting the investigation know considerably more than is in the public domain. and for obvious reasons this isn't going to be disclosed in a hurry.


PN....

"By whom? "

Perhaps by those on here who have transmogrified their larynx into a keyboard.....?

Sallyann1234
26th Jul 2018, 17:47
I don't see that Charlie's evidence is of any great importance, other than indicating (if he can remember) where he found the bottle. He was neither the perpetrator nor the intended target, so he has nothing further to contribute to the enquiry
For the same reason it matters little what he says to the Sun. Good luck to him if they are willing to pay for his story.

flash8
26th Jul 2018, 18:26
Possible Version:

1. Perfume was placed in store. That is was sealed and new entirely fits the spun narrative and only diverges after this.
1. Charlie purchased perfume in a retail outlet as a normal member of public.
2. Used perfume with desired result.
3. Charlie briefed under no circumstances to reveal purchased in shop, to do this would result in serious panic, possibly the intended effect.
4. New story constructed... Charlie found it... of course he can't remember where exactly...
5. The Government spin machine denigrates both victims before Charlie is released, variously as Druggies, Alcoholics, homelessness scouring parks for Trinkets, that Charlie lives in an expensive house, apparently owned, and both victims seem entirely normal by social media postings etc. is by-the-by.
6. Charlie released with an easy to remember story.
7. Compliant media etc.

As I stated by far the logical and rational explanation is that the perfume was the result of a shop purchase. If they could I believe Charlie would also have disappeared down a black hole.... but they couldn't keep that up without serious issues being raised.

It would be interesting to know why they shut off Boots soon after.

ETOPS
26th Jul 2018, 18:56
Great piece of “whataboutery” there Flash. How about Charlie went to Boots to pick up a prescription?

спасибо и добрый вечер

G-CPTN
26th Jul 2018, 19:02
It would be interesting to know why they shut off Boots soon after.
One of the couple was receiving methadone on prescription . . .

flash8
26th Jul 2018, 19:03
But that still places him in Boots... and it was shut off ))
My point is nowhere else seemed to have been isolated... and Charlie must have been to quite a few places.
It's just a theory, could well be complete tosh, but it does fit the original part of the story.
И добрый вечер Вам, ETOPS!

Sallyann1234
26th Jul 2018, 19:04
The visit to Boots was to collect prescription drugs. No secret there.

flash8
26th Jul 2018, 19:10
My point has nothing to do why he visited Boots... heck who cares... my issue is it was the only place sealed off and it was an opportunity to buy perfume.
Yes, it's a tenuous link.... but my alternate theory to me at least sounds plausible.
I put forward to the JB crew for holes to be gladly found!

OK put it another way..... if he did buy it in lets say Boots (or elsewhere) what story do you think would be released?

BehindBlueEyes
26th Jul 2018, 19:34
I think you’ll find the Baptist centre and the bus in which the couple travelled were also sealed off for investigation too. They had also visited the chemist so there was a risk of contamination too. I’m sure it was nothing to do with perfume bottles on shelves.

There wasn’t a deliberate and sinister government ploy to portray Charlie and Dawn as vulnerable members of society - they actually were. Muggleton Road in Amesbury is on the brand new Archer’s Gate building development. Wiltshire Council’s current policy is that 40% of all new homes are social or affordable housing. The house that Charlie lived in was provided by the local authority for homeless/addicts/alcoholics.

I'm positive there is no conspiracy with regard to this particular incident. These two spent their time scavenging - the house was full of clutter, The bottle was probably found weeks ago, maybe even very shortly after the Skripal attack, and stored amongst all the other detritus that they had accumulated. On 30 June they were planning on attending a BBQ at the local baptist church. No doubt Charlie remembered the perfume bottle he had found with some remaining liquid and offered it to Dawn to wear at the do. The rest of the story we can easy work out.

Harsh though it sounds, I wouldn’t read too much into Charlie’s account of things. Not for any suspicious reason, but he and his comrades are enjoying their fifteen minutes of fame so will probably and unintentionally embellish facts. If he were to be interviewed again in a few weeks time, the story would no doubt be slightly different. He won’t have been ‘coached’ either because, to put it simply, he would struggle to retain the ‘authorised’ version.

Sallyann1234
26th Jul 2018, 19:37
1. Quite simply they were not the sort of people to buy perfume in Boots
2. If the authorities thought that poisoned perfume had been bought from Boots, they would have closed that branch and any other that had similar products. And they would have issued a a public warning to recent buyers not to use them.

Apologies for the aviation reference, but William of OCK would have no doubt that the simple explanation of picking up a discarded bottle was the correct one.

Andy_S
26th Jul 2018, 21:14
1. Quite simply they were not the sort of people to buy perfume in Boots.

My thoughts entirely. If Charlie was minded to purchase perfume, it would be from somewhere far more downmarket than Boots.

flash8
26th Jul 2018, 21:41
One thing Charlie has been consistent on is the Perfume was sealed, in a box I assume with cellophane. Now, this materialising in a park or other public spot assumes somebody put it there, not threw it away, that doesn't add up on so many levels. The perpetrators I assume were highly sophisticated with disposal plans, anything less is hard to imagine, and this being sealed... no may be not convincing many and I reckon I might not be correct but the story we have been told is complete codswallop.

Charlie being the weak link, likely unable to maintain a cohesive systemic fed narrative (although this is speculation) was fed something close enough to the truth to be disseminated. But Charlie is and remains a weak link, and I reckon that may yet bear fruition and spread some light on this saga.

KelvinD
26th Jul 2018, 22:27
I would discount any ideas of the media telling this bloke what to say or even persuading him to remember events that may or may not have happened. The bizzies (plod) have people that are an awful lot sharper than the media hacks. If they feel there is something more to this, they will soon have it out of him.

VP959
27th Jul 2018, 11:57
Apologies for the aviation reference, but William of OCK would have no doubt that the simple explanation of picking up a discarded bottle was the correct one.

Absolutely spot on in my view. There seem to be some on this thread looking for a complex explanation to what looks to me to be an extremely straightforward, if clumsy, operation. I've cycled the whole route, bar the path across the park that leads to Harnham (as it's still closed) and frankly it's the blindingly obvious route for anyone on foot to take to walk from Sergei Skripal's house, down across the A36 to Churchfields and then across the park and path to Harnham, avoiding every CCTV camera that's in the town centre.

When there is such an obvious route to get away pretty covertly from the scene of the crime, and that route aligns with where the discarded weapon was found, then my inclination is to accept the simple and logical solution, not go looking for something bizarre that doesn't fit what little we know.

flash8
27th Jul 2018, 12:13
aligns with where the discarded weapon was found
Charlie has stated and has been quoted on numerous occasions that the Box was sealed with cellophane as of being new, in fact I think that hasn't been questioned or misreported otherwise, so let us assume he is telling the truth at least on this matter. This would seem to me not to be a "discarded weapon" but a "new" weapon. I agree with you that it would seem "clumsy" and I find that hard to equate with an operation of such likely expense and sophistication. I still stick to my hypothesis.

If he were lying about the bottles state (and I am not sure why he would, esp. as he has been put through the Security services machine) I would likely agree with you as it seems (wildly) plausible but still pretty inept.

Furthermore keenly awaiting more information on the four suspects 'positively' identified (three men, one woman), after all, I cannot see absolutely any reason we should not be told who they are. It's one thing to leak this tidbit but quite another to back it up. As I stated, my sentiment is a lot of backtracking by the UK government will be attempted, but I strongly suspect Russia will not let it go. This Government has been so inept in other matters to a farcical degree perhaps they don't want to release something that ironically might very well finish them off.

