“We know that Novichok was applied to the Skripals’ front door in an area that is accessible to the public, which also endangered the lives of members of the public and emergency service responders,” Daily Mail reports.
Two Russians have been charged following the release of a detailed timeline. A joint statement released Thursday by British Prime Minister Theresa May, was endorsed by other world leaders including U.S. President Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron of France, Germany’s Angela Merkel and our Canadian neighbor, Justin Trudeau.
“We have full confidence in the British assessment that the two suspects were officers from the Russian military intelligence service, also known as the GRU, and that this operation was almost certainly approved at a senior government level.”
One of Britain’s leading chemical weapons experts, Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, feels the “watertight back stories” the men used to avoid detection were so strong as to provide evidence they worked for GRU military intelligence.
“The passports were perfect in every detail including all the electrics and circuitry. It fooled the British border electronic security which is considered to be among the best around. We also gave them visas, they must have had a plausible back story.”
Also, “the two suspects had ‘near-identical passport numbers’ suggesting the travel documents were issued at the same time ahead of their journey to the UK,” Daily Mail notes.
According to the weapons expert, “the Russians spent a fortune” on the perfume bottle. They had to develop “new technology to ensure it wasn’t a suicide mission for their agents.” Bretton-Gordon asserts “the fake sample vial of Nina Ricci Premier Jour could only have been produced by Putin’s top scientists in their most sophisticated and top secret lab.”
“They needed to ensure that the men carrying out the attack did not kill themselves while doing it. It would be deeply embarrassing if their agents died on foreign soil,” he added.
Industry insiders call Russia’s secret lab “Q-ski,” referring to “the research and development division of the British Secret Service in James Bond.” The bottle was designed with a “one-way applicator nozzle” to make it “impossible for Novichok to leak out in transit.”
“It was also made of special toughened glass, plastic or ceramic sure not to smash, crack or degrade while carrying one of the world’s deadliest weapons,” Daily Mail notes.
Petrov and Boshirov landed in the United Kingdom on March 2, and almost immediately started showing up on closed circuit security cameras scattered around London and the suburbs. As they deplaned from Aeroflot flight SU2588 from Moscow, airport security caught their images.
They took the train to Victoria station in London where they switched to the tube and went underground to Waterloo station. They hung around the area acting like tourists from six until seven in the evening, then headed to East London where they checked into the City Stay Hotel.
On Saturday, they leisurely left the hotel and once again took the Underground and train headed toward Stonehenge. They arrived in the southern England town of Salisbury just before 2:30 p.m. and did some casual sightseeing.
“We assess that this trip was for reconnaissance of the Salisbury area and do not believe that there was any risk to the public from their movements on this day,” UK’s top counter terrorist, Neil Basu assures.
The big day was Sunday, March 4. They left the hotel around 8 a.m. and once again security cameras followed them along the same route to Salisbury. At least one closed circuit monitor “showed they were in the vicinity of Sergei Skripal’s house and the police say they believed the two suspects contaminated the front door with Novichok.”
Nearly four months later, Charlie Rowley found what he thought would make an excellent gift for his wife, a discarded box of seemingly expensive perfume. Labeled “Nina Ricci Premier Jour perfume,” the box contained a bottle and “applicator.”
Rowley assembled the dispenser at home and Dawn Sturgess tried some on her wrists. Rowley survived but Sturgess, unfortunately, did not.
The contraption was designed to spray coat the front door of Skripal’s home. Detectives found more than a trace of Novichok on the door and are convinced that is where both of the Skripal’s contacted the deadly nerve agent.
The Russian assassins wandered around Salisbury between noon and 2:00 p.m. when they were imaged at the train station returning to London. Sergei and Yulia Skripal were discovered at 4:15 p.m. unconscious on a bench in the center of town. By that time, the killers were killing time at Heathrow. Their flight SU2585 didn’t leave until 11:30 p.m.
Security Minister Ben Wallace lays the blame on Vladimir Putin because of “his tight grip on the GRU spy network which sent two calamitous state assassins on a pathetic mission to kill Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.”
Wallace is “100 per cent sure” that Putin has ultimate responsibility for the operation but calls it “more Johnny English than James Bond.”
Putin, Wallace asserts, “is president of the Russian Federation and it is his government that controls, funds and directs the military intelligence – that’s the GRU – via his minister of defense. I don’t think that anyone can ever say that Mr. Putin isn’t in control of his state.”