Tag Archives: Alexander Petrov

Investigating Self

I have always held myself to the highest degrees, I have always doubted myself. This has nothing to do with ego, or with the fact that I am better than others. This is about the setting that I am not perfect and I too make mistakes. I have never had doubt there. You see, the people claiming that they do not make mistakes are liars, plain and simple. It is not, or has it ever been about making mistakes or guilt. It has forever been about the ability to repair or adjust actions taken. I have forever stood by my words, whether wrong or right, and when wrong I have never opposed being corrected or adjust the view that I had. That is the responsible steps for any person to take.

And in the past I have given a very clear setting of the entire Novichok debacle and now, actually 6 daus later, I am taking a look at the US papers, you see, there are clear screw ups there. Yet there is also news that was never spread by the media to the degree that had to be given, was that not strange too?

So let’s take a look at the UN event (at https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/you-dont-recruit-an-arsonist-to-put-out-a-fire-you-especially-dont-do-that-when-the-fire-is-one-they-caused).

On Sunday, 4 March, Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench in the city centre after being poisoned by a Novichok nerve agent. Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, a Wiltshire police officer, was also seriously ill after having been exposed to a nerve agent. Following this attack, the United Kingdom notified the OPCW, invited them to confirm the identity of the substance involved, and we briefed members of the Security Council. The OPCW’s independent, expert laboratories confirmed the UK’s identification of the Novichok nerve agent.

Here in the first part we see that there is already one part (when you nitpick) it. The setting ‘the Novichok nerve agent‘ might be partially correct, we see that the BBC gives us two parts. The first: “The name means “newcomer” in Russian, and applies to a group of advanced nerve agents developed in secret by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s” and the second part is “One variant was reportedly approved for use by the Russian military as a chemical weapon“. When we see that Novichok is a group, which specific one was it? Some will say that this is merely Semantics, yet the UN and the UNSC are ALL about semantics, the specifics are very important here, because it allows for ambiguity, and that is not a good thing. In addition, when we consider ‘One variant‘, was that the one that was found? A lack of details is already seen from the very beginning from a whole host of media deliverers and that is not a good thing.

The second part is even worse. With: “On 4 September, the OPCW’s independent, expert laboratories have again confirmed the UK’s identification of the Novichok nerve agent with a very high level of purity and to remind Council members, the very high level of purity means that it will have been made by a state“, we are now treated to ‘with a very high level of purity‘, as well as ‘made by a state‘. These two parts are important, the first one was not mentioned in the initial attack, the emphasis on the purity is important, because all parties hit by the initial attack survived, the third victim, the police officer was seemingly indirectly exposed, implying that his exposure was even less and we do get that he was lucky and that the indirect exposure gave him a much better chance, yet the ‘purity’ now gives the question on how the first two survived in the first place. and if we see the reference to ‘the use of such agents on door handles‘ later in their statement, was there evidence of that, merely an example and if it was the door handle, one would be exposed for certain, the second one would have more likely than not evaded exposure for longer, optionally exposed to a much lesser degree (an assumption on my side).

Yet the second part ‘made by a state‘ remains the issue. You see, in ‘Does it taste like chicken‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/07/05/does-it-taste-like-chicken/) we see: “The additional information that was published in 2016: ‘Iranian chemists identify Russian chemical warfare agents‘, which we got from http://www.spectroscopynow.com/details/ezine/1591ca249b2/Iranian-chemists-identify-Russian-chemical-warfare-agents.html. You see, the problem was already clear in the previous attack“, the fact that Iranian academics created the substance for detection with: “The authors succeeded in synthesising and obtaining detailed mass spectral data on a series of unusual nerve agents. The data have been added to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ Central Analytical Database (OCAD)” we are given the prove that the evidence shows that this is not limited to state actors, hiding behind the term ‘purity level’ is just folly in several levels. The fact that this was done in 2016 also shows that the formulas had been out for a while, the Leonard Rink case is further evidence still, all elements ignored by too many players.

