Dec 07 2006

Chechen Leader Zakayev Speaks Out: Threatens West

Another surprising outburst today from someone I would have thought would keep a lower profile as the news that the death of newly converted Muslim Litvinenko, who died while coming into contact with massive amounts of a nuclear material which can be used for creating a dirty bomb or in a crude nuclear bomb’s trigger, and who sympathized with the Chechen Islamicists, had turned towards a murder investigation. But apparently Chechen leader in exile, friend and neighbor of Litvinenko, and associate of oligarch Berezovsky feels the need to speak up – and illustrate is potential complicity:

An exiled Kremlin opponent accused the West on Wednesday of standing by passively as Russia passed laws allowing its agents to hunt down opponents overseas, saying these had led directly to the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko.

Chechen separatist Akhmed Zakayev, a close friend of Litvinenko, accused Western countries of helping to strengthen a “criminal regime” in Moscow by their failure to stand up to President Vladimir Putin.

In case he hasn’t noticed or people forget, we have the same authority here for Bin Laden and Zawahiri and other Al Qaeda leaders. Just consider it our version of a Fatwah.

The macabre episode has strained relations between London and Moscow, and British police said for the first time on Wednesday they were treating it as a murder investigation.

Zakayev, a Chechen rebel leader whom Russia has tried in vain to extradite from Britain, confirmed he drove Litvinenko in his car on November 1, the same day the former agent fell ill. He said traces of polonium 210, the radioactive poison that killed Litvinenko, had been found several weeks later on the back seat where he sat. But Zakayev himself has tested negative for the substance.

Sadly we do not know when the traces were left and if they represent one trip in the car or more than one. With that said, a reminder of the potential Chechen involvement and their anger at the west, this sounds more like a rationalization about why something may happen to the West, becuase of their complicity with Putin:

“I think responsibility for everything that’s happening today in Russia lies not just with the G8 but all leaders of Western countries, European countries, who one way or another have helped to strengthen and establish this criminal regime in Moscow,” Zakayev said.

“The fact that Russian democracy and freedom of speech has been betrayed — the responsibility for that lies with those who today welcome Putin with outstretched hands and call him a crystal pure democrat.”

He said Western reliance on Russian oil and gas supplies was no excuse for passivity.

“Today Europe doesn’t just get energy from there (Russia). They get polonium 210, they get the dirty bomb, they get dirty money, they get corruption, crime,” Zakayev said.

Dirty Bomb? Why would he say something about a dirty bomb? Zakayev is building a case why Europe should expect to be seen as allies to Putin and Russia from a Chechen perspective. Zakayev is saying that Europe’s purchase of Russian oil brings these things with it. It is like saying these are the prices one must pay for not being pure to Chechen eyes. He is building the case for a a violent take over of Russia, and is calling on sympathetic people to see that action must be talen:

“If today, this country that occupies a sixth of the earth, on whose territory is concentrated tons of bacteriological, chemical and biological weapons, isn’t taken under control and questions aren’t asked about the responsibility of the man in charge and the government, that will be a danger for the whole world.”

What worries me most about this incident right now is the Polonium-210. It’s utility as weapon is severely time constrained. For either a nulcear bomb or a dirty bomb it only has so much shelf live. In a little over four months after it is produced it loses half its potency and is half lead. I would guess (and I am guessing) at that point it is not very useful in a weapon. At 2 months it loses a qarter of its potency. The Litvinenko poisoning was a month ago. This doesn’t leave this batch much more time to be of use to terrorists. If this was an assassin attempt then there is a problem that there could be a large source of Polonium out there somewhere. But that same problem exists if this is all about a smuggling effort for a very dangerous nuclear material. How much was brought into London? We know how much killed Litvinenko – enough to kill 100 people (at a cost of 30 million euro). Obviously that was not all the material given all the contaminated sites. When will the UK discuss this aspect of the situation – the left overs. How can we be sure Litvinenko ingest all the Polonium apparently smuggled in?

82 responses so far

82 Responses to “Chechen Leader Zakayev Speaks Out: Threatens West”

  1. crosspatch says:

    “CP where did you read that Scaramella was admitted to another hospital after he was discharged yesterday? I can’t find it.”

    I will attempt to find it as soon as I get a little work done here. It went something like “Scaramella was released from but has not left the UK having instead he is assisting Scotland Yard with the investistgation while staying at a private hospital” so it gave me the impression he might be checked into a sanitarium or something.

    No, they probably knew it was polonium, just didn’t know much about polonium. Polonium is about the most expensive such material there is. It would be like someone getting diamonds when they were in the zircon business.

    Could be he got the wrong stuff, in which case not seeing any gamma or beta radiation as most of these materials emit (such as cesium would) he thought he had been ripped off and tossed it in the air or something. That would make a funny movie scene … he says this isn’t radioactive, here, I’ll eat it!

    Anyway, I think they bought polonium, didn’t appreciate how dangerous it was, and contaminated themselves. Or one of them didn’t appreciate it and contaminated the others. It only takes one person in the chain to blow it.

  2. Spy-Games: Litvinenko and the Polonium 210 Web Spreads Again…

    The intrigue simply continues to be more intriguing. One of my friends (mentioned in an earlier post) said to me the other day that Litvinenko wasn’t a spy, he was more of an out in the open agent. It remains…