Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Skripal Poisoning and the Narrative with Plot Holes

Updated September 13, 2018

Please click on this link for an update on the two suspects who, as it turns out, were Russian tourists visiting Salisbury. 

With Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany all piling on against Russia's alleged poisoning of the Skripals through the use of two officers from the Russian military intelligence or GRU and demanding that Russia disclose its nerve agent program, a brief look at the assessment by British authorities is in order.

Here is a direct link to the press release from the London Metropolitan Police from September 5th, 2018 and a screen capture showing photos of the two allegedly Russian gentlemen accused of perpetrating this crime, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov:

On March 4th, 2018, Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found unconscious on a bench in the city centre of Salisbury.  Both have since recovered from what was determined to be a poisoning using a Novichok nerve agent.  On June 30, Dawn Sturgess became ill after being exposed to Novichok and died on July 8th.  Her parter, Charlie Rowley, was also poisoned and eventually recovered after three weeks of hospitalization.

The Metropolitan Police have made the following determinations:

"We have now linked the attack on the Skripals and the events in Amesbury which affected Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley. It now forms one investigation. We do not believe Dawn and Charlie were deliberately targeted, but became victims as a result of the recklessness in which such a toxic nerve agent was disposed of. We know that Novichok was applied to the Skripals’ front door in an area that is accessible to the public, which also endangered the lives of members of the public and emergency service responders.

Our rationale for linking the two investigations is primarily based on the following four facts:

Firstly, our own analysis, and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in the Hague, has confirmed that the same type of Novichok was used in both cases.

Secondly, the nerve agent is one of the rarest chemical warfare agents in the world and its discovery, twice, in such close proximity is beyond a coincidence.

Third, the manner in which the bottle and packaging has been adapted makes it a perfect cover for smuggling the weapon into the country, and a perfect delivery method for the attack against the Skripal’s front door.

Fourthly, the lack of crossover between the known movements of the suspects and Dawn and Charlie’s known movements around Salisbury, and the fact that there is no evidence to suggest they have been targeted mean it is much more likely Dawn and Charlie found."

After nearly six months of investigation, the British authorities have now determined that two Russian suspects were culpable for the poisonings and have tracked their movements within Britain as follows:

"At 3pm on Friday, 2 March, the suspects arrived at Gatwick airport, having flown from Moscow on Aeroflot flight SU2588.

From there it is believed that they travelled by train into London, arriving at Victoria station at approximately 5.40pm.

They then travelled on London public transport to Waterloo station and were in the area between approximately 6pm and 7pm. They travelled to the City Stay Hotel in Bow Road, East London, where they stayed on Friday, 2 March, and Saturday, 3 March.

On Saturday, 3 March, they left the hotel and took the underground to Waterloo station, arriving at approximately 11.45am, where they caught a train to Salisbury, arriving at approximately 2.25pm.

They are believed to have taken a similar route when they returned to London on the afternoon of Saturday, 3 March. Leaving Salisbury at approximately 4.10pm and arriving in Bow at approximately 8.05 pm.

We assess that this trip was for reconnaissance of the Salisbury area and do not believe that there was any risk to the public from their movements on this day.

On Sunday, 4 March, they made the same journey from the hotel, again using the underground from Bow to Waterloo station at approximately 8.05am, before continuing their journey by train to Salisbury.

CCTV shows them in the vicinity of Mr Skripal’s house and we believe that they contaminated the front door with Novichok.

They left Salisbury and returned to Waterloo Station, arriving at approximately 4.45pm and boarded the London Underground at approximately 6.30pm to London Heathrow Airport.

From Heathrow Airport, they returned to Moscow on Aeroflot flight SU2585, departing at 10.30pm on Sunday, 4 March."

The British authorities supplied several photographs of the suspects other than the one that appears at the beginning of the press release as shown here:

Authorities in the United Kingdom are uncertain as to the actual identities of the two Russian individuals who have more or less been found guilty of the poisonings as shown in this excerpt:

"It is likely that they were travelling under aliases and that these are not their real names. We would like to hear from anyone who knows them. We are releasing these photographs of them, from the travel documents they used to enter the country." (my bold)

Here is one of the suspects appearing on a screen capture from CCTV taken at Gatwick Airport at 15:00 hours on March 2, 2018:

Here is the other suspect also from a CCTV taken at Gatwick Airport at 15:00 hours on the same day:

Thanks to observations made by Craig Murray, Britain's former Ambassador to Uzbekistan who turned whistleblower when he reported on human rights violations by Uzbekistan, you may notice that there is an odd coincidence on the CCTV screen captures.  In the lower left-hand corner, you will notice the date (in typical British form DD/MM/YYYY) and time which that these two suspects passed through the same point in the Gatwick Airport at exactly the same time, right to the second.  While there are multiple exit points that appear to be identical as shown in this photo, it seems a rather large stretch in credibility to suggest that both suspects passed through the same exit system at exactly the same time down to the second.

What makes this whole thing even more odd is how the pictures were reported in the U.K. news yesterday.  Here are the same two photos as reported by the Sun noting that the time stamp is covered with a South West News Service logo:

Here are the same photos as reported by the Guardian noting that the time stamp has been completely trimmed from the pictures:

To me the reportage by the Sun and Guardian suggest that they noticed there was something "off" about the Gatwick Airport CCTV screen captures of the two allegedly Russian suspects and chose to cover up the errors by British authorities.

While there may be other explanations for why the time stamps on the security camera footage show exactly the same time down to the second when the two alleged Russians passed through the same part of the Gatwick Airport, the only one that I can think of off the top of my head is that the Russians have developed a means of time travel or shape-shifting for their agents.  In any case, it appears that the current narrative has at least some plot holes.

1 comment:

  1. “Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest.”—Mahatma Ghandi