Let’s be clear, there it is not in question that there is more likely than not a Russian involvement, yet the evidence that it was Russian state remains debatable, that part has always been the case. In addition when we are confronted with “testing of the hotel the pair stayed in in London revealed the presence of traces of the Novichok substance in their hotel room” is clear evidence of the two persons being involved in all that, yet in opposition, the entire matter of  “Looking around in the security business, I have been confronted with quotes like “their lack of covert tradecraft seems kind of bizarre“, “The shitty tradecraft, not just with clothes but by traveling together, and by leaving a noticeable trail“, as well as “Arriving together??? Staying together??? Leaving together?” is a first instance in all this” is equally important. Open sources all over the place by people in the security industry are giving us the question on why these two remained so visible, so outspokenly noticed. Even as a non-Trade-craft person I would be more likely than not be able to avoid clear detection and identification for around 50% of that time, that setting in all this matters, because we are confronted with a government knowingly targeting the wrong player, more likely than not the wrong Russian player.

This now evolves into something more when the statement “The GRU has time and again been responsible for Russian interference in other countries’ affairs, and most recently, we saw US indictments of GRU individuals in relation to the 2016 Democratic National Committee PAC“, not merely connecting two events, we are given ‘we saw US indictments of GRU individuals‘, yet when we look deeper we see in Forbes (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/kateoflahertyuk/2018/08/23/midterm-election-hacking-who-is-fancy-bear) “The group (Fancy Bear) – also known as APT28 and Strontium – is allegedly affiliated with Russian military intelligence agency the GRU. Fancy Bear’s aims centre around geopolitical disruption through cyber influence“, it is not merely the ‘allegedly’ part it is also the ‘affiliated’ part. What officially connects these two? What evidence is there that in the first they are officially connected, and in the second part where is the evidence? The Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service has them too in their papers, and I am not debating their existence, yet the clarity of evidence is missing.

For example, we do not question the SVR, the GRU or the FSB. We know who they are and what they do, that was never in debate. Yet when it comes to hacktivists and cyber criminals, the line gets to be blurry, more important, either of them can be both and at that point, is it them, or are they doing what their government tells them, or even a third party? Now we see Ambassador Karen Pierce having her moment of folly connecting the two together, making matters worse, or perhaps better started ‘more impossible to prove‘. That was always the case, proving that it was all state driven. It was never on the Russian part, that part was easy enough (almost too easy), it is the state driven part that is the case and when we get to rely on that some parts were ‘almost too easy‘, you better believe that it is anything but that. It still gives me the stronger conviction that this is organised crime, most likely Russian organised crime. At that point the equation changes by a lot and that is where we are stuck. Even as we accept (with the evidence of trace), how come that Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov were not infected? Why would anyone be this casual in the usage of the material, but allowing for trace toxin in their room? That question also remains at present. So when we are given ‘we have clear evidence of Russian state involvement‘, we see the speech, but what evidence was handed over showing that evidence? Merely two names and two passports? If that is the evidence then it is evidence that is slimmer than a silk thread, no weight can be applied to it with any confidence, no matter how strong silk is regarded to be.

Yet there is other news too, interestingly not from a government source. We see (at https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/key-suspects-identified-in-novichok-nerve-agent-poisonings-/3009475.article), the acceptable parts come in two stages: “Consequently, the agency was not able to conclude from its chemical analysis that both poisonings were definitely caused by the nerve agent discovered in the counterfeit perfume bottle“, as well as “Impurities in the nerve agent samples taken from the Skripals’ and the unknown storage conditions of the bottle have made it difficult for the OPCW to conclude whether the two nerve agents originated from the same batch” elements I brought out before these articles were released. Now, we must also critically challenge these statements, because ‘impurities’ implies more. It could merely be the humidity it got exposed to, which is not strictly an impurity, merely a lessened impact. So the precision of ‘impurity’ could also spell as evidence that it is optionally not the Russian state, merely a Russian player and my much earlier opinionated assumption that it was not smuggled into the UK, but optionally made in the UK is more visible with ‘whether the two nerve agents originated from the same batch‘, or the UK would have to admit that it is lacks and allowed for Biological agents to get smuggled into the UK twice over, hurting everyone’s ego.

