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Nerve Agent Attack In Britain.


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#1 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 1350 PM

I thought I would create a new thread for this, the other is clearly getting two crowded and its clearly becoming more significant as time goes on. Recent BBC coverage suggests 22 people are being monitored for contamination

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk...europe-43330498

For days, Russia's main national TV channels were practically silent on the attempt to kill former spy Sergei Skripal with a nerve agent, but this changed in Wednesday's main evening bulletins.

The comment by Kirill Kleimenov - the presenter on government-controlled Channel One's flagship Vremya news programme - sounded like a veiled, mocking threat to anyone considering becoming a double agent for Britain.

"I don't wish death on anyone, but for purely educational purposes, I have a warning for anyone who dreams of such a career," he said.

"The profession of a traitor is one of the most dangerous in the world," Kleimenov said, adding that few who had chosen it had lived to a ripe old age.

Alcoholism, drug addiction, stress and depression resulting in heart attacks and even suicide were the "professional illnesses of a traitor", according to Kleimenov.

'Maybe it's the climate'

He also had a second piece of advice for such "traitors or those who simply hate their country in their free time": "Don't choose Britain as a place to live."

 

"Something is wrong there. Maybe it's the climate, but in recent years there have been too many strange incidents with grave outcomes there."

The remarks stood out from the rest of the evening's coverage, which followed the line often taken by Russian state media in similar circumstances - denial and wry bemusement that anyone should be pointing the finger at Russia.

On NTV - ultimately controlled by state gas company Gazprom - a presenter said the Western media were accusing Russia of poisoning Mr Skripal despite the lack of any evidence or any "expert conclusions".

Its London correspondent, Liza Gerson, mentioned the role of the UK's Porton Down research facility in the investigation, pointing out that it tested chemicals used against German soldiers in World War One.

 

She also took a swipe at Boris Johnson's warning to Russia this week, saying the foreign secretary was known for his "unpredictable antics" and was "an infant in a man's suit".

Over on state channel Rossiya 1, the presenter said the British authorities "didn't even try" to seek Russia's co-operation in the investigation, "but have already discovered a Russian trace in the case".

'Anti-Russian hysteria'

Before the leading TV channels picked up the story, it had been widely covered by newspapers, news websites and niche liberal outlets such as Dozhd TV and Ekho Moskvy radio, as well as the relatively little-watched state news channel Rossiya 24.

"The British media continue to fan anti-Russian hysteria," one Rossiya 24 report said, adding that attempts to find a "Kremlin trace" were based "not on facts, but purely on rumours and fabrication".

The channel's UK correspondent reported the "interesting detail" that Britain's "secret" Porton Down facility manufactures the VX and sarin nerve agents, as well as other "UK weapons of mass destruction".

News websites widely reported remarks by Andrei Lugovoi - a suspect in the killing of former Russian security officer Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006 - dismissing talk of a "Russian trace".

"The English suffer from phobias," Mr Lugovoi - now a member of the Russian parliament - told the RIA Novosti news agency.

Dozhd TV's take was entirely different from the state media. Here, a presenter said that the discovery that Mr Skripal was poisoned by a nerve agent means "Russia is in for a high-profile criminal investigation".


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#2 Paul G.

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 1353 PM

Attack most likley facilitated by the embassy.

That officer will suffer health effects for life.
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#3 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 1355 PM

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43337962

 

The officer injured in the nerve agent attack has been named by police as Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey.

The officer, 38, who was in intensive care following the incident, is now "stable and conscious", Wiltshire's chief constable Keir Pritchard said.

Ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, are still critically ill after being found collapsed on a bench in Salisbury on Sunday.

Twenty-one people have been been treated in hospital after the incident.

Mr Pritchard said Det Sgt Bailey was sitting up and talking.

"I very much hope Nick will be on his feet back at work very soon," he told the BBC. "We desperately miss him.

"He's a great character. He's a huge presence in Wiltshire Police, well-liked, well-loved, a massively dedicated officer.

"He's not the Nick that I know, but of course he's receiving a high level of treatment."

A total of 21 people, including officers and staff, had been treated in hospital in the aftermath, he said.

Only Mr Skripal, Ms Skripal and Det Sgt Bailey remain in hospital.

