Jan 18 2007

Update On Russian Terror Alert

Published by at 11:49 am under All General Discussions

The Russians are not taking the latest terrorist threat lightly. As I posted before they are shutting down cell phone service in their subways and deploying a lot of personnel in an effort to detect anything before it can be executed.

Russia stepped up security in major cities Wednesday, deploying thousands of extra police and urging public vigilance a day after officials warned of a possible terrorist threat on public transportation.

In Moscow, which was last hit by terrorist attacks in 2004, officials took the unusual step of ordering cell phone service shut off in the subway system. The measure appeared to be an effort to avert the possibility of explosives being detonated by the phones.

Uniformed police, some with bomb-sniffing dogs, patrolled subway and train stations as well as other sites around Moscow, checking documents and standing guard at entrances. Public announcements asked passengers to be on alert for suspicious items.

A top police official, Interior Ministry Col. Gen. Nikolai Rogozhkin, was quoted by news agency RIA-Novosti as saying 5,000 extra police officers had been dispatched in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other major centers.

The Moscow subway, one of the world’s busiest, carries about 8 million passengers a day. After the 2004 attacks, it began installing surveillance cameras on all subway cars.

Moscow transport police Col. Viktor Ivashchenko said his force had also bolstered the number of officers on patrol to 600 and pointed out that some preventive measures being taken by police would not be observable.

While some are being dismissive, especially in the news media (classic blinders for them) the truth is it is hard to detect and stop an individual who intends to die killing as many people as possible. So while imperfect, the efforts are better than just sitting on their thumbs. Two interesting notes on this. First, the warnings were from multiple countries:

The Kremlin’s top official in charge of counterterrorism cooperation, Anatoly Safonov, said the tip-off had come from intelligence agencies of several countries, Interfax reported. Russia cooperates against terrorism with nations around the world, including the United States.

Emphasis mine. This is not a good sign and underscores the massive Russian response. If multiple countries picked up the threat, then “the chatter” must be amazingly large and extensive. Which means this is either a big operation or a spectacular one.

And on a wild speculation note, as I noted before, the Po-210 which transitted London last October and poisoned Litvinenko, Lugovoi and Kovtun (plus maybe 10 others to a lesser extent) could have been heading for Russia from one or more countries.

The word behind the scenes, and hinted by the media reporting, is the Po-210 was traced back to Russian processing sources. The Russians have accounted for all the Po-210 inside their borders, but they are an exporter of that material. I noted before the US has the worst record of lost and stolen Po-210 in the world, and could have been the location of some Po-210 that was created in Russia but gone missing here – heading on its way back to Russia.

What really intrigued me in the Po-210 trail was the conclusion Litvinenko was poisoned twice in October-November of last year. If the P0-210 was all from the same batch it would have the same signature and decay rates. It could be difficult to detect two exposures to the same batch of Po-210. But it would be unavoidably obvious if there were two exposures to two different batches. If from the same processing facility the decay rates would indicate to different batches. If from two different processing facilities it would be even easier to detect.

So how did authorities determine there were two exposures to Litvinenko? And do not forget the three periods of apparent Po-210 smuggling and contamination of hotel rooms across London. Authorities have samples from these three hotels during these three events. If these samples indicate different batches and/or processing sources then we have a clear smuggling operation which is collecting material closer to the destination than the source of the material being exported from Russia. And that puts a whole new light on these stories.

But there is another interesting comment in this story which could be nothing, or could be an indication of what is being looked for:

Police officers checked the tickets of all passengers who entered the Kiev railway station in central Moscow as security guards with walkie-talkies patrolled the station.

But Sergei Zaitsev, who was waiting for a train at the Kiev station, was skeptical about the security measures.

“All they did was look at my ticket, not my bag. If I wanted to, I could easily take a bomb and plant it on a train,” he said. “Terrorism is still a very real threat here.”

So why do these funny checks? Who knows – but I doubt with all this mobilization there would be this kind oversight in checking bags and tickets. I would bet the authorities are on the lookout for foreigners if they are focused on tickets and not necessarily backpacks. Just an interesting observation which could mean absolutely nothing. Either way, if Po-210 is the weapon of choice, it will be hard to detect.

14 responses so far

14 Responses to “Update On Russian Terror Alert”

  1. Carol_Herman says:

    Gee, you wouldn’t think putin would have another motive to “shut down cell service,” now would he?

    The russians just “luv” the way ordinary people can out-fox the propagdanda artists in REAL time!