Which leaves us with the final quote: “Consequently, the agency was not able to conclude from its chemical analysis that both poisonings were definitely caused by the nerve agent discovered in the counterfeit perfume bottle“, giving the UK a much larger problem, one I do not envy them to have. Part of me wants to examine all the CCTV footage myself (if it comes with a job). Too much in that does not make sense in the entire setting (yes I am happily paranoid). There is too much flim flam in all this. We see that with the BBC article (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-45362840). When we are given “A number of vehicles which were used in the response to the Salisbury Novichok poisoning have been buried at landfill. Defra said the “potentially contaminated items” were taken to a site at Bishop’s Cleeve near Cheltenham before “being disposed of safely”“, all this whilst we have been told from more than one source that water and humidity dissolves and the Independent gave us last week: “Within the environment, these agents react with water to degrade, including moisture in the air, and so in the UK they would have a very limited lifetime. This is presumably why the street in Salisbury was being hosed down as a precaution – it would effectively destroy the agent“, such an overreaction is not merely stupid, it now implies that there is more, or perhaps a lot less and no one wants to open that can of worms. If you wanted to overreact, just drive it into a swimming pool and take it out the next day, fix the car and use it again.

Even if we accept that some overreactions are merely due to fear, a healthy dose of fear mind you, then still the entire Russian State part does not make sense. In the end, two targets that are still alive and two unknowns are dead. If I was either a ‘member’ of SVR, FSB, or GRU I would have been hurt in my pride and take one of at least two dozen of lethal solutions (not of them toxins) to remedy the situation. If you doubt me ask anyone in any of the NATO related special forces this simple question: ‘Can you live with your failed operation that left the enemy alive and innocent people dead?‘, some of these people do not accept failure in any way shape or form ever, I have the weird hunch that this ego driven sentiment is also present in Russian special forces. These people are weird that way (all of them, go figure), only fortifying my belief that we are dealing with another fish altogether and figuring out what fish we are dealing with is actually a lot more important than most think. Identifying that player should be the top priority before it is too late, merely because if I am proven right, it will also show that a lot of high end spokespeople will validly receive the limelight with merely one question ‘Show us that evidence!‘ At that point we will see soon thereafter a new option in Google Search:

Which one are you looking for?

  • WMD (US) Iraq
  • WMD (UK) Salisbury/Amesbury

What a legacy for these people to leave us.

#OneStepClosertotheWeekend

 

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Could I be wrong?

That is a question I always ask myself. You see, I never proclaim to know the facts (unless I was a direct witness). I have tried to use the better journalistic sources as often as possible and whenever I look at issues I try to look into different directions, and from different directions to get the better view. It is not a perfect solution, and I have never claimed that my version is the only option. So as I have written in regards to certain steps in the entire Novichok matter, the pushed actions by Natixis as well as settings into Tesco, The Geert Wilders case, the Yemeni conflict and other matters, I believe that I did a decent job, and one that was a lot better than any of the Rupert Murdoch gossip hounds could have ever hoped for.

So when I am confronted with: ‘Novichok poisonings: what is the GRU and how does it operate?‘, as well as: ‘PM points to Putin as Russian pair accused of Novichok poisonings‘ I wonder what is going on, because certain matters do not make sense.

This is the initial setting we need to contemplate when we look into the entire Novichok case. When I see the mere 4 hours old article with “In a special statement to a packed House of Commons, the prime minister, Theresa May, revealed the two suspects who flew into Britain to murder Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March with the military grade nerve agent were officers in the GRU, Russian military intelligence“, I wonder what drives this train wreck.