Counter-terrorism officers are working to find the origin of the nerve agent.

 

Earlier, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the attempted murder of Mr Skripal and his daughter was a "brazen and reckless" act.

She refused to speculate on whether the Russian state might have been involved in the attack, saying the police investigation should be based on "facts, not rumour".

Russia has denied it was involved.

Meanwhile, a doctor who was one of the first people on the scene has described how she found Ms Skripal slumped unconscious on a bench, vomiting and fitting. She had also lost control of her bodily functions.

 

The doctor, who asked not to be named, told the BBC she moved Ms Skripal into the recovery position and opened her airway, as others tended to her father.

She said she treated her for almost 30 minutes, saying there was no sign of any chemical agent on Ms Skripal's face or body.

The doctor said she had been worried she would be affected by the nerve agent, but added that she "feels fine".

Mr Skripal, 66, was convicted of passing secrets to MI6 but was given refuge in the UK in 2010 as part of a "spy swap".

It is known that he and his 33-year-old daughter had visited the Mill pub and Zizzi restaurant in Salisbury on Sunday afternoon, before they were found collapsed on a bench near the Maltings shopping centre.

 

Analysis  

By Gordon Corera, BBC security correspondent

The fact the nerve agent is "very rare" will help the investigation narrow its focus.

Making nerve agents and delivering them requires considerable infrastructure and the more unusual the agent the easier it will be to locate which country, even which laboratory, might be involved.

That combined with police leads on who delivered the agent will form the basis for a determination of responsibility, along with any other intelligence that can be gathered.

It may take days - even weeks - for the government to be confident enough to make a public statement, because it will not want to risk getting any details wrong.

But if suspicions about Russia are confirmed, then some kind of action seems inevitable.

The legacy of the 2006 Litvinenko case shows that expelling diplomats alone may not be regarded as much of a deterrent to future acts.

Economic sanctions on the Russian elite may have more bite, but would require greater political will.


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#4 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 1400 PM

There has been some suggestion that Sergei Skripal probably wont survive. Some commentators suggest that his daughter has a better chance, being younger and having apparently been a secondary contact. But as seen above, its an open question whether she will make it either.

 

Happily most of the people contaminated seem to be minor effects. OTOH, I doubt there is any really safe presence to a Nerve agent, short of being fully suited up. And some ex Soviet agents were designed to even penetrae those.


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#5 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 1509 PM

Police are reportedly moving away from the theory the agent was delivered by a spray, and are now examining if it may have been administer via food or drink. They are now searching his home.

 

http://www.dailymail...ke-talking.html

 

Just to show you how powerful this stuff was, the hospitalized policeman didnt even have direct contact with the Skripals.


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#6 Roman Alymov

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 1642 PM

https://www.telegrap...sultant-linked/

Poisoned Russian spy Sergei Skripal was close to consultant who was linked to the Trump dossier


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#7 Paul G.

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 1652 PM

Police are reportedly moving away from the theory the agent was delivered by a spray, and are now examining if it may have been administer via food or drink. They are now searching his home.
 
http://www.dailymail...ke-talking.html
 
Just to show you how powerful this stuff was, the hospitalized policeman didnt even have direct contact with the Skripals.


Vapor offgassing.
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#8 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 0259 AM

Yes I guess so. Reportedly they had cordoned off the ambulance station, so there must have been some cross contamination there too. I do know many of the first responders were reporting of burning eyes.


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#9 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 0330 AM

And Salisbury is open for business. Although I cant help but think the claim 'There is no immediate threat to health' is probably not really going to create a rush....

https://www.spirefm....e-city-is-open/

 

Despite the claim, the maltings shopping centre seems to be largely closed, and there are still some other locations cordoned off. You have to consider that the method of attack was intended as a terror weapon, secondary to the actual assassination attempt.


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#10 Ssnake

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 0417 AM

Yeah, but it could just as well have been reckless/sloppy work. This case illustrates well why even the strongest poisons are problematic. The (presumably) intended target is not dead (yet), so one could argue that the dosage was insufficient - but still you already got significant collateral poisoning.

