November 23, 2006 Alexander Litvinenko, an ex-KGB officer
exiled in London, died of Polonium-210 poisoning. The possible
crime scenes, including the offices, restaurants, hotels
, cars, and airplanes tainted by the rare radioactive isotope
, were badly compromised by the three week delay in examining
them. The Coroner's Report still has not been released,
so there is no official cause of death. The lack of evidence
has given rise to a rich proliferation of
conspiracy theories that deserves a taxonomy.
FIRST QUESTION: HOW DID LITVINENKO DIE?
The Poisoned Sushi Theory
Proponent: Alexander Litvinenko
Thesis: Litvinenko had been poisoned by
thallium, a rat poison, in the Itsu Sushi restaurant on
November 1st while dining with Mario Scaramella.
*** Litvinenko had sharp stomach pains on November 1st after
eating Sushi with Mario Scaramella
*** It was not Thallium but Polonium 210 that poisoned Litvinenko
*** Litvinenko’s Russian associates got contaminated
before Litvinenko got to the Sushi
II. The Spiked Tea Theory
Proponent: Scotland Yard
Thesis: Litvinenko was served tea spiked
with Polonium 210 at the Pine Bar of the Millennium
Hotel on November 1st 2001 .
*** Witnesses saw Litvinenko in the Pine Bar with a group
*** A hotel teapot tested positive for Polonium 210
*** A November 1st bus ticket (found among Litvinenko’s
effects) did not test positive for Polonium 210, suggesting
he had been Polonium-free shortly before going to the Pine
*** Polonium 210 is not an efficient assassination weapon.
Not only is it expensive, slow-acting, and difficult to
obtain, but it is a tell-tale poison, traceable back to
*** The tea pot was cycled through a dishwasher for weeks
before the police tested it. It is therefore difficult to
fit into a chain of evidence.
*** The absence of Polonium on a ticket does not really
prove that Litvinenko was free of polonium contamination.
It only suggests that it was not on the hand he used to
handle the ticket.
*** The autopsy showed that Litvinenko was exposed to Polonium
210 on more than one occasion, so there is no way to exclude
the possibility that he contaminated the tea cup in the
same way that he contaminated Mario Scaramella at his next
meeting at the Itsu Sushi.
Status: Awaiting a British extradition
request that has been turned down.
III. The Serial Poisoner Theory
Proponents: autopsy doctors
Thesis: Litvinenko was poisoned twice,
first in Mid-October, then again, at the Pine Bar on November
*** It explains why the post mortem examination shows two
different times Litvinenko was exposed to Polonium 210.
*** Polonium can take many weeks, if not months, to kill
someone. So how would a murderer know after only 2 weeks
that the first dose was not effective ?
*** If Polonium 210 did not work the first time, why not
use another poison (or a bullet) in the follow-up assassination
Status: Awaiting release of the Coroner's
IV. Accident Theory
Proponent: Vyacheslav Zharko
Thesis: Litvinenko had come in contact
with smuggled Polonium 210 and a speck leaked onto his clothes,
possessions or person, and it then fell into his food. According
to Vyacheslav Zharko, a Russian FSB officer who Litvinenko
helped recruit for British intelligence in 2002, Litvinenko
"kept telling me that he needed money badly Possibly,
that with the help of [Akhmed] Zakayev and his other Chechen
'friends' he could have got involved in smuggling of radioactive
materials, and then - by accident or not - received a lethal
Selling Points:*** All 5 previously known
deaths from Polonium poisoning, including Irene Curie, were
accidental. (See Follow
the Polonium )
*** There was an accidental Polonium 210 leak in London.
Over 100 people were accidentally contaminated by the Polonium
210 including 3 of Litvinenko’s associates. Just
because Litvinenko ingested it and died does not mean he
was not contaminated by the same accidental spillage that
got on his associates.
Litvinenko was in contact with Polonium 210 long before
he entered the hospital in November. According to one of
his associates in Moscow, material he received from Litvinenko
in "the summer" of 2006 proved to be Polonium-tainted.
(The date of the Polonium contamination can be determined
by spectrographic analysis.) In any case, he was certainly
contact with Polonium 210 in Mid-October.
*** It is not probable that spilled Polonium 210 would get
into food or drink.
Retort: Isn't murder by Polonium 210 also
THE SECOND QUESTION:
WHO (IF ANYONE) DID IT?
I. Vladimir Putin
Proponent: The widow Marina Litvinenko
Thesis: Putin personally ordered an agonizing
death for Litvinenko.
***- Litvinenko accused Putin on his death bed
***- Putin had a motive for vengeance: Litvinenko accused
Putin of being a pedophile
***- Putin had access to the Sarov facility, where Polonium
210 is manufactured.
***- The leak of Polonium 210 was not necessarily authorized
by President Putin. The security of Russia’s nuclear
facilities has been breached many times before. Even nuclear
suitcase bombs, have been stolen out of them and smuggled
into the black market.