Pontius Navigator
27th Jul 2018, 12:17
My thoughts entirely. If Charlie was minded to purchase perfume, it would be from somewhere far more downmarket than Boots.

Naturally there was no suggestion of shop lifting while waiting for the prescription?

Not a serious suggestion but just another flight of fantasy.

flash8
27th Jul 2018, 12:33
PN, I did mention this in an earlier post... well under the guise of "Liberating" the perfume. After all, it would have to be easy access for it to be placed there in the first place.

Pontius Navigator
27th Jul 2018, 15:44
PN, I did mention this in an earlier post... well under the guise of "Liberating" the perfume. After all, it would have to be easy access for it to be placed there in the first place.
I am with Sally on this one. The only thing that matters is where he found it. Only then can they try and trace it.

If they can establish a line between their suspects movement and the recovered bottle the case will be better.

If Charlie can produce a credible location there are obvious reasons why that has not been revealed.

G-CPTN
27th Jul 2018, 16:03
I wonder if Charlie has been able to remember the truth and given it to the authorities whilst he creates a fabricated story to earn his £££ from the red-tops?

Fitter2
27th Jul 2018, 16:07
A far more credible reason for briefly closing Boots would be the initial suspicion that the symptoms were due to a contaminated batch of prescription drugs; quickly overtaken by the realisation that the symptoms were identical to the Skripals. But Russian troll maskirova is much more entertaining.

Effluent Man
27th Jul 2018, 16:20
What seems very odd is that having been on the attack for so long we have heard nothing from our government for quite a while. My suspicion is, and is firmed up by Javid's remarks on not jumping to conclusions, that the narrative has changed significantly.

fitliker
27th Jul 2018, 16:41
Very odd indeed :)

VP959
27th Jul 2018, 17:22
What seems very odd is that having been on the attack for so long we have heard nothing from our government for quite a while. My suspicion is, and is firmed up by Javid's remarks on not jumping to conclusions, that the narrative has changed significantly.

I'm convinced that the facts are leading to the conclusion that this was not a Russian state-sponsored attack, as has been mentioned here several times, but most probably the action of some Russians, perhaps former colleagues of Sergei Skripal, out for revenge and to earn some kudos within Russia for attacking an enemy of the state and a traitor.

If our government are reaching the same conclusions then that may explain why they are being a bit quiet, as one or two loose cannons made some pretty wild accusations against the Russian government with, it seems, very little evidence to support them.

KelvinD
27th Jul 2018, 17:33
Don't forget, the government fog horn, Boris Johnson, tweeted it was definitely the Russian government and Porton Down had proved it. Shortly after the chief at Porton rubbished that theory, denying that the stuff had been identified as coming from anywhere. Within hours of that, the tweet was deleted. Fancy that!

WingNut60
27th Jul 2018, 22:00
....... as one or two loose cannons made some pretty wild accusations against the Russian government with, it seems, very little evidence to support them.

I know that you measure your words carefully, VP, but as understatement goes, that one is a doozy.

As I remember it, it was not just "one or two loose cannons".
Your government stood up, as a government and together with leaders of much of the western world whom they had inveigled to stand in unity, to anathematise the Russian government for their despicable conduct, and to call for expanded sanctions against that government

Much of this thread has been dedicated to exposing the spuriousness of their argument.

flash8
27th Jul 2018, 22:20
As I remember it, it was not just "one or two loose cannons".
It was, one being that oaf Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson well known as the worst Foreign Secretary in the history of the United Kingdom and a complete and utter baboon on good days. The other was the boy Defence Secretary Gavin "Shut-up and go away" Williamson (former pottery store owner until 2010), who I seriously wonder if "intellectual impairment" is too kind a description. Way out of his league. If Gove was indisposed those two could become a comedy act. You really, really couldn't make it up.

As for the rest of the dysfunctional incumbents in Government... farcical is far far too generous. I am reluctant to call them a Government.

And as yet no evidence has been offered other than de Pfeffel's bullshit (if you'll excuse my french) and the boy shouting "me too".

At least Javid has been a tad more circumspect, not that it could be difficult.

Effluent Man
27th Jul 2018, 22:21
Talk about a Sea Change! Earlier in this thread any scintilla of an alternative explanation was howled down. Those of us who suggested it were Russian trolls. Now we seem to have reached some kind of consensus that the accusations were at best hasty, and most likely totally wrong. I wonder when they will apologise to Putin.

flash8
27th Jul 2018, 22:51
From the Independent (most other papers run the same story with virtually the same text).


Investigators had narrowed down the suspects around 12 days ago to between two and four people, including a woman, from CCTV footage, with two carrying and administering the nerve agent, and others providing backup.

Well, they do have CCTV of the four suspects, as stated by me many times... three men, one woman... both in Salisbury and at the departure Airport... therefore they know their names, nationality and possibly even additional intelligence like who they work for.

security agencies and the police increasingly confident they would be able to prove a Moscow connection
Moscow "connection" could mean anything. Note they don't say a connection to the Russian state, and "increasingly" confident is not definitive.

However, despite the advances being made in the investigation, it is unlikely any arrests will take place in this country with those responsible for the attack almost certain to have left the UK after carrying it out. All of the suspects used false identities for travel, as would be expected.

And more importantly...

It is believed, however, that no evidence had been found so far to prove that the attack was ordered directly by senior figures in the Kremlin, or Vladimir Putin, the Russian president.
In other words they have f--- all evidence.

The big problem they have now is after directly accusing the Russian state, forcing the extradition of Diplomats and putting their reputation on the line.... what if.. what if... they realize they were wrong?

Oh dear.

No wonder Javid is keeping his mouth shut after stating "drawing no conclusions".

racedo
27th Jul 2018, 23:10
When there is such an obvious route to get away pretty covertly from the scene of the crime, and that route aligns with where the discarded weapon was found, then my inclination is to accept the simple and logical solution, not go looking for something bizarre that doesn't fit what little we know.

Kind of strange as was a very early question by me on here about CCTV and routes in the town.
Amazing that Plod never seemed to do this route.
Unusual as they usually follow every "avenue" pardon the pun.

racedo
27th Jul 2018, 23:22
From the Independent (most other papers run the same story with virtually the same text).
Well, they do have CCTV of the four suspects, as stated by me many times... three men, one woman... both in Salisbury and at the departure Airport... therefore they know their names, nationality and possibly even additional intelligence like who they work for.
Moscow "connection" could mean anything. Note they don't say a connection to the Russian state, and "increasingly" confident is not definitive.
And more importantly...
In other words they have f--- all evidence.
The big problem they have now is after directly accusing the Russian state, forcing the extradition of Diplomats and putting their reputation on the line.... what if.. what if... they realize they were wrong?
Oh dear.
No wonder Javid is keeping his mouth shut after stating "drawing no conclusions".

This is more damaging than Brexit and again said potentially so at the time.

UK used its Diplomatic friends to leverage an expulsion of Russians, now it appears their friends were lied to.
In Diplomatic speak you get to abuse the trust of friends once and it gets remembered for a long time.

flash8
27th Jul 2018, 23:37
This is more damaging than Brexit
Well, if it turns out the way I expect most people imagine, it is worse than egg on face time, it is way, way more serious. Russia would demand an apology, and if given it would trash the UK Intelligence for decades. If not given, in the face of no evidence, it could be as equally bad.

Johnson is unfit to be PM, thankfully though I reckon he'd not be able to pull it off given the chance of a general election, too much baggage.... and this kind of tops it off. As for Williamson, he is an utter joke, even amongst Tories themselves. It just shows you how badly the Tory party have fallen if the best they could come up with was a third rate ex Pottery salesman with zero experience.