Consider that this is true; now consider that in the entire Skripal matter, no evidence was ever revealed on HOW they got infected. Then we get the setting that they SURVIVED that part matters when we consider the part ‘military grade nerve agent‘, all whilst the operation was a failure. Was it intended to fail? Were they ever on any CCTV in the surroundings of the Skripals? Then we get the mention “Photograph issued by the Metropolitan police of the Novichok poisoning suspects Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov“. So tell me, where was this picture taken and WHICH metropolitan police had issues it? And when we get “The GRU is a highly disciplined organisation with a well-established chain of command“, which is true, and no one opposes that, yet they could have been merely there as tourists (if it was actually them), that is wherever that shot was taken. You see, from the facts given, we can in equal measure consider the arrest and extradition of Major-general Charles Stickland for the alleged killing of a US Navy Seal in Djibouti. Let’s face it, when it comes to the training and ability to even wound a US Navy Seal, he might be one of the few persons with the skills to do that. How ridiculous does that sound? Well, in that same light, we need to see a lot more when it comes to the Novichok. I get it! We are not privy to national security investigations, that part is not in doubt. Yet the entire matter, the lack of evidence presented and the Media merely boastful setting the stage of events, whilst evidence is lacking is a much larger issue, it literally serves absolutely no one.

So when we are confronted with ‘The Salisbury attack has all the hallmarks of the audacious actions of Russia’s most secretive intelligence agency‘, my initial personal response towards the writer Shaun Walker would be ‘What a fucking idiot!‘ You see when you look at the two parts ‘all the hallmarks of the audacious actions‘ and ‘most secretive intelligence agency‘, we see hem cancel each other out. Audacious actions is in the light, most secretive is not. Oh, and before I forget, how successful was the operation? They are both still alive and let’s not forget that a 7.62mm bullet from a silenced Tokarev has no risks of biological agents and would NOT have failed. The article gives us historical anecdotes that are useless, especially as the first one was from BEFORE the Spetsnaz GRU was even created.

Then we get to the second part in this. With: “The GRU has been identified as the main culprit in hacking ahead of the 2016 US election. A recent indictment from the team of special investigator Robert Mueller named 12 apparent GRU officers over the alleged hacking and leaking of Democratic Party emails. Like the US operation, the Novichok poisoning fits an apparent pattern of GRU operations: ingenious and audacious, yet uncovered and publicised by the target countries“. Here again we see the issue of evidence. How was the GRU identified? I am not stating that the Russians were not part of it, but between political hacks (or is that hackers), optional Russian Cyber units and the GRU is quite the leap and what evidence has given that part? When we see ‘Robert Mueller named 12 apparent GRU officers‘, how did the identity of the members of ‘Russia’s most secretive intelligence agency’ even make it out to the open? Is that not a weird thing either? In that we get to the final art of the first article, and it is again given with “the Novichok poisoning fits an apparent pattern of GRU operations“, so is the GRU about failures? In that, how does the second attack fit, and there we get the different news articles where the victim is dying in one and to be released in the other (see Yesterday’s blog at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/09/05/the-target-is-killing-me/).

The Article Two fiasco

The second one was from Marc Bennetts in Moscow. This gives us “Vladimir Putin signed a presidential decree making information about freelance agents working for Russia’s foreign intelligence agencies a state secret, two days before Theresa May accused Russian secret service officers of carrying out the Skripal attack in Salisbury“, this gives us merely two elements, it is implied to be connected, yet through what evidence? Basically we see the non-denied truth that ‘information about freelance agents working for Russia’s foreign intelligence agencies a state secret‘. That might be the case and that is fine, but is it related to any of this?

