Shredded: May’s claim that Russian secret agents committed Salisbury and Amesbury poisonings

Wouldn’t it have been nice if Theresa May had been able to provide a statement on the Salisbury and Amesbury poisonings that we all could believe?

Undoubtedly many people will have swallowed the prime minister’s statement, naming suspects who allegedly work as Russian secret agents – but it seems many do not.

Personally, I think the problem is that there are too many inconsistencies in a story that has changed too many times – and people know this. I was going to write an analysis of these inconsistencies myself – but why not turn it over to the public instead?

What better way to make the point?

The following is part of Hansard’s transcript of Mrs May’s statement to the Commons yesterday, with accompanying comments by members of the public (and a couple from more well-known names) debunking it. I’m only going to cover the evidence provided to support her conclusion, not what she proposes to do, having made it. Let’s begin:

With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to update the House on the investigation into the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, and the subsequent poisoning of Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley earlier this year. This was a sickening and despicable act in which a devastatingly toxic nerve agent, known as Novichok, was used to attack our country. It left four people fighting for their lives and one innocent woman dead.

Fact – A weapons-grade nerve agent is so strong that a person dies immediately or within a few minutes. (Shaka, Twitter)

Forensic investigation has now produced sufficient evidence for the independent Director of Public Prosecutions to bring charges against two Russian nationals for the conspiracy to murder Sergei Skripal; the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey; the use and possession of Novichok; and causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Yulia Skripal and Nick Bailey. This morning, the police set out how the two Russian nationals travelled under the names of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, names the police believe to be aliases. They arrived at Gatwick airport at 3 pm on Friday 2 March, having flown from Moscow on flight SU2588.

Daniel Sandford asked a very good question at the press conference this morning. What kind of visas did the two Russian suspects travel to Britain on? The police officer said he didn’t know. But how were the men identified?’ (Neil Clark, Twitter)

[There is also the issue of the photographs that were released by the Met Police, showing the two suspects walking through the entry channel at Gatwick, being ‘doctored’. They show both men walking through the same corridor – at exactly the same time. See Craig Murray’s article for more details including his explanation of why it is unlikely they were walking through different but identical corridors at the same second.]

They travelled by train to London Victoria, then on to Waterloo before going to the City Stay Hotel in Bow Road, east London. They stayed there on both Friday and Saturday evenings, and traces of Novichok were found in their hotel room.

I think she blew it when she said today in PMQT that traces of Novichok were found in the hotel room that they stayed in in London! (Kristina Ramsden, Facebook)

So why don’t we have dead guests who used the room after or dead cleaners?! This stinks IMO. (Vine Hill, Facebook)

On Saturday 3 March, they visited Salisbury, arriving at approximately 2.25 pm and leaving less than two hours later, at 4.10 pm. The police are confident this was for reconnaissance of the Salisbury area. On Sunday 4 March, they made the same journey, travelling by underground from Bow to Waterloo station at approximately 8.05 am, before continuing by train to Salisbury.

The police have today released CCTV footage of the two men

Interesting they’re here for under 3 days but wear diff shoes, hats, one has 2 jkts according to cctv. (Julia Jay, Twitter)

which clearly places them in the immediate vicinity of the Skripals’ house at 11.58 am, which the police say was moments before the attack.

If those two were poisoned at home and then went to a restaurant ate food passed money over staff would of served them and handled their cuttelry and pots and there would of been other diners and yet nothing no sickness nothing but the police man who found them on the park bench nearly died? (Janet Healy, Facebook)

This police reports implies both Skripals did get poisoned around 13:00 with their home single doorknob, and then got their first yet critical symptoms at exactly the same time 16:15 (+/- 2 min). This cannot be physiologically possible. Those are not the guys who hit Skripals. (Mat4Rou, Twitter)

They left Salisbury and returned to Waterloo, arriving at approximately 4.45 pm and boarded the underground at approximately 6.30 pm to Heathrow, from where they returned to Moscow on flight SU2585, departing at 10.30 pm.

This hard evidence has enabled the independent Crown Prosecution Service to conclude it has a sufficient basis on which to bring charges against these two men for the attack in Salisbury. The same two men are now also the prime suspects in the case of Dawn Sturgess and Charlie ​Rowley, too. There is no other line of inquiry beyond this. The police have today formally linked the attack on the Skripals and the events in Amesbury such that it now forms one investigation.