Thoroughly going to enjoy them squirming. I might even drop off a letter at the Duma next time I pass offering my services on how to turn the screws.

fitliker
28th Jul 2018, 00:47
I think the legal term you might be searching for is " Nil Factum "

The difference between an intelligence operation and a criminal investigation that proves beyond a reasonable doubt in a reasonable court "WHO DUNNIT " could be as wide as the gap between your ears .

Some people do not know when they are in a fight ,until they get hit hard . The lesson to be learned here, is just how unprepared the world is against this type of weapon and warfare .
The big questions are who wanted to make that point ? and what happens next ? An arrest might be nice . Sad ,that the days of rounding up the usual suspects and having them flogged are gone. Might make us feel a little bit of false security for a bit :)

Sallyann1234
28th Jul 2018, 09:54
I'm looking hard here to see what has actually changed.
The recent finding of the famous perfume bottle adds little real evidence since, according to one's prejudice as to guilt over the original attack, it will always be the 'other side' that planted it to muddy the waters.
As to naming the suspects, what would that achieve? The two murderers of Litvinenko were named and the evidence trail revealed. The only result was for one of them to be made a Russian MP.

Effluent Man
28th Jul 2018, 11:11
I think that what has changed is the attitude of our government. It has gone from strident anti Putin rhetoric to what I can only describe as "lieing low". The only reason that explains this seems to be a weakening of their conviction as to the culprit(s). Add to this Javid's comment on not jumping to conclusions and I detect a significant alteration in direction.

A_Van
28th Jul 2018, 11:46
I do not think anything has changed. Most likely the investigators are doing a routine work to analyse more data, talk to more people, search additional area and facilities. Even considering "four suspects" it may be a long way. Obviously, with modern techniques of face recognition it's an immediate action to identify who was caught on camera (it works in real time in stadiums, BTW). Especially if they are Russian, they were photographed during the visa process, then at the airport or other point of entry. The problem may arise to artificially link them to the (Russian) government and secret services. Assume a group of Russians was pictured in Salisbury on those days. Their names are easily identfied, their CVs are known (as they should be submitted while applying for visa) but the search shows that they are indeed tourists with no identifiable links to KGB or whoever. Thus, some trustworthy stories are yet to be developed. And I am not sure that every agent (MI-5/6, Scotland Yard) would be happy to falsificate the data. Governments come and go (and rather quickly), while the personal career may be at risk.

It looks like the murderers of Litvinenko were more smart. Obvioulsy it was the mob of Boris Berezovsky in London, and the goal was twofold: i) get rid of Litvinenko himself who was becoming more and more annoying to Boris with his (L's) attempts to be an independent player and ii) start a campaign against Putin who was not that powerful at that time and had not had such a stable position as he has now. Both goals were achieved, the first one - fully, the second one - partially, but with a significant damage to the Putin's international reputation.
But Boris' men made a very smart move: they "marked" two Russian guys who met Litvinenko and indeed had links to KGB/FSB in their past, thus making them leave easily identiable traces (of polonium) everywhere along their routes. No surprise, one of the Boris's assistants (Goldfarb) was an expert in bio-chemistry and the Litvinenko's father now says that he was behind all that. The fact that nobody had a solid motive to get rid of Litivinenko (neither the two visitors, nor the govenment itself), especially in such an exotic way, was not taken into account.

racedo
28th Jul 2018, 11:46
I think that what has changed is the attitude of our government. It has gone from strident anti Putin rhetoric to what I can only describe as "lieing low". The only reason that explains this seems to be a weakening of their conviction as to the culprit(s). Add to this Javid's comment on not jumping to conclusions and I detect a significant alteration in direction.

In Diplomacy memorys are long and once you use up your capital of trust be not surprised when you need it again it is not there.

BoJo's claims were steps below a Declaration of War added with the vitriolic abuse, he made his countyry appear to be a fool.

fitliker
28th Jul 2018, 11:47
A broken clock is right twice a day .

Which is more than you can say for some arrogant politicians . It is the same attitude that got these political classes thrown out of India, China, Africa ,the original thirteen colonies in the USA and Eire .
Mentally corrupted by power ,they become their own worst enemy.

Some folks never learn.

You can lead a horse to water ,but you cannot make it think :)

Stan Woolley
28th Jul 2018, 12:12
In the first hour of George Galloway’s talkshow there is an update and an interview with Charles Shoebridge on this case. Also some other stuff that might be of interest.

https://youtu.be/0Ba9JoQPq8E

Pontius Navigator
28th Jul 2018, 13:34
It was, one being that oaf Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson well known as the worst Foreign Secretary in the history of the United Kingdom and a complete and utter baboon on good days. .
Really? Remember George Brown - tired and emotional springs to mind.

VP959
28th Jul 2018, 13:54
In the first hour of George Galloway’s talkshow there is an update and an interview with Charles Shoebridge on this case. Also some other stuff that might be of interest.

https://youtu.be/0Ba9JoQPq8E

Picking up his points, in order (until I got bored with listening to stuff that was untrue of unproven:

1. He states clearly that novichok is not Russian. This is factually incorrect. Firstly, novichok means newcomer in Russian, and this range of nerve agents was first developed at Shikhany, in the closed Russian town of Saratov Oblast. At the time of the development of the 100-odd nerve agents that were produced there during the late 1970's/early 1980's, Russia was a part of, and the controlling state of, the Soviet Union, but that did not mean that Shikhany was not, or is not, within Russia.

2. This programme by George Galloway went out on 26th July. He clearly states that Charlie Rowley is, quote: "in a safe house with no TV and no newspapers" something that is, at best, a misleading half truth, as we know that Charlie Rowley has been allowed to sell his story to the Sun at least three days earlier. He states that he "is a man we cannot reach, but that ITV news were allowed to reach", which is again misleading when we know that his family have seen him several times and openly reported what he has told them, plus there is the story that the Sun obtained from him.

3. He interprets as fact, the quote from the ITV interview with Charlie Rowley that he had to use a knife to open the package, as being that "I presume he means that he had to use the knife to slice open the cellophane" (my emphasis). No such remark was actually made, that is George Galloway's own assumption, to which he admits, but it does give a misleading view unless you listen carefully to his actual words (I will admit to a certain admiration for George Galloway as a word smith). The knife may well have been used to prise open a click together sealed outer casing around the bottle, something that seems a sensible precaution to have been taken by the attackers in terms of protecting themselves from the agent.

4. George Galloway goes on to extrapolate from the mention of a knife being needed to open the outer packaging to assuming that it was wrapped in cellophane, and from that assumption he goes on to state that this means that it "had not been used before". This is clever, because he's taken one presumed fact, the use of a knife, to build a narrative that is entirely speculative, and then used that speculative narrative to make his own point that the substance was "not the novichok'ish that was used on the attack against Sergei and Yulia Skripal".

I'll stop going though the rest of his false narrative, because it's very clear that he's used misleading, and untrue, information, and then drawn conclusions from it without any evidence, in order to create a story that fits with his own personal agenda with regard to the actions of the UK Government. I'll admit to some history with George Galloway. He was a regular correspondent to my Minister many years years ago, and I was often asked to draft ministerial replies to the questions he asked. I also appeared on a TV chat show, where he was one of the guests, and had time to talk to him off-camera. To be honest I found him to be intelligent, to have an excellent command of the English language, and to be a very convincing individual. I didn't dislike him at all, in fact, something that surprised me as I was expecting too, simply based on the content of some of his correspondence that had crossed my desk.

