# News KGB agent claims poisoning

#### physics girl phd

There are some (Associated Press) rumors circulating that three British Airways planes are contaminated... if this is true, MAYBE it can be seen whether the flights originated from anywhere interesting...

#### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
If this was done on the behest of Putin, isn't it the stupidest way to assassinate an obvious dissenter (and deserter)? There are hundreds of effective poisons that are not typically accessible only to a handful of people around the world. This seems so stupid as to make, in my opinion, the likelihood of a set-up not small.

#### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
If this was done on the behest of Putin, isn't it the stupidest way to assassinate an obvious dissenter (and deserter)? There are hundreds of effective poisons that are not typically accessible only to a handful of people around the world. This seems so stupid as to make, in my opinion, the likelihood of a set-up not small.
I was thinking the same thing, however there have been rumors that the job was outsourced to the mob. In that case, perhaps the sloppy job would make more sense, which is part of what got my attention. As for the choice of materials, I don't know. Maybe Putin believes himself to be untouchable.

Today...

Nov. 30 (Bloomberg) -- The unexplained deaths of a former Russian spy, an investigative journalist, a central banker and two business executives have created a problem'' between Russia and Europe, European Commission President Jose Barroso said today.

We have a problem with Russia. In fact we have several problems,'' Barroso told the German Parliament's European Affairs Committee. Too many people have been killed and we don't know who killed them.'' [continued]
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601085&sid=aZ.4DKQduZDE&refer=europe [Broken]

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#### Astronuc

Staff Emeritus
There are some (Associated Press) rumors circulating that three British Airways planes are contaminated... if this is true, MAYBE it can be seen whether the flights originated from anywhere interesting...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6159927.stm

Experts probing the death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko have found traces of radioactivity at 12 locations, the home secretary has said. Among them are two British Airways (BA) planes. A third one is awaiting checks.

Home Secretary John Reid told Parliament that two Russian aircraft, one of which is currently at Heathrow airport, were also of interest.

The Health Protection Agency said 24 people had been referred to a specialist clinic for tests.

BA is contacting 33,000 passengers from 221 flights. But Mr Reid stressed the public health risk was low.
Alpha emitters are only effective internally. The skin stops alpha particles, and in fact, clothing would stop alpha particles.

#### neutrino

Latest developments...

Scientists at the U.K.'s Atomic Weapons Establishment in Aldermaston, west of London, have traced the polonium 210 found in London to a nuclear power plant in Russia, the capital's Evening Standard newspaper reported today. Officials at the establishment didn't return calls.
A significant quantity'' of radioactive material was found in an Italian associate of Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian spy who died after being poisoned with the same substance.

The amount of polonium 210 found is of immediate concern as a risk to the man's health, rather than a lower dose that may pose a latent cancer risk, a spokesman for the U.K. Health Protection Agency said today. Italy's government said the man is Mario Scaramella, an academic.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601102&sid=alIVN4QzXTws&refer=uk [Broken]

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#### Dense

Okay, so the man died from radiation poisoning that could only have happened if he had ingested, breathed or otherwise taken the stuff internally.

It's from Polonium-210, which apparently is freely available in unregulated stuff one could buy online. A quanitity sufficient to produce a fatal dose can be purchased for only a few hundred dollars.

Other people who were with him got slightly poisoned. That means it was probably not injected, but was rather inhaled or ingested.

Many locations he visited turned out to also be contaminated. That means it was probably not ingested with a meal, but was instead in a fine particulate form that traveled with him.

This leads to only a few likely alternatives:

1) He was trafficking the material, known to be used in the detonation of basic atomic explosives, and the bag it was in wasn't sealed tight and the dust got on his clothes or in his hair. Could have been a courier transporting it to terrorists or rogue countries. But that begs the question of what he was doing transporting it through one of the more security-conscious countries, with both facilities and motivation to stop him. Still, people are known to do stupid things, especially people stupid enough to be couriers.

2) He was the victim of an accident, having visited a place where Polonium-210 was being made/processed/packaged, and got some of it on his clothes or in his har.

3) He was the victim of a particularly Rube Goldberg-like assassination attempt, where instead of using commonly-available and immediately-effective killers like rat poison, bullets, ricin, blunt instruments, deep water, or what have you, the killers instead used something that draws all kinds of attention to the poisoning, takes forever to kill someone, affects other non-targets thereby increasing the odds of detection and punishment, and gives the victim all the time in the world to point the finger at the killer. This sounds remarkably unlikely. But again, people are known to do stupid things.

#### kesh

It's from Polonium-210, which apparently is freely available in unregulated stuff one could buy online. A quanitity sufficient to produce a fatal dose can be purchased for only a few hundred dollars.
not sure about this. he had 100 times+ the lethal dose, so if your account of the polonium source and cost is correct it would be tens of thousands of dollars.

#### turbo

Gold Member
It's from Polonium-210, which apparently is freely available in unregulated stuff one could buy online. A quanitity sufficient to produce a fatal dose can be purchased for only a few hundred dollars.
That's not even close. From the website of United Nuclear:

You would need about 15,000 of our Polonium-210 needle sources
at a total cost of about $1 million - to have a toxic amount. http://www.unitednuclear.com/isotopes.htm According to the website linked above Polonium 120 is regulated, but they are permitted to sell it in very tiny quantities without the recipient producing a license. In other words, an unregulated amount because it is relatively harmless. Notice he didn't say that you could accumulate a fatal dose for$1M - he said a "toxic amount". That is quite another thing entirely. The ex-spy not only got a "toxic amount", but apparently at least 100x a lethal amount, and others that he came in contact with were contaminated as well, so there was apparently an excess over and above the dose that he got.