Now we get to the beef of the matter. It is seen with “The Fotanka News Agency appeared to confirm claims by the Metropolitan police that the men had used their Russian passports before. The force said the pair travelled regularly to Europe between September 2016 and March 2018, with trips to Amsterdam, Geneva, Milan and, repeatedly, Paris. Petrov visited London between February 28 and March 5 2017, the news agency said, citing its own unnamed sources“, now add to this “They purchased return tickets from London to Moscow for both Sunday 4 March – the day Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were poisoned in Salisbury“. So these two experts fly into Salisbury with no preparations time, no options to set anything up, infect them with a Novichok and get out (all in 48 hours)? This would essentially need a second team prepping it all (if it were them), this implies a team of at least 5 people in total. I admit that when I see ‘for both Sunday 4 March‘, there is something we need to contemplate, yet from my point of view they could have been used for a mere embassy courier drop, or any dead drop. However using that for the Novichok is ludicrous, so much could go wrong that failure was almost a given. A flight with zero leeway, that is not the acts of a secretive agency that is merely an advertisement of something else, what else? I have no way to know that. Oh, and for all the travels. That might be perfectly valid and true, but do we have any intelligence on where they went (exactly that is), where they stayed and which CCTV’s showed them? London and Amsterdam have a sizable CCTV system, also where did they go in Geneva? When we combine it all, there is a chance that they were optionally state security, no one denies that it is a possibility, yet the other side is that they might be the couriers or the personal assistant of one of these Russian billionaires, and if that is anyone related to organised crime we see my initial setting where I never stated that it was not Russian, merely that it was not Russian state and that does fit the bill. When you want your essential secrets to be transported, will you turn to the Randstad employment agency, or to Russian State Security offering people like that, offering a cushy job with a nice income that guarantees a lovely golden pension parachute, who would ever resist that?

Let’s not forget, we still have no actual evidence that these two (Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov) were GRU. They might be FSB, SVR, or perhaps merely intelligent and optionally well trained Russian citizens, where is the evidence? In finality Marc Bennets adds the anecdote of Dmitry Gudkov, for whatever value that has.

So far all articles that merely set optional allegations lacking evidence, so far when it comes to the Novichok, there has been a lack of evidence and even less cohesive evidence. The small parts that might have been an optional were overturned with the easiest of searches by me; all lacking the proper setting. Now I want to get back to the initial part, because I was not ignoring “assistant commissioner Neil Basu, laid out a compelling trail showing how the suspects travelled from Moscow to London and then on to Salisbury“. You see, when we see compelling as ‘not able to be refuted‘, it does matter, yet why not a mere CCTV pic of the Train platform or Bus platform to Salisbury? That is the part that is so weird, when a picture gives 1000 words and you rely on the one that gives merely 50 words, questions need to be asked and in that part the entire Novichok case (both attacks) is all about questions and no actual answers, mere allegations and accusations. So now we get to the quote “Police produced CCTV footage of the Russian assassination team during their 50-hour visit to Britain, entering at Gatwick airport at 3pm on Friday 2 March, and smuggling in the Novichok“, so where was the Novichok? It is another accusation that is lacking evidence. Apart from the fact that a biological agent got past Gatwick Airport which gives us a whole range of other questions too, but that is for another day.

I will also get us to the setting of the CCTV images. There were a few and I never ignored them. So let’s take a look at the setting (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/sep/05/novichok-poisoning-what-we-know-so-far)

Arrival Friday March 3rd 15:00

There is no mention what was done between arrival and the first image, that part is actually important too. You see, that part might have supported or even denied the defence of mere tourists.

Saturday, March 3rd 16:00 Image one

Sunday March 4th 11:58 Image two, different outfit from image one, different shoes too, different hats. So are these the same people? (I wonder), the walk implies that the legs are slimmer too (what diet is that, please gimme some of that.)

Sunday March 4th 13:05 Image three seems to be the same as image two, yet now one of them has a backpack. Jeans of one of them looks different, could merely be the contrast of the two cameras.