However, that bit on Talk Radio is, to put it simply, total and complete bollocks.

Shandy52
28th Jul 2018, 14:01
The big questions are who wanted to make that point ? and what happens next ?
I may be missing something here, but I am finding it difficult to hold the Russian state free of responsibility for what is presumed (in the absence of direct orders from the top) to be the actions of serving or retired GRU officers. I am trying to think what would be the reaction if (say) a retired Mossad agent assassinated an Egyptian double agent, and in doing so endangered the lives of civilians in an Egyptian city. I do not think the Israeli government would be held harmless under such circumstances, particularly if the method used was of Israeli manufacture.

I find it noteworthy that the Russian government seems to have made no effort to defuse suspicions of direct reponsibility by e.g. investigating who in GRU might be responsible. Of course, relations between the GRU and an ex-KGB politician might be an issue here.

Lascaille
28th Jul 2018, 14:54
George Galloway goes on to extrapolate from the mention of a knife being needed to open the outer packaging to assuming that it was wrapped in cellophane, and from that assumption he goes on to state that this means that it "had not been used before".

Just google 'Charlie Rowley interview cellophane' and you'll find any number of interview transcripts which specifically mention that.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jul/24/novichok-victim-ill-within-15-minutes-says-partner-charlie-rowley

"Rowley said he had found a sealed box in a cellophane wrapper containing a perfume bottle some days before he and Sturgess fell ill, and had kept it at his home in Amesbury"

With that point established, it seems likely that a professional 'operation' would involve multiple teams with multiple weapons. A retail-packaged perfume with intact cellophane wrap in a duty free store bag would be basically invisible to customs agents. You mentioned about arriving via train or boat, I think you could walk through any airport in the world unmolested if the weapon was disguised in that manner. The original retail packaging and bottle could be used, a standard perfume spray nozzle seems to effectively seal the bottle, if thought necessary the nozzle could be invisibly sealed with hot wax.

So, multiple teams with multiple weapons. The weapon used on the Skripals probably went into some convenient litter bin. Walk up to the door. 2 people both wearing nitrile rubber gloves disguised under normal winter gloves. Off come the thick gloves, open the package with a penknife, unscrew the sprayer, upend it over the doorknob. Number two holds (with nitrile-gloved hands) a large ziploc bag open. Container dropped inside, bag sealed and rolled up. Stuff that inside second ziploc bag and seal. Drop it in a supermarket bag. Thick gloves back on and dump in the nearest waste bin, ideally a big commercial dumpster. Team #2 discards their unused weapon in similar fashion but see no need to double-bag it and just dump it as-is. Of course sheer dumb luck means a dumpster diver finds it and takes it home for his GF...

Pontius Navigator
28th Jul 2018, 15:07
VP we know that his family have seen him several times and openly reported what he has told them,

We also had the statement from his brother that he had NOT been allowed to see him but had talked on the telephone. Charlie had not been able to hold a conversation.

I don't remember the date but pretty close to the Sun story. I did comment at the time.

VP959
28th Jul 2018, 15:47
I've looked around at a few well-known brands of perfume that I can quickly find online. I'm assuming the brand is a well-known one because in his press statement Charlie Rowley mentioned that it was a brand that Dawn Sturgess recognised. None appear to have a cellophane outer wrapping, but many are in plastic covered card or plastic outer containers. Most would, I suspect, have some forv of adhesive tape security seal, perhaps a little like Sellotape.

Some people cut through those seals with a knife, others (like me) just peel one side away, to get the outer box/container open. It's not impossible that the seal on the outer container was peeled away in order to allow the attackers to quickly open the box, remove the bottle, apply the agent to the door handle and then put the bottle back in the box. It's quite possible that the tape seal was then either deliberately stuck down again to keep the outer box a little more secure, or accidentally got stuck down again as the box was transported half way across Salisbury to Queen Elizabeth Gardens.

I think the interesting fact here is that cellophane wrapping does not seem to be that commonly used now, AFAICS from a quick search. This makes me question the veracity of that remark, and question whether the word "cellophane" was actually used, and whether if it was used it was really referring to something similar to a Sellotape seal holding the outer box closed.

Pontius Navigator
28th Jul 2018, 15:56
VP, cellophane is invariably used. How did you determine that the online product was not so wrapped?

The wrapping is often so tight that you need a sharp knife, a finger nail won't do.

Stan Woolley
28th Jul 2018, 16:11
He states clearly that novichok is not Russian. This is factually incorrect. Firstly, novichok means newcomer in Russian, and this range of nerve agents was first developed at Shikhany, in the closed Russian town of Saratov Oblast

Come on VP. Is it really all ‘total and complete bollocks”?

Your first point is as good a deflection as any.

The nub of the British government’s approach has been the shocking willingness of the corporate and state media to parrot repeatedly the lie that the nerve agent was Russian made, even after Porton Down said they could not tell where it was made and the OPCW confirmed that finding. In fact, while the Soviet Union did develop the “novichok” class of nerve agents, the programme involved scientists from all over the Soviet Union, especially Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia, as I myself learnt when I visited the newly decommissioned Nukus testing facility in Uzbekistan in 2002.]

You completely ignored Charles Shoebridge’s interview, which was the main reason I posted, as you usually dismiss people like Craig Murray and George Galloway. You shouldn’t be so quick to do so imo. The last few posts maybe confirm that?
If it is all ‘complete and utter bollocks’, it’s only adding nicely to this thread, which is still speculating wildly. Only good thing is that most of the more extreme russiaphobes appear to have vacated the area.

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/07/the-holes-in-the-official-skripal-story (https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/07/the-holes-in-the-official-skripal-story/)

[

Lascaille
28th Jul 2018, 16:48
This makes me question the veracity of that remark, and question whether the word "cellophane" was actually used, and whether if it was used it was really referring to something similar to a Sellotape seal holding the outer box closed.

Well the interview is here, the word specifically is used.

Exclusive: Novichok poisoning victim Charlie Rowley reveals perfume gift he gave to partner contained deadly nerve agent - ITV News (http://www.itv.com/news/2018-07-24/charlie-rowley-novichok-amesbury/)

flash8
28th Jul 2018, 16:50
Cellophane is almost always used by manufacturers, other than for presentation ironically likely so that tampering can be prevented (actually nearly everything has been sealed the last few decades as paranoia sets in). Even ultra-cheap perfumes are cellophane wrapped.

My theory, nicked or purchased in Boots or elsewhere... Charlie's version "can't remember where", this is quite interesting as it provides for a retraction later (poor old "Charlie's" mind is frazzled by Drugs...)

Part of a wider destabilisation effort which has been clamped down upon in this case before panic spread. And I still think Skripal wasn't the primary target but part of the obfuscation strategy to muddy the waters, along with location and other factors. Russia was likely the fall guy and a useful means to an end, this could be a double-pronged attack.

One thing I am certain of is the official narrative stinks to high heaven.

racedo
28th Jul 2018, 17:02
I may be missing something here, but I am finding it difficult to hold the Russian state free of responsibility for what is presumed (in the absence of direct orders from the top) to be the actions of serving or retired GRU officers. I am trying to think what would be the reaction if (say) a retired Mossad agent assassinated an Egyptian double agent, and in doing so endangered the lives of civilians in an Egyptian city. I do not think the Israeli government would be held harmless under such circumstances, particularly if the method used was of Israeli manufacture.