If they were hit men they’d have surely killed. Its thrown up more unanswered questions. (Sharon, Twitter)

Our own analysis, together with yesterday’s report from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, has confirmed that the exact same chemical nerve agent was used in both cases.

Well it was surpose to be a gel on the front door but it’s a perfume bottle spray for the other 2 you can’t spray gel out of a perfume bottle. (Tiddles Denise Mclean, Facebook)

How can two samples of a toxin taken a couple of months apart be 100% identified as being the one and same used in both incidents? I ask this as the Government themselves claimed at the time that whilst being a very dangerous toxin its rate of degrading would pose no threat within hours to others. Stinks of a security services cover up again to give credence to the original attack claims. (Mark Bennett, Facebook)

With such purported evidence-based certainty, it does make you wonder why Boris Johnson deemed it necessary to make inaccurate statements about Porton Down scientists’ reports which destroyed his government’s credibility in the first instance. (Samson, Twitter)

There is no evidence to suggest that Dawn and Charlie may have been deliberately targeted, but rather they were victims of the reckless disposal of this agent.

Polis combed that park at the time, then after everyone had given up roasting their bullshit a couple a patsy junkies turn up with a bottle of Novichock they happened upon in the park. Totally legit sounding! (Botty McBotface, Twitter)

Yep, we have to believe the bottle carrying the chemical lay for several months in a street bin that was never emptied. (GerryBoyce, Twitter)

The police have today released further details of the small glass counterfeit perfume bottle and box discovered in Charlie Rowley’s house which was found to contain this nerve agent.

They say they found the bottle on a kitchen table, yet Charlie told his brother the bottle splintered in his hand. (Norma Ballingall, Facebook)

[For supporting evidence, visit this story]

How can the police search the house on 10th July – and then find a bottle on a kitchen worktop on 11th July… “Well, I didn’t see that…” (Liam Hennesce, Twitter)

Particularly when what they were searching for was a small bottle of liquid. (Craig Murray, Twitter)

The manner in which the bottle was modified leaves no doubt it was a cover for smuggling the weapon into the country and for the delivery method for the attack against the Skripals’ front door.

Were they in full protective gear when the smeared the front door and if not why are they not dead? (Patrick Mahony, Facebook)

The police investigation into the poisoning of Dawn and Charlie is ongoing, and the police are today appealing for further information. But were these two suspects within our jurisdiction there would be a clear basis in law for their arrest for murder.

I can today tell the House that, based on a body of intelligence, the Government have concluded that the two individuals named by the police and CPS are officers from the Russian military intelligence service, also known as the GRU. The GRU is a highly disciplined organisation with a well-established chain of command, so this was not a rogue operation. It was almost certainly also approved outside the GRU at a senior level of the Russian state.

Having read the official release stating doubt that the names used were their real names, then the belief they are linked to the GRU seems to be lacking evidence. (John Beilby, Facebook)

I did a search of their names, apart from a Russian Actor and a sportsman, nothing, that is after I scrolled past a million me too news articles, but…. I did find several links to Gay Porn actors with said names en route. (Mark Savai, Facebook)

What conclusion does the public draw? This:

Two TOP Russian operatives whose faces we know, but not their names, Failed to kill the target, contaminated their hotel room, and disposed of the bottle casually. My sources say they had a hand in planning 9/11. (SpoilPartyGames, Twitter)

Aaand these highly trained TOP “Russian agents” go about losing “novichok” everywhere, from door handles to bushes in a bottle and hotel rooms. That they’re alive at all is supposedly testimony to their expert handling. (Entelekheia, Twitter)

Now you know what other members of the public think.

Taking it all into account, what do you think?

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21 Thoughts to “Shredded: May’s claim that Russian secret agents committed Salisbury and Amesbury poisonings”

  1. David Lowton

    The police, MI5/6 are obviously will be working together on this investigation. They will know Russia will NEVER allow the suspects be sent to the UK for trial. Therefore we the public will NEVER know the truth, especially as our Intelligence agencies are involved. The establishment can concoct any trumped up story or evidence knowing that they will NEVER be proved otherwise. Sadly, it will be 30 yrs time before the public will find out any truth about the Salisbury incidents unless the next Labour government reforms the secret act

  2. Steve Davis

    You can still book rooms at the Novichock hotel

  3. Too many people believe this government’s lies. I suspect even May and her cronies believe them too.

  4. Dave Rowlands

    A new wave of attacks on Jeremy Corbyn is bound to happen as he will want real evidence that this is actually what happened.