Sunday March 4th 13:08 seems to fit image three, yet from behind, we can agree that it is most likely the people from image three, yet how certain are we that these are indeed the ‘culprits’? You see, from my (optionally wrong) point of view. We might have clothes to travel within 48 hours, yet two coats and two pairs of shoes? Also, in the end the mention of: ‘CCTV footage of the Russian assassination team’? Is there clear evidence that they were an assassination team? Yet the article gives one part that is the heart of it. That was given with: ‘For six months since the incident in Salisbury, the government has faced criticism over the apparent lack of evidence linking the crime to Russia‘, which was my case all along. I would love to get my fingers on that presentation and go over it with a really fine comb. I wonder what else I can find when I get access to all the raw data and raw footage, and let’s remain fair here, if there was a clear case of guilty in that mix, I would be able to find that too.

I am still willing to consider that I have been wrong, but the lack of evidence gives me the edge and some of the evidence seen is a little off, giving me the edge of my conviction even more. Oh, and in all this, the second ‘attack’ is still an issue and the fact that the second attack was a lot more lethal than the first one, in the light of humidity being a factor in making the Novichok less efficient remains a factor too, especially when we consider the time passed and the Charity bin part is just too vague on a few sides, as well as the setting that no one else got caught with any issues, too many parts are off there too (but that could be my lack of knowledge on how the entire charity bin path goes).

If I had to speculate on this, I would give the comparison of a factory making Jigsaw puzzles. Two different puzzles of the same size gives us two different puzzles with the same cut of pieces and someone mixed parts up so that we get a partial part of puzzle one in puzzle two and vice versa, that does not give us two puzzles, but basically 4 puzzles with an incomplete and incorrect view. In data we get the comical setting that: ‘to get any linear correlation, merely plot two observations’, yes it is 100% linear, as well as 100% unreliable mind you. I personally feel that the issues are pushed in one direction not because the evidence is there, but because the presentation was orchestrated, optionally by a third party, so who was this 3rd party?

I never stated that I was not wrong, I could still be wrong, but the evidence looks too tainted to be accepted as such we are all (including me) set on the wrong foot, you merely have to Google ‘Charlie Rowley’ and look for the news in the last week to see that (also mentioned in my blog Yesterday, as in the link given earlier). In the end, we must not forget the official government news (at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/foreign-secretary-statement-on-the-opcw-report-into-amesbury), where we are given “The police continue their investigation into the poisonings in Amesbury and Salisbury and we await their further conclusions”, when we read that on 4 September 2018, whilst we were given “Two Russian nationals named and charged over the novichok poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury have been identified as officers from Russia’s military intelligence, Theresa May has said, saying the attack was clearly authorised by Moscow” the day after in the Guardian. So what evidence was added in those 24 hours?

The issue given in the government statement with: “The recklessness of the Russian state in bringing a nerve agent in to the UK, and total disregard for the safety of the public, is appalling and irresponsible. Our thoughts are with the family of Dawn Sturgess and with Charlie Rowley” is the one in question. You see, no one ever denied the fact that Novichok is of Russian origin, yet there have been several sources in the past that showed that somehow Novichok got to be out in the open and that gives us the part where: ‘The recklessness of the Russian state in bringing a nerve agent in to the UK’ is the debatable part, merely ‘the Russian state’ as the setting whilst there is more than one alternative part in that trajectory. The push of that path is giving so much doubt and so much consideration towards a botched investigation on several levels. Even if we accept the optional two names to be Intelligence officers’ aliases, and if I was the Russian Mafia, I would definitely use names that at the mere sight of them would be intentionally ignored by border officers at Moscow airport. The fact that this path was ignored FROM DAY ONE is just too big an issue, add to that the failures of the events and we get something quite debatable.

I am always happy to be wrong, yet the presentations we have seen so far makes it more likely then not that this is actually not the case in the end.

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