I find it noteworthy that the Russian government seems to have made no effort to defuse suspicions of direct reponsibility by e.g. investigating who in GRU might be responsible. Of course, relations between the GRU and an ex-KGB politician might be an issue here.

https://www.nytimes.com/1981/11/20/us/ex-agent-indicted-in-weapons-sales.html

BBC NEWS | UK | N Ireland | Dark side of the war (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/766926.stm)

Not really that difficult to find where UK intelligence agencies conspired to kill British citizens in the UK.

Shandy52
28th Jul 2018, 17:23
https://www.nytimes.com/1981/11/20/us/ex-agent-indicted-in-weapons-sales.html

BBC NEWS UK N Ireland Dark side of the war (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/766926.stm)

Not really that difficult to find where UK intelligence agencies conspired to kill British citizens in the UK.

You're not addressing my point, which has to do with international relations, and collateral damage from clandestine operations.

flash8
28th Jul 2018, 17:32
I may be missing something here, but I am finding it difficult to hold the Russian state free of responsibility for what is presumed (in the absence of direct orders from the top) to be the actions of serving or retired GRU officers. I am trying to think what would be the reaction if (say) a retired Mossad agent assassinated an Egyptian double agent, and in doing so endangered the lives of civilians in an Egyptian city. I do not think the Israeli government would be held harmless under such circumstances, particularly if the method used was of Israeli manufacture.
It is worth noting that there has been no evidence at all to date linking either the Russian state or even Russian nationals. The only "evidence" we have heard are Boris Johnson's and Gavin WIlliam's rather outrageous and now rebuffed statements, the credibility of which seems to be turning to sand. I'm not counting the "leaks" lately that have zero credence except perhaps the one trying to disassociate their former statements accusing Russia.

Remember, it is fair to say that this UK government has likely been the most inept in generations with regards to foreign relations (and indeed Domestic policy) and their utterances should not be judged by normal standards. They aren't normal in any way.

Javid has to attempt to salvage anything from possibly massive reputational damage at the least and whilst I don't like the guy he at least seems stable compared to the rest.

I find it noteworthy that the Russian government seems to have made no effort to defuse suspicions of direct reponsibility by e.g. investigating who in GRU might be responsible. Of course, relations between the GRU and an ex-KGB politician might be an issue here.
They offered to jointly co-operate and were flat out refused.

arketip
28th Jul 2018, 17:36
You're not addressing my point, which has to do with international relations, and collateral damage from clandestine operations.

You mean like Operation "Wrath of God" ?

Shandy52
28th Jul 2018, 17:38
And I still think Skripal wasn't the primary target but part of the obfuscation strategy to muddy the waters, along with location and other factors. Russia was likely the fall guy and a useful means to an end, this could be a double-pronged attack.

The Skripal incident took place in March. How soon are you expecting the second prong of the attack?

Shandy52
28th Jul 2018, 17:45
You mean like Operation "Wrath of God" ?

Seems a fair comparison. Nobody AFAIK has suggested that anyone other than the Israelis were responsible.

Worth pointing out, though, that the Israeli action was a lot more understandable, given what they perceived and still perceive as the existential threat. It doesn't excuse them for the mistaken killing, though.

flash8
28th Jul 2018, 17:52
By double-pronged I mean the destabilising the UK as the initial objective (always the objective of hostile foreign powers), and implicating Russia as the second.

Some people here seem to be under the impression this attack was carried out by a Laurel&Hardy team who discard sealed perfume bottles in public parks in panic or haste to get away, and who were complete amateurs. Please... it would be utterly foolish to believe this, and thankfully... not many do.

My take is that this was an extremely sophisticated well planned attack by a state actor and everything we have seen was planned meticulously, including the perfume that was placed in a retail outlet to achieve maximum public disruption and panic. this avenue was cut off quickly, fortunately some might say.

The authorities behind the scenes are likely extremely worried and for good reason, they are up against a foe that is both ruthless and very clever, and are likely expecting further developments...

Meanwhile the public is fed useless and sometimes contradictory information, making the whole affair look distinctly bloody suspicious.

Sallyann1234
28th Jul 2018, 18:02
Some people here seem to be under the impression this attack was carried out by a Laurel&Hardy team who discard sealed perfume bottles in public parks in panic or haste to get away, and who were complete amateurs. Please... it would be utterly foolish to believe this, and thankfully... not many do.

Quite, utterly foolish. Almost as foolish as to be believe the perfume was put into a chemist's shop and taken by a drug addict who had no need or desire for perfume.

The perfume bottle was a plant, left more recently where it might be found in order to confuse the investigation and encourage the emergence of wild theories such as are appearing here.
.

flash8
28th Jul 2018, 18:07
If you believe a brand new sealed Perfume bottle was suddenly "found" in a park... when indeed it was far more likely to have been found by likely the biggest search team in history then I'm speechless. if this was picked up by the search team we would never have heard about it... kind of defeats the object.

That "Charlie" can't even remember where he picked it up should also speak volumes as also the fact he found it just a few days before using it...

As for "Drug addicts" buying perfume... who knows what his state of mind was (we have only the official narrative to go by) and your statement that he had "no need or desire" is indeed amazing that you can see within Charlie's mind.. heck if he purchased a pink elephant would you be "surprised"?

No, I stick by my story because logically it is by far the most rational explanation and everything points to that conclusion, and one, if true, we would never hear.

Sallyann1234
28th Jul 2018, 18:17
Come on, you can do better than that.

The perfume bottle was a plant, left more recently where it might be found in order to confuse the investigation and encourage the emergence of wild theories such as are appearing here.
By all means stick to your unlikely story if it pleases you. I'll leave you with it.

racedo
28th Jul 2018, 18:28
You're not addressing my point, which has to do with international relations, and collateral damage from clandestine operations.

In US case ex agents were deemed not responsibility of US Govt

In Uk case the willingness of UK Intelligence arms to allow murder of people at will was again not deemed to be responsibility of Govt even when operating under Govt guideline.
No UK Civil servant or UK Govt minister wwas charged for any of this.

YET you wish Russia to be held to account for actions of peopl who at one time worked for it.

flash8
28th Jul 2018, 18:32
1. Biggest forensic search likely in UK history over many months... thorough, hundreds of officers and specialized equipment.

2. Charlie comes along and finds (possibly in a park) a brand new sealed perfume in box (missed for months by any search team), what this is doing in the park and in such good condition after many months is a complete mystery. Obviously the search team were completely bloody incompetent to miss something of that size. Why somebody would want to discard it in a park is completely ignored, as is the fact that if they did they would expect it to be found by a search team and the find would be "suppressed", kind of defeating all that effort, or it might never have been found at all...

3. Apparently in good condition, cellophane wrapped (just like you'd find in a shop).

4. A few days later (his words) perfume is opened and tried with unfortunate results.

5. Charlie recovers but "can't remember" where he found it.



if you believe that (officially sponsored) story, well, words fail me. It has more holes than a leaky bucket, it does not take a genius to construct a much more likely stream of events, but as close to the truth as possible as Charlie might not "understand" otherwise.

racedo
28th Jul 2018, 18:37
Seems a fair comparison. Nobody AFAIK has suggested that anyone other than the Israelis were responsible.

Worth pointing out, though, that the Israeli action was a lot more understandable, given what they perceived and still perceive as the existential threat. It doesn't excuse them for the mistaken killing, though.

UK and US eliminate people whom they have seen as threats, just its deniable or excuses made as in examples in Northern Ireland.

My Irish friends often highlight Dublin and Monaghan car bombings where in excess of 30 people died, Loyalists had show little knowledge of how to do these before and none afterwards..........

