Police can’t say Skripal & Amesbury cases linked, or that those responsible will be caught

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Queen Elizabeth Garden in Salisbury, where the Skripals fed the ducks while
The head of Britain’s counter-terrorism operations, Neil Basu, has said the agency cannot positively link the poisoning in Salisbury, Wiltshire, of former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia to the more recent poisoning of the late Dawn Sturgess and her partner Charlie Rowley in the same town with an as yet unspecified nerve agent. Nor can they guarantee authorities will catch those responsible for the nerve agent poisoning of the Skripals and Dawn Sturgess,

Basu, who heads Counter Terrorism Policing nationally, told residents of Amesbury he would “love to be able to say that we have identified and caught the people responsible and how we are certain there are no traces of nerve agent left anywhere in Wiltshire, but the brutal reality is that I cannot offer you any reassurance or guarantee at this time.”

Sturgess and Charlie Rowley reportedly fell ill after coming into contact with Novichok on June 30, and Sturgess died days later. This is the same nerve agent believed to have poisoned Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March. Public Health England have repeatedly said there is no wider threat to the public arising from the Skripal case.

We can perhaps believe the latter assurance as well respected chemists have confirmed that Novichok, the nerve agent generally agreed to have been used in the bid to assassinate the Skripals would decompose if exposed to the environment for three months. The rest of the official narrative however was always as full of holes as a bagel bakery.

A new development has only added to the confusion:

According to Rob Sloane in The Blogmire.com on 28th March, an article appeared in the Sun, which talked about a 12-year-old boy from Salisbury, Aiden Cooper, who was apparently in a park with his parents, when he saw the Skripals and went over to them to feed the ducks:

“A schoolboy told yesterday how he was caught up in the poison spy drama after assassination target Sergei Skripal gave him bread to feed ducks. Aiden Cooper, 12, was playing in a park with pals when they saw Skripal and daughter Yulia beside a stream. They were handed bread and are among the last people to have had contact with the retired ­Russian military intellig­ence colonel, now fighting for his life.

It is usual when citing The Currant Bun (for U.S. readers that’s rhyming slang,) to have a truckload of salt handy as every other word needs to be taken with a large pinch of the stuff, but in this case not only is there no reason why the people quoted in the article, would make up such stories. In any case, the story was repeated in a number of other outlets (The MirrorThe Mail and Metro for instance) and parts of it at least have been confirmed by police when they were questioned on the story, although they did not volunteer the information in the aftermath of the incident when the media and establishment were focused on blaming The Russians.

The interesting thing about The Mirror, The Mail and Metro pieces is that they are all vague about a quite crucial detail. The Mirror and The Mail both tell us that the incident took place “near the Avon Playground”. And Metro tells us that the incident took place at “Riverside Park”. The Avon Playground mentioned by The Mirror and The Mail is next to the Avon River, and it is also about 50 yards or so from the bench where the Skripals were found (as an aside, this is not the same Avon as runs through Stratford-upon-Avon. Avon is a Celtic word meaning river and there are several river Avons in modern Britain). As for Riverside Park mentioned by Metro, no such named park exists in Salisbury although there is a Queen Elizabeth Garden which is a park on the riverside and is where Dawn Sturgess is alleged to have picked up a syringe part filled with an unknown substance. But the important point is that from the details given in these articles most people would assume that the duck-feeding incident took place in the same park as the bench on which the Skripals were found.

Yet all three of these media outlets are wrong, and in a way that may well be very significant. Turning back to the report in The Sun, we find that it is by far the most detailed of all the reports on the duck incident. In fact, it appeared three days after the others appeared, with The Sun sending a reporter to interview the boy and his parents. From that and from independent reports supplied by people living in Salisbury, we learn that Queen Elizabeth Garden is on the other side of town from locations linked to the Skripal case and the police timeline for the incident does not mention the Russians having been there at all. Yet if police officers managed to contact Aidan cooper’s parents from a photo taken in the park they must have known both he and the Skripals were there.

All this does not by any means prove that Russian agents were not involved in the first poisoning, but it does reveal that a lot of the evidence used to support the government’s accusations was unreliable if not totally fabricated.

So what is going on? Is there any link between the incidents? Do the police or security services have any idea what really happened, let alone who might be responsible? The more we learn about this case the more questions it throws up.

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Swiss lab says ‘BZ toxin’ used in Salisbury, not produced in Russia, was in US & UK service

The substance used on Sergei Skripal was an agent called BZ, according to Swiss state Spiez lab, according to a leaked report. The toxin was never produced in Russia, but was in service in the US, UK, and other NATO states, the report is rumoured to reveal.

Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent, and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with an incapacitating toxin known as 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate or BZ,  German business news site DW reports, citing the results of the examination conducted by a Swiss chemical lab that worked with the samples that London handed over to the Organisation for the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

The Swiss chemical lab that worked with the samples that London handed over to the Organisation for the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons (OPCW), found that Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent, and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with an incapacitating toxin known as 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate or BZ.

The Swiss center sent the results to the OPCW.

However, the UN chemical watchdog limited itself only to confirming the formula of the substance used to poison the Skripals in its final report without mentioning anything about the other facts presented in the Swiss document, the Russian foreign minister added.

He went on to say that Moscow would ask the OPCW about its decision to not include any other information provided by the Swiss in its report.

On a side note, the Swiss lab is also an internationally recognized center of excellence in the field of the nuclear, biological, and chemical protection and is one of the five centers permanently authorized by the OPCW.

 

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UK Authorities Unable To Prove Novichok Nerve Agent Was Made In Russia

In a major embarrassment to the UK political establishment after Prime minister Teresa (the appeaser) May, several senior members of her government and a multitude of media commentators from across the political spectrum had accused Russia of being responsible for the attempted murder of former double agent Sergei Skripal, with some ever going as far as to name Vladimir Putin as the person who ordered the hit, the chief scientist from the UK’s Porton Down military laboratory facility, Gary Aitkenhead, told Sky News that they had been unable to prove that the novichok nerve agent used to poison Sergei and his daughter Yulia Skripal came from Russia.

“We were able to identify it as novichok, to identify that it was military-grade nerve agent,” Aitkenhead said. “We have not identified the precise source, but we have provided the scientific info to government who have then used a number of other sources to piece together the conclusions you have come to.”

The chief scientist said that establishing the Novichok’s origin required “other inputs,” some of which are intelligence based and which only the government has access to.

Aitkenhead added: “It is our job to provide the scientific evidence of what this particular nerve agent is, we identified that it is from this particular family and that it is a military grade, but it is not our job to say where it was manufactured.”

Oh good, at least Europe did not expel most Russian diplomats based on a Tony Blair style assumption that since Russia is the only possible source of Novichok. As well informed people (i.e. those of us who do not dumbly swallow the propaganda pushed out by mainstream media,) novichock can be made by any competent chemist from easily obtained ingredients.

Of course, this humiliation to the official narrative that Putin was clearly behind the assassination attempt all along also begs the question: whose job is it to say where the Novichok came from?

That said, it was also noted that the nerve agent involved required “extremely sophisticated methods to create, something only in the capabilities of a state actor,” and that there is no known antidote to Novichok – nor was any administered to either of the Skripals.

Aitkenhead would not say whether the Porton Down facility had manufactured or maintained stocks of Novichok – long rumored to be the case.

“There is no way anything like that could have come from us or left the four walls of our facility,” said the chief.

News of the UK’s inability to trace the origin of the Novichok comes as a chemical weapons watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is set to hold an executive council meeting in The Hague on Russia’s request.

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