5 September 2018 — Moon of Alabama
Please read the Update highlighted below.
Today, in a politically convenient moment, the British government released new information about the poisoning of the British spy Sergej Skripal, his daughter, and three other persons. It claims to have identified two men with Russian passports who arrived in London from Moscow on March 2, went to Salisbury on March 3 on a ‘reconnaissance’ trip, came back to Salisbury on March 4 to put Novichok poison on the doorknob of Skripal’s home and flew back from London to Moscow on the same day. The names of the men were given as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov which are Russian language equivalents of Joe Smith and Sam Jones. These names are likely false.
The police says that CCTV pictures were taken at several steps of the men’s travel. The British news agency Reuters seem to distribute these. Several media have picked up copies.
Here are screenshots of two CCTV pictures, taken from an 18 picture gallery in a report by The Independent headlined Salisbury poisoning suspects are Russian state assassins, Theresa May tells MPs.
These are pictures 7 and 8 of a 18 picture gallery within that piece.
Notice that the time stamp on both pics is identical, 02/03/2018 16:22:43. But the pictures show two different men, each walking alone through the same part of a jet bridge as they arrive in Britain. How can it be that both of these pictures were taken at the exactly same second? And who tilted the permanently installed CCTV camera between the two shots? How did the camera angle change between picture one and two which were apparently taken at the very same place and at the very same time?
If these two pictures cannot be trusted how much can one trust the other CCTV pictures the Met showed to support its claims?
UPDATE Sept 6 – 5:20 UTC
Here is the answer to the above questions. In the North Terminal of Gatwick Airport, at the northern end of arrival level zero, there are several parallel and apparently identical gates leading into the airport. Each of these has a camera.
The two pictures above with identical timestamps were taken in two of these gates with each of the ‘Russian assassins’ passing through one of them at the same time. Aeroflot flights from Moscow are serviced at the North Terminal.
End of the Update – the original text continues below.
While May claims the two men were sent by Russia’s military spy service GRU, the Metropolitan police makes no such claims. Theresa May does not say on what evidence she based her conclusion. There seems to be none.
It also seems a bit curious that a ‘Russian assassin’ team, allegedly from a highly professional secret service, would travel together and use direct flights from Moscow to London and back. That seems extraordinary careless. Why not fly separate and via a third country?
And why would a professional assassin team drop a cellophane wrapped, unopened perfume bottle with the same poison into a charity bin behind shops in Catherine Street in Salisbury where Charlie Rowley would find it some 14 weeks(!?) later?
The police says that it found traces of Novichok in the crappy hotel the ‘Russian agents’ stayed in between March 2 and March 4. It found those traces on May 4 but it waited until today to publicly ask other guests at the hotel to contact the police?
If the incident was a professional assassination attempt with a highly potent ‘Novichok’ compound why did 4 out of 5 people who came into contact with it survive? The 80% failure rate is inconsistent with the scary tale about the highly potent ‘Russian’ Novichok poison. A decent dose of Megachok is probably more lethal.
Sergej Skripal has not been seen in the public or even on video since the incident happened. His daughter Yulia Skripal appeared in a British government hostage video but then vanished. The Russian Embassy in London says that it has no access to them. The policeman, who allegedly was also injured during the incident, also never reappeared in public. Why are these people held incommunicado and under arrest?
Previous Moon of Alabama posts on the Skripal case: