Brits: Litvinenko poisoning traced to Russian security service

The British intelligence services M15 and M16 have concluded that the Russian FSB agency (Motto: “New name, same old KGB”) had to be involved in the poisoning death of Putin critic Alexander Litvinenko, Stewart Tendler, Michael Evans and Daniel McGrory report for Times Online:

Intelligence services in Britain are convinced that the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko was authorised by the Russian Federal Security Service.

Security sources have told The Times that the FSB orchestrated a “highly sophisticated plot” and was likely to have used some of its former agents to carry out the operation on the streets of London.

“We know how the FSB operates abroad and, based on the circumstances behind the death of Mr Litvinenko, the FSB has to be the prime suspect,” a source said yesterday.

The involvement of a former FSB officer made it easier to lure Mr Litvinenko to meetings at various locations and to distance its bosses in the Kremlin from being directly implicated in the plot.

Intelligence officials say that only officials such as FSB agents would have been able to obtain sufficent amounts of polonium-210, the radioactive substance used to fatally poison Mr Litvinenko only weeks after he was given British citizenship.

Read the whole story at the link above. This isn’t in the least bit surprising, unless one believes the recent spate of unnatural deaths befalling Putin critics was just coincidental.

Hat-tip to Captain’s Quarters for pointing to this story. As Captain Ed notes:

Some have speculated that the obvious nature of a polonium poisoning pointed away from Putin. Such a blatant use of a closely controlled substance would immediately implicate the Russian government, the argument goes, and therefore would never have been used by real FSB agents. However, the British say that the assassination was meant to send a clear message to Putin’s critics and anyone tempted to offer information to Western nations about the activities of the Putin regime.

The Russians are not happy about the direction of the investigation. They’re threatening the UK by suggesting that the probe has damaged diplomatic relations. The British ought to point out that conducting assassinations in their country damages diplomatic relations as well.

Read his whole post at the preceding link.

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