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Littlejohn
Or we could look at others

Intelligence agencies don't have clean hands.

Shandy52
28th Jul 2018, 18:39
By double-pronged I mean the destabilising the UK as the initial objective (always the objective of hostile foreign powers), and implicating Russia as the second.

I would be interested to know which foreign power, other than Russia, might have the motive and the means to destabilise the UK? I don't see China as having a motive, and am not sure who else among any possible candidates has the means. I assume we can exclude NATO, the Commonwealth, and the EU.

I suppose the question could possibly be considered open if it were not for the concurrent destablisation of our historical ally the US, which it seems unavoidable to ascribe to Russia.

racedo
28th Jul 2018, 18:49
If you believe a brand new sealed Perfume bottle was suddenly "found" in a park... when indeed it was far more likely to have been found by likely the biggest search team in history then I'm speechless. if this was picked up by the search team we would never have heard about it... kind of defeats the object.

That "Charlie" can't even remember where he picked it up should also speak volumes as also the fact he found it just a few days before using it...

As for "Drug addicts" buying perfume... who knows what his state of mind was (we have only the official narrative to go by) and your statement that he had "no need or desire" is indeed amazing that you can see within Charlie's mind.. heck if he purchased a pink elephant would you be "surprised"?

No, I stick by my story because logically it is by far the most rational explanation and everything points to that conclusion, and one, if true, we would never hear.

Perfume in boots is easily proveable and will alredy have been.

Stores have minimum stock of items and likely for something like perfume it is 5-6 max of a single item.
Soon as a sale is made then a message gets sent to replenishment that a store needs a replacement item which will come in a plastic crate with other items next day.
Stores constantly stock take so any additional items they would know about, its how central office keeps control of stock and er keep an eye on staff.
If something gets stolen which is a frequent occurence then it will show us as a stock shortage, likewise an additional item of stock appearing.
Bearing in mind most high value items are also electronically tagged (like razor blades) then anybody leaving shop without paying will get tagged.
It is not possible for a customer to come up with a botttle of Tramp and it scans in as Chanel No. 5, also stores have cameras to look at customers and staff, so if at 3.25 pm on 15th July you bought Ricin in Boots Leicester it is easy to dig up the CCTV for that time and tell what you also bought, how you paid and also using CCTV what you did in store.

racedo
28th Jul 2018, 18:53
I would be interested to know which foreign power, other than Russia, might have the motive and the means to destabilise the UK? I don't see China as having a motive, and am not sure who else among any possible candidates has the means. I assume we can exclude NATO, the Commonwealth, and the EU.

I suppose the question could possibly be considered open if it were not for the concurrent destablisation of our historical ally the US, which it seems unavoidable to ascribe to Russia.

I refer you back to Peter Wright and Spycather where it wasn't a Foreign power doing the destabilising.................

I constantly refer back to NI because it has been proven that FRU / MI5 / MI6 and RUC (plus likely others) had various intelligence assets, often the biggest issues were the infighting among themselves and refusal to share information that got people killed.

Nige321
28th Jul 2018, 18:54
Perfume in boots is easily proveable and will alredy have been.

Stores have minimum stock of items and likely for something like perfume it is 5-6 max of a single item.
Soon as a sale is made then a message gets sent to replenishment that a store needs a replacement item which will come in a plastic crate with other items next day.
Stores constantly stock take so any additional items they would know about, its how central office keeps control of stock and er keep an eye on staff.
If something gets stolen which is a frequent occurence then it will show us as a stock shortage, likewise an additional item of stock appearing.
Bearing in mind most high value items are also electronically tagged (like razor blades) then anybody leaving shop without paying will get tagged.
It is not possible for a customer to come up with a botttle of Tramp and it scans in as Chanel No. 5, also stores have cameras to look at customers and staff, so if at 3.25 pm on 15th July you bought Ricin in Boots Leicester it is easy to dig up the CCTV for that time and tell what you also bought, how you paid and also using CCTV what you did in store.

So now you're an expert on how Boots runs its stock control??!

I just showed this to someone who works in Boots.
You have absolutely NO idea...

Shandy52
28th Jul 2018, 18:55
UK and US eliminate people whom they have seen as threats, just its deniable or excuses made as in examples in Northern Ireland.

My Irish friends often highlight Dublin and Monaghan car bombings where in excess of 30 people died, Loyalists had show little knowledge of how to do these before and none afterwards..........

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Littlejohn
Or we could look at others

Intelligence agencies don't have clean hands.

So let me get this straight... You're not telling me that Russia didn't do it, you're telling me that others do comparable things (let's not argue that point here) so I guess by implication that makes it OK? I must say this isn't an argument I've come across before in this context.

racedo
28th Jul 2018, 19:08
So let me get this straight... You're not telling me that Russia didn't do it, you're telling me that others do comparable things (let's not argue that point here) so I guess by implication that makes it OK? I must say this isn't an argument I've come across before in this context.

Evidence has not been provided that the Russian Govt did it and been very clear on that since it happened.

I am showing again and again that Govts (or people as part of the Government) are quite capable of doing what they want and no sanction gets applied.
The biggest threat to a Government Agency is not a foeign power but another Agency getting its Budget.

A_Van
28th Jul 2018, 19:11
Shandy52,

As mentioned many times above in this thread, there is difference between the (Russian) government action and Russians (as individuals or a group) involved in it. Some tend to think (including myself) that there are wealthy Russian criminal elements behind that. Their motive is easily explicable: spolit the relations, break any cooperation between the countries thus reducing the risk for themselves to be screened for the sources of their money and get these monies confiscated. The more demonized Russia is looking, the more chances for them to look like political refugees being chased by a "bloody regime".

As for the regime itself, I see no reason in attempt to "destabilise UK" as you put it. Such efforts require serious resources and what is UK for Russia to stream such resources?
Military wise it is just a US proxy. Moreover, this proxy is far more distant than other new US proxies where weapons are or/and can be deployed. New NATO members such as Poland, Romania, etc. are much closer to the Russian territory.

racedo
28th Jul 2018, 19:17
So now you're an expert on how Boots runs its stock control??!

I just showed this to someone who works in Boots.
You have absolutely NO idea...

Course you did...................
Retail logistics is similar no matter what retailer you talk to.
Minimum stock to meet Sales, because it costs money to overstock
High value items treated very differently to everyday items
ANY store can tell you who bought it, at what time, what they also bought and how long they stayed in store, how they paid
because losing a £40 bottle of perfume where you make £16 is a lot more painful than losing a back of paracetemol where you make 20p.
This technology isn't exactly knew..............

flash8
28th Jul 2018, 19:20
The recent development of suspects, and details of them is great news... because they will at some stage be forced to release those details. And once they do, we can all make up our own minds.

Three men and a woman on fake passports.... I think we should be told who they are.

With credit to the UAE (and I don't give them much most of the time) with the Al-Mabhouh Mossad assassination team they released both unedited airport CCTV and passport scans... whilst I am not relating the two events in any way (as they are completely unrelated in every respect) what are the chances of the UK doing the same for these suspects (CCTV/Passport scans)???

I'd guess absolutely zero.

Shandy52
28th Jul 2018, 19:43
Well, flash8 seems to think that destabilising the UK is the objective of "foreign hostile powers", but apparently there is some disagreement on this point among those seeking to maintain Russian innocence in this business. And I must say that as someone who remembers the Cold War, I find it difficult not to think of Russia (as the inheritor of the mantle of the USSR) as hostile. Not to mention that the USSR had serious form for assassinating its enemies (Trotsky, Markov, Masaryk...) overseas.