  5. Barry Davies

    The police officer today seemed to be honest with saying the same thing may had, and he was directly involved in the investigation.

  6. Peter

    Why haven’t we heard anything more from these victims not one have come forward – there are many inconsistencies with the Salisbury story even a Doctor reported there were no novichok poisonings???

  7. rotzeichen

    “Remember how we were told my the politicians (not the scientists) that a deadly Novichok nerve agent – produced by Russia – was used in the attempted assassination of the Skripals? Remember the 50 questions (here and here) we had surrounding the ‘facts’ as Theresa May had laid them out? Ever wonder why, given how utterly deadly we were told this chemical was, the Skripals wondered around for a few hours after being ‘infected’ and then days later, survived with no chronic damage?

    Well those doubts may well have just been answered as according to the independent Swiss state Spiez lab, the substance used on Sergei Skripal was an agent called BZ, which was never produced in Russia, but was in service in the US, UK, and other NATO states”

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-14/independent-swiss-lab-says-bz-toxin-used-skripal-poisoning-usuk-produced-not

    This Swiss Lab is a world leading organisation in the field of chemical, nuclear substances, and protective equipment.

    1. toddlerwithahammer

      Have we heard this from the Swiss Lab, or did the article you mention simply paraphrase Russian state media?

  8. rotzeichen

    mike: I do hope you got my comment as it does not appear automatically after I write it.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Comments do not appear automatically because I have to moderate every single one. You would not believe some of the horrible things that people try to say here.

      1. Tony Dean

        On another matter and in another place I was asked this morning to send a comment to Esther McVey.
        I declined as I have no desire to get arrested.

  9. Chris

    When they allegedly arrived in the country and both walked through the same corridor at precisely the same time they both had shoulder bags. On their way to the Skripals (heading west) from Salisbury station neither had a bag. On their return to Salisbury station (but strangely still heading west) one of them had a back pack. Where did the back pack come from, where did the shoulder bags go and how did they return to the station by walking in the same direction that they left it?? Other than that, quite a convincing story 🙂

    1. toddlerwithahammer

      Looking at the CCTV from the train station, neither man has a bag on the 3rd of March, the alleged recon mission, but one of them DOES have a backpack on the 4th of March, the day of the attack. You can also see the backpack under the right arm of the goatee’d suspect in the airport picture. One can assume that this backpack was at the hotel on the 3rd. The Independent have a more complete set of pictures than I’ve seen elsewhere, you can see them all there.

      Also, according to the CCTV images, they went along Wilton Road, westwards, which makes sense given the location of the train station, and the location of the Skripals’ house. The westward movement later photographed was (I believe) on Fisherton Street, which would make sense, because if you’re trying to get to the train station from Fisherton Street, you’d have to go west. Why they were on Fisherton Street is anyone’s guess.

  10. toddlerwithahammer

    I don’t understand why you’re skimming Twitter for rebuttals? Why would the general public be the authority on a nerve agent investigation?

    “Fact – A weapons-grade nerve agent is so strong that a person dies immediately or within a few minutes. (Shaka, Twitter)”

    Who is this person, and why should we be prepared to go along with his analysis on what the definition of a weapons-grade nerve agent is? Is it because he said “fact” at the start?

    “How can two samples of a toxin taken a couple of months apart be 100% identified as being the one and same used in both incidents? I ask this as the Government themselves claimed at the time that whilst being a very dangerous toxin its rate of degrading would pose no threat within hours to others. Stinks of a security services cover up again to give credence to the original attack claims.”

    Many chemicals have completely different rates of decay from water, UV, etc, based on whether they’re stored inside a sealed container or not.

    “If those two were poisoned at home and then went to a restaurant ate food passed money over staff would of served them and handled their cuttelry and pots and there would of been other diners and yet nothing no sickness nothing but the police man who found them on the park bench nearly died? (Janet Healy, Facebook)”

    The police officer tried to resuscitate them! Not sure if you’ve ever done CPR, but it typically gets a little bit more personal than serving somebody food.

    I could go on and on here, and I’ll happily be the first to admit that the more recent statements by the PM have raised as many questions as they’ve answered. The point is, this is one of the least intelligent ways to analyse inconsistencies in the story, because it apparently seems to rely on the spurious claim that everybody on twitter is an expert on nerve agents. Come on.