II. KGB Veterans
Proponent: Mario Scaramella
Thesis: A shadowy group of KGB veterans
called Dignity and Honor had a "hit-list"
of people targeted for assassination which had been emailed
*** At the Itsu Sushi restaurant Scaramella told Litvinenko
that both he and Litvinenko were on
the hit list.
Scaramella was contaminated with Polonium 210
*** Scaramella was never able to produce the putative list.
*** Litvinenko initially suspected Scaramella of being the
*** Scaramella is currently in prison on charges of calumny
III. Rogue FSB Agents
Proponent: MI-6 British Intelligence
Thesis: A rogue unit of the FSB, the successor
to the KGB, assassinated Litvinenko without higher authorization.
According to the Guardian: "British officials
say the perpetrators were probably former Russian security
agents, or members of a criminal gang linked to them. They
insist there is no evidence of the involvement of the Russian
***- Such revenge assassinations are in the hoary tradition
of SMERSH ("Death To Spies And Traitors.") killing
***- Litvinenko was in contact with at least two ex-FSB
agents in London and according to SMERSH logic, there is
no such thing as an "ex" KGB or FSB officer.
***- The FSB had a motive: Litvinenko had accused his former
colleague of blowing up 300 Russian civilians in a series
of 1999 bombings.
***- Polonium 210 is traceable: So why would even a rogue
unit of the FSB chance incriminating itself by using Polonium
IV. Andrei Lugovoi
Proponent: Sir Ken Macdonald, head of public
prosecutions in Britain
Thesis: Lugovoi, a business associate of
Litvinenko, slipped Polonium 210 in his tea on November
1st in the Pine Bar of the Millennium Hotel.
*** Lugovoi had an opportunity, as he met Litvinenko on
November 1st, the day he first showed symptoms.
*** Lugovoi had contact with Polonium 210. He, as well as
his wife and children, were contaminated .
*** Lugovoi had known Litvinenko in the KGB
*** Lugovoi had visited places, along with Litvinenko, that
were contaminated by Polonium 210, which could explain why
he tested positive.
*** The Pine Bar was crowded with people when Lugovoi briefly
met Litvinenko. As Lugovoi asks, "What kind of idiot
poisoner would it take to act in such a primitive way?"
***- Lugovoi, even if an idiot, would not want to contaminate
his own children.
The British extradition request was denied by the Russian
V. Putin's Enemies
Proponent: Kirill Pankratov in Live Journal
Thesis: Enemies of Putin used Polonium 210 on Litvinenko
to ghost a trail that led to Putin.
*** Polonium 210 traces back to Russian nuclear reactors.
It is therefore the perfect poison to discredit Putin.
*** Polonium 210 is slow-acting, giving Litvinenko time
to denounce Putin.
***- Polonium 210 is almost impossible to obtain.
VI. The Oil Barons in (or
out) of Russia
Proponent: ex-KGB agent Yuri Shvets
Thesis: Litvinenko had to be silenced because
he had a dossier on key members of the new Russian nomenclature
that stole the oil giant Yukos.
*** Litvinenko traveled to Israel in October 2006 where
it is alleged that he gave information regarding Yukos to
Leonid Nevzlin, the former deputy head of Yukos relating
to the deaths of former Yukos workers and the imprisonment
of Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
*** Tens of billions of dollars are at stake
***- The Polonium 210 did not silence Litvinenko. He lived
at least 3 weeks after he was poisoned and no dossier emerged.
VII. British 007 Type
Proponent: Andrei Lugovoi
Thesis: Litvinenko was working for MI-6
involved in an espionage operation, along with
Berezovsky. He was killed by the British agents when the
game got out of control.
***- Lugovoi claims Litvinenko was offering him money and
spy equipment to cooperate in the game.
***- Vyacheslav Zharko, the Russian FSB officer who admitted
working for British intelligence
between 2003 and 2007, said that Litvinenko and Berezovsky
set up his meetings with four British MI6 officers, "This
is a long story [of recruitment] and Berezovsky along with
the late Litvinenko played the lead roles in it," Zharko.
said in an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda:"Alexander
[Litvinenko] introduced me in turn to a certain Martin Flint,
and two more people, who offered me to render them consulting
services." If so, Litvinenko had been acting as
an access agent for MI6 who used consulting service contracts
as bait to snare Russian intelligence officers into intelligence
*** British intelligence had no motive to kill Litvinenko.
VIII. Litvinenko Killed Himself
Proponents: Lawyer Seth Redniss, Spy Vyacheslav
Thesis: Litvinenko killed himself by ingesting Polonium
210 in order to become a martyr. He blamed Putin on his
deathbed because he knew that the Polonium would trace back
to Russia and cause an international incident.
*** Litvinenko was in dire financial straights since Berezovsky
had cut him off, according to
Vyacheslav Zharko, the Russian whom Litvinenko helped recruit
as a British spy.
*** The Chechen separationist declared him a martyr.
*** Polonium 210 would be a very painful (and unsure) way
to commit suicide.
***- He initially blamed Scaramella not Putin
*** If he was broke, how did he get the Polonium 210, which
was worth millions of euros.