As regards the question of which Russians might have done this, I maintain, as stated above, that the Russian government must take its share of the responsibility (however great that share may be) for acts done by its citizens/intelligence agencies with materials which most certainly ought never to leave governmental control - and which possibly never did. A country in which citizens have access to WMDs is not a country which exudes trustworthiness in my book. And I cannot regard any action by a Russian intelligence agency as in any way absolving the Russian government of responsibility; to think otherwise is to contemplate the possibility of GRU (presumably) operating outside governmental control, with its own agenda not subject to diplomatic considerations. I regard that as a frightening prospect.

Racedo, my refence to relations between GRU and KGB seems to have gone over your head. Historically these were two agencies which most certainly competed for budget, as you suggest.

Pontius Navigator
28th Jul 2018, 19:45
Racedo, Flash's talking of Boots as possibly where Charlie got the perfume was not to suggest it was a stock item.

It might have been hidden in plain sight. It might have been an item Boots sells or not. It might have been out of place begging to be picked up.

The whole thing is fantasy so practically anything is possible.

TEEEJ
28th Jul 2018, 20:34
1. Biggest forensic search likely in UK history over many months... thorough, hundreds of officers and specialized equipment.

2. Charlie comes along and finds (possibly in a park) a brand new sealed perfume in box (missed for months by any search team), what this is doing in the park and in such good condition after many months is a complete mystery. Obviously the search team were completely bloody incompetent to miss something of that size. .

Flash, You keep bringing this "search" up and it has been explained to you by VP959.

VP959 wrote in reply to your earlier post. Since then you have brought up this "search" and it is quite clear that you haven't really grasped the areas that were searched in relation to the Skripals. No search team was allocated or looking in Queen Elizabeth Gardens or in any other area south of the city centre as it wasn't associated with places visited by the Skripals. Why is that so hard to grasp?

The reason it wasn't found earlier was because no one searched across Elizabeth Gardens. I know that for a fact as I ride across the path to Harnam most weekends and there was no police or search activity that far South of the city. All the search activity focussed on the area from where the Skripals collapsed, near the city centre, around places they had visited on foot close to where they parked in the Central Car Park and North to their home. It seems they had no reason to look at areas to the South of the city.

VP959 post in reply to you.

https://www.pprune.org/10205448-post1896.html

racedo
28th Jul 2018, 20:38
Well, flash8 seems to think that destabilising the UK is the objective of "foreign hostile powers", but apparently there is some disagreement on this point among those seeking to maintain Russian innocence in this business. And I must say that as someone who remembers the Cold War, I find it difficult not to think of Russia (as the inheritor of the mantle of the USSR) as hostile. Not to mention that the USSR had serious form for assassinating its enemies (Trotsky, Markov, Masaryk...) overseas.

As regards the question of which Russians might have done this, I maintain, as stated above, that the Russian government must take its share of the responsibility (however great that share may be) for acts done by its citizens/intelligence agencies with materials which most certainly ought never to leave governmental control - and which possibly never did. A country in which citizens have access to WMDs is not a country which exudes trustworthiness in my book. And I cannot regard any action by a Russian intelligence agency as in any way absolving the Russian government of responsibility; to think otherwise is to contemplate the possibility of GRU (presumably) operating outside governmental control, with its own agenda not subject to diplomatic considerations. I regard that as a frightening prospect.

Racedo, my refence to relations between GRU and KGB seems to have gone over your head. Historically these were two agencies which most certainly competed for budget, as you suggest.

My reply and have stated it here last week was UK agencies were always fighting each other like when Met Police were sidelined by the MI's in investigation of terrorism.

racedo
28th Jul 2018, 20:41
Racedo, Flash's talking of Boots as possibly where Charlie got the perfume was not to suggest it was a stock item.

It might have been hidden in plain sight. It might have been an item Boots sells or not. It might have been out of place begging to be picked up.

The whole thing is fantasy so practically anything is possible.

Ever ask anybody in a store where something is and they bring you right to it........................ something like this will stand out and get asked about if there for very long.

racedo
28th Jul 2018, 20:43
Flash, You keep bringing this "search" up and it has been explained to you by VP959.

VP959 wrote in reply to your earlier post. Since then you have brought up this "search" and it is quite clear that you haven't really grasped the areas that were searched in relation to the Skripals. No search team was allocated or looking in Queen Elizabeth Gardens or in any other area south of the city centre as it wasn't associated with places visited by the Skripals. Why is that so hard to grasp?


Amzing that when Police look for evidence in other crimes they expand the search greatly............... especially in routes people may have used to get away out of camera sight.

TEEEJ
28th Jul 2018, 21:02
Amzing that when Police look for evidence in other crimes they expand the search greatly............... especially in routes people may have used to get away out of camera sight.

So what would they be looking for if they had extended the search? Think about it? The whole of Salisbury would have to have been locked down and searched and every discarded container bagged/tagged and sent away for further analysis. Again, think about it? The agent used isn't something that can be detected by hand-held detection equipment so where do you stop in relation to a search?

So think of that route that you suggest in relation to the CCTV? Think of every piece of discarded rubbish and the size of the area that would have to be cordoned off? Needle in a haystack springs to mind. I guess that reality goes out the window when you are deep in the conspiracy mindset!

Pontius Navigator
28th Jul 2018, 21:06
Ever ask anybody in a store where something is and they bring you right to it........................ something like this will stand out and get asked about if there for very long.
No suggestion that it was there very ?ong.

There was a 4 month gap. Whichever way you look at it, it was not necessarily dumped in March and discovered in July.

flash8
28th Jul 2018, 21:07
VP959 wrote in reply to your earlier post. Since then you have brought up this "search" and it is quite clear that you haven't really grasped the areas that were searched in relation to the Skripals.
Charlie "cannot recall" where he found the box containing the perfume which kind of blows that theory out of the water. Can you "grasp" that?

Lascaille
28th Jul 2018, 21:22
Retail logistics is similar no matter what retailer you talk to.
Minimum stock to meet Sales, because it costs money to overstock.

This idea - that the 'perfume' came from a shop - is ludicrous. Yes of course perfume is sold in Boots and suchlike but this was not perfume, this was a nerve agent in a perfume bottle. The chance that this particular 'perfume' box somehow ended up on a retail shop floor is zero unless it was deliberately planted, and there is no logical reason to deliberately plant it. Even if twenty or fifty such boxes were planted and people were being carted into the ER twitching and foaming on a daily basis the Skripals would have stood out as victims as in their case there would be no tampered perfume amongst their possessions.

Some people here seem to be under the impression this attack was carried out by a Laurel&Hardy team who discard sealed perfume bottles in public parks in panic or haste to get away, and who were complete amateurs. Please... it would be utterly foolish to believe this, and thankfully... not many do. [...] perfume that was placed in a retail outlet to achieve maximum public disruption and panic.