    Oh and my personal favourite piece of analysis:

    “Interesting they’re here for under 3 days but wear diff shoes, hats, one has 2 jkts according to cctv. (Julia Jay, Twitter)”

    Who cares?

    1. Zippi

      I totally get where you are coming from. My problem is that, allegedly, this was a Russian State Sponsored execution, or assassination. We know that Putin is ex-K.G.B. and has surrounded himself with K.G.B. people. We know that the K.G.B. are expert at this sort of thing. One would expect, given this, that, firstly, the intended target would be dead. Secondly, any witnesses would also be dead. Collateral damage is just not their thing and to dispose of the weapon in such a slipshod fashion is not in keeping with these people. The news reports said that the would-be assassins left a trail of Novichok all over the place. A trained assassin would hardly likely be so careless, left he should kill himself. How is it that the only person who died was not the target? Mr. Bean could have done a better job. I am no nerve agent expert but this does not sound like K.G.B. I do not know the G.R.U. but from what I have heard, the G.B.U. are intelligence agents, not secret police, soldiers, or assassins. Why send intelligence agents to carry out an assassination, or execution?

    2. Mike

      Spot on. I was in EOD and chemical.munitions were a big part of our training. Nerve Agent can kill but is far more effective when it creates wounded soldiers as opposed to dead ones so many will survive but will need intensive care causing all kinds of disruption for the enemy. The same principle applies for anti personnel mines and blast grenades: 1 wounded soldier takes 2 other soldiers to help him . Plus all nerve agents are designed to degrade over time. The rather insidious ethos is: kill all the people, leave the infrastructure inact, move our own people in. Some are classed as ‘Persistent’ and others ‘Non-Persistent’, both will degrade but one will be faster than the other. I don’t claim to be an expert but I’m confident that I know more than Shaka on Twitter.

  11. Bee Warren

    While I wouldn’t put in past Putin to play dirty (he’s certainly no sweetie!) we certainly have plenty of reason to distrust the notorious liar Theresa May and her government. The fact that she was accusing Russia, without question, within minutes of the Skripals being found – long before any investigation had begun – shows her mind was made up as to who we must believe is the guilty culprit.
    Inevitably, people who are far too hasty with the finger pointing tend to have something to hide!

    Then dragging America and some European countries into backing her, still before any genuine evidence could possibly have emerged, makes the whole thing look conspiratorial and suspicious.
    Just because Russians originally created Novichok doesn’t mean no one else could have made some since.

    We know by the way they (the Tories and their henchmen in the media) have bullied and demonised Corbyn with a lot of spiteful nonsense, successfully brainwashing the most gullible public (and even some of his own party members) into believing he is allied to terrorists and that anti-Semitism is a Labour party issue, that a vicious and devious deflection of blame is a favourite right wing game.

    No, Theresa, trust is something you only gain by being consistently trustworthy! Don’t imagine we are all too blind to see through the propaganda and fakery.

    1. @Bee Warren
      “Just because Russians originally created Novichok doesn’t mean no one else could have made some since.”……………. the molecular structure of the two known Novichok agents have been in the public domain for over a decade. Anyone with access to a half-decent industrial laboratory could make them. I’ve got the necessary knowledge of industrial chemistry to make them although I wouldn’t countenance actually doing so.
      I’ve always held the Skripals were poisoned with BZ, a non-organophosphorous incapacitating agent, with the symptom profile of the agent used to attack the Skripals. BZ is also designed for area denial, it persists in the environment for a long time and made by UK, US and NATO.

  12. David mcInally

    “… Doctors who treated former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury say he was poisoned by Fentanyl, not Novichok as the UK government claim.
    Ian56.blogspot.co.uk reports: This evidence was published on March 5th in the “Clinical Services Journal“.

    I.E. the day after the Skripal’s were poisoned on March 4th …”
    As reported by yournewswire.com.
    Interesting that the original article was altered after the fact.

  13. Totally incompetent assassins. I’m quite sure that were they real GRU agents they would have used dum dum bullets to the faces of the ex -agent and his daughter. That’s the usual execution method for traitors is it not -pour encourager les aûtres.

  14. Ghughesarch

    How do all the armchair Twitter experts feel now the two chaps have appeared on Russian TV telling a very odd tale about their interest in English gothic architecture and mediaeval clocks? And their reluctance to stand about in what looks like not very much snow?
    Even the Grauniad finds it less than convincing https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/sep/13/salisbury-suspects-unlikely-story-only-makes-uk-case-stronger

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