IX. No-One-Did It
See Accident theory (Above)
THE THIRD (AND BIG) QUESTION:
WHY WAS POLONIUM 210 SMUGGLED INTO LONDON?
I. The Murder Weapon Theory
Proponent: Boris Berezovsky
Thesis: Polonium 210 was smuggled to London
by Russians to kill Litvinenko.
***- Litvineko was fatally contaminated by Polonium 210
***– Polonium 210 is, if not priceless, extremely
expensive. Why not use a cheaper poison?
*** Polonium 210 is an inefficient, way to kill someone.
It takes weeks, if not months, to kill.
Litvinenko lived-- and talked-- for nearly a month.
***- Polonium 210 leaves a trail. Why not use an untraceable
poison (or a bullet)?
Retort: His killers wanted him to suffer
a painful, lingering death.
Counter-retort: There are cheaper radioactive
poisons available in London, such as radium and strontium
II. The Nuclear Black Market
Thesis: Polonium 210 was smuggled into
London to facilitate a lucrative black market deal with
a rogue country, such as Iran, Syria, or North Korea. Polonium
210 is one of the three ingredients
needed to build a clandestine nuclear bomb. The other two
are a fissile fuel, such as U-235 and Beryllium (which is
used in stereo speakers). The Polonium 210 initiates the
neutron generators (see diagram above) which sets off the
*** Iran’s putative interest in Polonium 210 in the
early 1990s raised US suspicions Iran had a nuclear weapons
program underway. Despite reports that Iran was experimenting
with it, IAEA inspectors found no evidence that Iran was
producing it in its own nuclear reactor. If so, it could
have been using smuggled Polonium 210 from Russia that
could not be traced back to its equipment.
*** Polonium 210 has a short half-life of 138.3 days, so
a rogue nation would need a renewable supply.
Retort: That would be a great business
III. The Dirty Bomb Theory
Proponent: A.J. Strata author of the Strata-Sphere
Thesis: Polonium 210 was smuggled into
London to provide the radioactive fuel for a so-called dirty
bomb. Since it aerosolizes at 55 degrees Centigrade it would
contaminate a wide area. In addition to Polonium 210, all
that would be needed by the terrorists would be a conventional
explosive, such as TNT.
***- The alpha particles it emits are far less detectable
than the gamma particles of other radioactive isotopes,
which means the bomb would be far more difficult to detect.
***- British communication intelligence GCHQ intercepted
a phone call from Peshawar GCHQ indicating that Al Qaeda
was actively seeking polonium and Al Qaeda had offered millions
of dollars to anyone that could supply them with it.
***- The US imprisoned Jose Padilla on suspicion that he
was attempting to build a dirty bomb for Al Qaeda.
***- In 1995, Chechen terrorists experimented with a dirty
bomb with the radioactive isotope Cesium-137 , burying it
under some leaves in Izmailovsky Park in Moscow and tipping
off television reporters. It was quickly found since its
gamma rays were easily detected. Polonium
210 would solve that detection problem.
*** Litvinenko and his associates had no known monetary
dealings with terrorist groups.
Retort: Litvinenko, who had converted to
Islam, was, according to the Chechen website, declared a
martyr by the rebel government of Chechnya after his death.
IV. The Bona Fides Theory
Thesis: A sample of Polonium 210 was brought
to London by a Russian agent offering his services to British
intelligence to prove his bona fides.
*** A Polonium 210 sample would demonstrate that an agent
had access to a Russian nuclear reactor since only four
facilities are licensed to handle Polonium 210 in Russia.
University; Techsnabexport, the state-controlled uranium
export agency; the Federal Nuclear Center in Samara; and
Nuclon, a private company.) As all these licensees are controlled
Russian government, obtaining Polonium 210 would show that
the agent had successfully bribed, blackmailed or otherwise
compromised a person in the Russian nuclear industry.
*** Both Lugovoi and Zharko claim that Litvinenko acted
as an access agent for the British intelligence service
*** Litvinenko contacted other Russians with connections
to the FSB including Dimitry Kovton and Vyacheslav Sokolenko,
*** If British intelligence knew about such an intelligence
game, why would it risk exposing by extraditing of Lugovoi.
Retort: MI-6 knew extradition request would
V. The Disinformation Theory
Proponent: Vladimir Putin
Thesis: Polonium 210 was smuggled to London
by an anti Putin cabal to ghost a radioactive trail that
would make it appear that Russia was supplying nuclear bomb
components to rogue states.
*** Many of the exiles in touch with Litvinenko in London,
including Berezovsky, were dedicated to discrediting the
Putin regime in Russia. Berezovsky, who is currently being
tried in absentia in Moscow for fraud, has openly declared
war on Putin, saying in an interview with the
Guardian: "it isn't possible to change this [Putin]
regime through democratic means." Disinformation could
be an a weapon in this war.
*** The Cabal had no access to Polonium-210.
Retort: You can buy anything in Russia.
[TO BE CONTINUED]