This is also ludicrous. If the aim was to cause 'public disruption and panic' then there would be no need to use a hard-to-procure military nerve agent. Cyanide works quite well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Tylenol_murders

There is an explanation which makes perfect sense and I provided it above, but I will recap:

A disguise was required that would allow the nerve agent to be carried undetected through all anticipated airport security measures.
The disguise of a retail packaged perfume was chosen because (without alteration) the packaging will both safely contain and conceal the agent and because the item is strongly associated with air travel and duty free shopping. Also the item is always sold with a shrinkwrap seal. Only a 'we know you have something' intelligence-led drug mule type of search would involve opening retail sealed perfumes.
Multiple weapons were prepared and sent with multiple operatives to ensure redundancy. There are 4 suspects? If they travelled as two couples there would probably be two weapons, if they travelled individually there may be 4 weapons.
One weapon was used at the Skripal's house, made 'field' safe (e.g. double ziploc bagged) and disposed of as rapidly as possible, ideally in a commercial dumpster that would be handled mechanically.
The unused weapon was disposed of in a careless manner, maybe just thrown over a fence into the 'dumpster compound' of a supermarket. Supermarket dumpsters are filled with lots of expired-but-good food on a regular schedule. Some people dig through those dumpsters for stale expired food, saving their money for juicy non-expired heroin.
Our unlucky chap found the perfume and took it home and the rest we know.
He 'can't remember where he found it' for his public interview because he's human and ashamed to admit his drug problem has him digging through trash for food (but he's told the police). Alternately he can't actually remember where he found it.

The reason it wasn't found earlier was because no one searched across Elizabeth Gardens

No. I mean, I can't prove it, but no. This weapon wasn't just chucked at random into a flowerbed, Flash8's quoted words apply.

The packaging has been described by Charlie as about 3"x3"x1/2" with 'bottles' and a 'separate pump'. I cranked up the autism/adderall a bit and SCOURED the internet and I'm pretty sure this is the disguise that was used for the weapon:

https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.gmforum.com-vbulletin/1280x720/maxresdefault_003eb2e64f61c52851b081a2e11b9a15f06f509f.jpg
As described, about 3x3x1/2, two bottles and a pump dispenser. The mechanics of operation - as you can see from the youtube video below - don't exactly fit his description but if the manufacturers of the weapon wanted to provide the best containment for the agent they might have kept the original 'pump', refilled the two 'refill' bottles with agent, replaced the sprayer caps of those two bottles with o-ring sealed caps and then shrinkwrapped the bottles individually. Charlie's mechanics would then make sense.

gOB2su2-oSw

TEEEJ
28th Jul 2018, 21:22
Charlie "cannot recall" where he found the box containing the perfume which kind of blows that theory out of the water. Can you "grasp" that?

You wrote.

1. Biggest forensic search likely in UK history over many months... thorough, hundreds of officers and specialized equipment.

2. Charlie comes along and finds (possibly in a park) a brand new sealed perfume in box (missed for months by any search team), what this is doing in the park and in such good condition after many months is a complete mystery. Obviously the search team were completely bloody incompetent to miss something of that size.

So why were you referring to the "search" and possibly in a park? The search focused on areas related to the Skripals. Why would the search extend to such a park or any other area in Salisbury? The whole of Salisbury would have to have been cordoned off and every single potential container collected and sent off for analysis.

racedo
28th Jul 2018, 21:33
So what would they be looking for if they had extended the search? Think about it? The whole of Salisbury would have to have been locked down and searched and every discarded container bagged/tagged and sent away for further analysis. Again, think about it? The agent used isn't something that can be detected by hand-held detection equipment so where do you stop in relation to a search?

Escape route with no cctv and discarded evidence.


So think of that route that you suggest in relation to the CCTV? Think of every piece of discarded rubbish and the size of the area that would have to be cordoned off? Needle in a haystack springs to mind. I guess that reality goes out the window when you are deep in the conspiracy mindset!

Bearing in mind council cleaning there wouldn't be much

flash8
28th Jul 2018, 22:36
So why were you referring to the "search" and possibly in a park? The search focused on areas related to the Skripals. Why would the search extend to such a park or any other area in Salisbury? The whole of Salisbury would have to have been cordoned off and every single potential container collected and sent off for analysis.
Those statements aren't mutually exclusive. I state possibly a park (weren't the Skripals found on a Park bench?) - it may have been elsewhere such as a trail or road - nobody knows because Charlie himself "can't recall" such detail. My point is nobody (but perhaps Charlie and his handlers) are privy to this information.

there would be no need to use a hard-to-procure military nerve agent. Cyanide works quite well

Cyanide would not have had the political and public fallout that the perpetrators intended. Indeed it might very well not even have been linked to the initial Skripal poisoning. Somebody wanted to make sure that the events are linked (as they have been) and seen to be linked publically, and not by absolute luck (found discarded) but by design.
He 'can't remember where he found it' for his public interview because he's human and ashamed to admit his drug problem has him digging through trash for food (but he's told the police). Alternately he can't actually remember where he found it.
Or alternatively, where do you usually find sealed, wrapped bottles of brand new perfume?

Don't misinterpret me, it is only a theory, but I cannot yet find enough holes in it to discount it. If it were true of course we'll never know... unless it happens again. It's a pity we don't have a media that questions anything official but prints it with meekness and docility verbatim.

Lascaille
28th Jul 2018, 22:43
Or alternatively, where do you usually find sealed, wrapped bottles of brand new perfume?

No, that's not the correct question.

The correct question is "where do you usually find sealed, wrapped bottles which appear identical to retail perfume but actually contain a military nerve agent?" That's what he came across and so that's the relevant question.

Now as you don't normally find that item anywhere on the planet it becomes a bit hard to draw conclusions. Planting it is easy enough, but what about actually getting the agent? It'd have to be the same perpetrators in both cases unless you think the second team were totally coincidentally lucky enough to have a batch of the exact same stuff ready to go.

So the destabilisers (a foreign intelligence agency aiming to implicate Russia) first attacked the Skripals and then planted this item? The Skripal attack and the choice agent point the finger at Russia, the second act alarms people but where's the destabilisation? What do you think will occur? And who - given Trump's current warmth towards Putin - do you think are the destabilisers? Why now? And what foreign agency do you think would authorise the planting of a nerve agent on a British high street shop shelf? You guys mention Spycatcher "where it wasn't a Foreign power doing the destabilising" - like, what? I must have read that book 50 times, so do you want to quote the bits where MI5 are acting in a destabilising fashion?

When you look at my theory note that I'm not getting into the 'who' - I don't think we'll ever know, it certainly won't be proven in a court of law and I doubt anyone will admit it - so it's uninteresting politics to me.

It may well be 'pure supposition' but it's grounded and very feasible.

annakm
28th Jul 2018, 22:56
Why all the consternation about the fact that searches were made in the locality and nothing found, when it’s quite likely that the container - whatever it is - was most likely found by Rowley and/or Sturgess very soon after the original incident, taken home by them and ended up sitting on their bathroom window/dressing table and ignored until early July when it was opened and the metaphorical genie was then let out of the bottle.

flash8
28th Jul 2018, 23:25
Why all the consternation about the fact that searches were made in the locality and nothing found, when it’s quite likely that the container - whatever it is - was most likely found by Rowley and/or Sturgess very soon after the original incident, taken home by them and ended up sitting on their bathroom window/dressing table and ignored until early July when it was opened and the metaphorical genie was then let out of the bottle.
I believe Charlie stated he found the package a few days before the poisoning of his partner. Again, timelines and locations are very vague... like much of the facts that have been dispersed. You very well could be right.

flash8
28th Jul 2018, 23:45
The correct question is "where do you usually find sealed, wrapped bottles which appear identical to retail perfume but actually contain a military nerve agent?" That's what he came across and so that's the relevant question.

Sorry, you are correct. Fair point. I would say you would find it in a place you would expect it to be used, somewhere unambiguous, where a mistake in deployment would be unlikely.

Anyway, none of us really know anything, we are just hazarding guesses, we are (or at least I am) eagerly awaiting the naming of the four suspects.. expect this thread then to go ballistic :}

It may well be 'pure supposition' but it's grounded and very feasible.
Agreed... we are just thinking aloud.. given the lack of any real facts, and as you say perhaps some things we will never know..