Also, since this isotope has a half-life of only 138 days, the Polonium used in the assassination was likely produced fairly recently, and in quantities that might have perhaps should have raised questions at the reactor. Who could pull that off without setting off inquiries? It would be a stupid thing for the Russian intelligence community to do, since they had the means and the motive, but they are the most likely suspects.

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#### devil-fire

apparently vladimir putin was in the KGB and was the first head of the FSB (formerly KGB) according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Putin .
i don't think someone with as much power and as through an understanding of espionage and intelligence could be the victim of a mass campaign to frame him to look like someone who authorizes the murder of dissidents. i think this whole thing is an intimidation tactic aimed at his enemies. his enemies now know that no matter where in the world they are, no matter what they are doing, if putin wants them dead, they are likely to be subject to a vary long painful death where no one can help them so it's a vary bad idea to cross mr. putin

#### turbo

Gold Member
i think this whole thing is an intimidation tactic aimed at his enemies. his enemies now know that no matter where in the world they are, no matter what they are doing, if putin wants them dead, they are likely to be subject to a vary long painful death where no one can help them so it's a vary bad idea to cross mr. putin
You have an interesting and compelling take on this. I must say that if I had the goods on Putin and/or the FSB, I would be a more than a little nervous about coming out with the proof after this demonstration of his reach. I've been thinking about how this assassination could be pulled off, and it would be very easy once you have the Po 120. I think that the safest way to handle the material would be to suspend it in water to avoid the chance of accidental inhalation. Then deliver it to the food or drink of the victim. It would be a cinch to poison someone if you met them for lunch. If you spill a drop or two on your skin, no problem. The alpha radiation won't penetrate your skin.

#### kesh

i think this whole thing is an intimidation tactic aimed at his enemies. his enemies now know that no matter where in the world they are, no matter what they are doing, if putin wants them dead, they are likely to be subject to a vary long painful death where no one can help them so it's a vary bad idea to cross mr. putin
yes, and i think that he is leaving it tracable to him deliberately, as part of his assertion of power. it's like leaving a calling card on a corpse.

also europe needs his oil and particularly his gas too much to be too indignant, and he knows it.

#### Anttech

also europe needs his oil and particularly his gas too much to be too indignant, and he knows it.
Actually we dont, we choose too for some reason. The EU could as easily shop elsewhere..

#### kesh

Actually we dont, we choose too for some reason. The EU could as easily shop elsewhere..
well. not immediately. any land route from europe to *anywhere* has to go through russia. britain is building more LNG terminals at the moment to get gas from the mideast by boat (ooh, another spot with no political issues). we've know for ages that north sea gas was running out, but bizarrely only just started to sort this out.

#### Anttech

well. not immediately. any land route from europe to *anywhere* has to go through russia.
You are forgetting Turkey through Asia Minor.
britain is building more LNG terminals at the moment to get gas from the mideast by boat (ooh, another spot with no political issues). we've know for ages that north sea gas was running out, but bizarrely only just started to sort this out.
Yeap, IIRC British Gas only thought that the gas in the North sea would last 10 years after they first turned on the pipes and refitted all the gas cookers (saw it on coast--on the beeb). Eastern Europe is more relient on Russia, the EU *can* shop elsewhere...

#### kesh

You are forgetting Turkey through Asia Minor.
last time i looked there was the waters of the bosphorus. and turkey is completely sewn up with russia gas wise. russia joint owning the infrastructure etc

and like i said, does europe have the infrastructure to shop elsewhere?

#### Anttech

last time i looked there was the waters of the bosphorus. and turkey is completely sewn up with russia gas wise. russia joint owning the infrastructure etc

and like i said, does europe have the infrastructure to shop elsewhere?
Last time I looked the Istanbul Straight was there as well. Its a whole 700M across, its bridged, it has pipes under and over it, it has a City all around it. Its about the width of the Danube. People drive over it, walk over it, swim across it. Its not exactly stopping any Land Cargo from getting through Turkey to Greece, its not a barrier. Yes its filled with water, well done, for pointing that out. The Fact of the matter is I can WALK to India from Here without getting wet, or getting on a boat, yes I have to cross some bridges... Please dont try and assert that if I want to go over Land to get there I need to go through Russia, because I dont.

Anyway the EU does have the infrastructure to shop elsewhere what are you basing that on?

#### kesh

calm down

i'm not going to argue with you whether a bridge over sea straits qualifies as a land route or not

the question is whether europe has gas supply security should russia wish to exert its influence to threaten that security; or whether, as you contend, we can simply go to a different market.

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#### Anttech

calm down

i'm not going to argue with you whether a bridge over sea straits qualifies as a land route or not
Good, ok, sorry

the question is whether europe has gas supply security should russia wish to exert its influence to threaten that security; or whether, as you contend, we can simply go to a different market.

#### Yonoz

http://www.washingtontimes.com/upi/20070108-125045-8464r.htm" [Broken]
"We are 100 percent sure who administered the poison, where and how," a police source told the newspaper, which said that Russian authorities were not likely to send the two suspected killers to Britain for trial.
"Both claim to have been contaminated as victims of the plot," the Mirror quoted the source as saying. "The view in Moscow is that we have the wrong men."
The Independent said Litvinenko may have been poisoned days earlier than previously thought and could have been exposed to radioactive material twice. Two Russian businessmen, one a former KGB officer and the other a former Soviet soldier, were subjects of Scotland Yard's investigation.

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"KGB agent claims poisoning"

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