 

Either this was a very poor performance on the Russian part that they then tried to spin as a public message, or they have entirely lost any kind of fear of retribution. Either way it warrants a reply going beyond stern letters and expelling some diplomat, even if I am no friend of bellicose blustering.


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#11 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 0441 AM

Again, fair points Nils.

 

I was watching BBC Question time last night. I could probably find a link but I dont really want to inflict it on anyone. The Left in it suggested that we have a strong dialogue with whomever was responsible to show the error of their ways, but they didnt believe that military action is ever justified. And the right were for waving how stern their sanctions have been, and how we dont need further military expenditure to demonstrate resolve.

 

About the only one whom seem to get it wasnt a politician at all. It was a street poet whom suggested that whatever we have done hithertoo, it doesnt seem to be working. On target.

 

 

The British middle class absolutely has not changed from the 1930's, with its smug complacency and inability to comprehend dangerous change. Perhaps they will perceive the danger when they are unable to get theri favourite latte one morning because of a cyber attack. :)


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 09 March 2018 - 0441 AM.

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#12 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 0443 AM

Home Secretary Amber Rudd visits Salisbury.

https://www.standard...e-a3785646.html


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#13 Simon Tan

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 0506 AM

North Koreans. They had two foreign women spray Kim Jong Nam at the airport here in Kuala Lumpur. Neither assailant seems to have been worse for wear.


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#14 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 0521 AM

Yes, but they used a binary toxin. Two different components by different assailants wiped on the victim's face, which then combined to turn into nerve agent. Even then, I remember reading one of them reported to be suffering from symptoms, but not seriously.

 

Yes, at the moment Id love to believe it was North Koreans. Or Hare Krishna's. Or even the Salvation Army militant wing come to that.


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#15 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 0532 AM

https://news.sky.com...ls-car-11281990

 

A vehicle recovery centre is being searched as part of the latest investigation into the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy.

It is believed the building was searched overnight as Sergei Skripal's maroon-coloured BMW is inside.

Former double agent Mr Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, remain in "a very serious condition" in hospital after they were found slumped on a park bench in Salisbury on Sunday evening.

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, 38, is in a serious condition but is now "talking and engaging" with people, Wiltshire Police's acting chief constable Kier Pritchard said.

DS Bailey is believed to have been the first person at the scene, although there are now suggestions he may have become ill after retracing Mr Skripal's steps from his home in Salisbury.

 

Sky News' crime correspondent Martin Brunt said there are suggestions police believe the spy, his daughter and DS Bailey were poisoned at the Russian's home.


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#16 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 0611 AM

The British Army is deploying Specialist Units to Salisbury according to one recent report on Sky News.

https://news.sky.com...-scene-11281991

 

Im not entirely sure what this is. The Army used to field the Chemical and Biological Reconnaissance unit, but it was axed in the 2010 defence review. It seems to have been reformed in 2014, but ive no idea of the size or composition of it. We would appear to be still using the NBC recce Fuch's the German Government kindly donated to us in 1990 for the Gulf War.


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#17 Paul G.

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 0619 AM

Unless they somehow identified and isolated the source of comtamination, it may be hard to detect by now... as most likley a non-persistant agent used. If in an enclosed space would still be dangerous.
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#18 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 0625 AM

Just heard from Sky News, the Police asked for the army's participation because there are a number of vehicles and objects in Salisbury Town Centre that need removing.

 

What the hell happened here?


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#19 Paul G.

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 0625 AM

Yeah, but it could just as well have been reckless/sloppy work. This case illustrates well why even the strongest poisons are problematic. The (presumably) intended target is not dead

(yet)

, so one could argue that the dosage was insufficient - but still you already got significant collateral poisoning.
 

Depends on the method of delivery. Does not seem to be direct exposure, as not 100% lethal and collateral effects would indicate exposure to air. I doubt exposure was long before they exhibited signs and symptoms as the agent was still offgassing when the officer got near them.
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#20 Paul G.

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 0628 AM

Just heard from Sky News, the Police asked for the army's participation because there are a number of vehicles and objects in Salisbury Town Centre that need removing.
 
What the hell happened here?


Precaution id guess. As most nerve agents are volatile liquids, the can potentially condense onto surfaces when temps cool if havent completely dissipated.
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