    Of course. It’s russia. So who in heck knows what’s really going on?

    Because, after I read Jimmy Rogers 2nd book, Adventure Capitalist; telling his “adventures” as he toured our “global villages,” he pointed out how the cell phone technology KICK STARTED China. But it doesn’t work as well in India. For those who are interested, let me explain.

    Jimmy Rogers entered China, and had wall-to-wall phone coverage. No need to deal with “businessmen” on every other street corner, who were “selling” functional coding updates. China is a real business entity. It didn’t have any of the copper wiring that would have made phone traffic across the country even possible. It was the reason our State Department always felt “China would be a hundred years behind the times.” And, when China did open, and finally allow in American tourists, lots of people went there. Starting in the 1970’s. And, it was as backwards as you could go. With people monitoring your every move. (Hmm. Just like it is STILL, in russia. Should you care to waste your time, and “visit.”)

    China shot ahead. During the 1980’s, as computers began hooking up, a very early riser was the Chinese government. And, by the time 1990 rolled around, IF you visited China, you’d see wall-to-wall progress. Whose cranes were everywhere. And, flush toilets for tourists, blossomed. The real reason? China has an economics policy BECAUSE her people are SMART. And, they “didn’t forget” how to be capitalists. How to build a middle-class. And, how to COMPETE.

    India? Not so lucky. Very Byzantine. Their approach to economics is stuck in the “old days,” where not everybody can be a master of their own business. And, where, UNFORTUNATELY, the cell phone industry, to give you one example, got divided up among “block participants.” So you have to constantly update your own phone, just to receive calls. (And, it gets worse, elsewhere. Turkey, for instance, got lambasted in ADVENTURE CAPITALIST.

    While Russia? You probably are unaware of this, but russia never built a middle-class. And, it has no management skills to speak of. That’s why Chernobyl had its unfortunate accident. And, why there’s so much CRAP being black marketed.

    While putin? I’m sure he’s not thrilled with cell phone technology. Because it interferes with the state’s ownership of what gets told to the peasants.

    As to putin thinking his country is under threat, I see it as just a ploy. Perhaps, he only wants to fool Bush into thinking, russia, too, feels our pain, post 9/11.

    But nothing moves in moscow that’s not reported. And, whenever there’s a shakedown. Or whatever else you want to call “interference with democracy,” the real criminals in russia are the very people who are running things.

    And, putin is NOT averse to grabbing PR, so that his name appears around the world. As if Hoyle, himself, is laying down the cards, so you can peek right in.

    Now, HOW did the containers of po-210 spill? The truth, PRAVDA, herself, says: WE JUST DON’T KNOW. Could’a been this, or that. And, it could’a been that some of the trail NOW gets mixed with new stuff. Just as dan rather wants you to believe Karl Rove planted his “rathergate” papers. And, it was just a mistake for Burkett to claim it was Lucy Ramirez.

    The reason this story sticks around, Sherlock, is that so far none of the clues add up to much. But it’s still worth cutting at the clues with Occam’s Razor. Since there is stuff known about mother-russia that is not pleasant for the folks who live there. And, for those support structures in socialism that will fight reason, still, tooth and nail.

  2. Carol_Herman says:

    Russia sold short-range missiles to iran.

    Now, putin can’t be all that happy with the type of PR such sales generate. AND, given that half the stuff the spooks do is lard the journalists with fake stories; one should at least pause a minute.

    To compare WHY putin would look to throw in a MacGuffin that registers with the enema-media. (Enemy media?)

  3. Terrye says:

    I must be need to take a break from blogs. I got to Just one minute and it Libby this and Libby that and then I come here and it is the dead Russian this and the dead Russian that.

    Maybe I suffer from ADD. I just can’t get into it anymore.

  4. gumshoe says:

    you’re too wise not to ake your own advice,terrye.

    listen to what you’re telling yourself.

  5. jforrik says:

    Are you kidding me Terrye? Those are my two favorite topics! There are blogs on almost any topic you may be inerested in. Find one! Thanks, AJ, for providing this forum.

  6. Terrye says:


    It’s me I realize that. I do not expect anyone else to change anything they are doing because I just get the feeling I have been there before.

    What am I telling myself gumshoe? That I need to do something else? maybe….

  7. colanut22 says:

    Terrye, I would miss your insight if you decided to quit reading the strata-sphere. I love AJ’s insights, but I love many of the comments just as much for their differing viewpoints. Along with that, AJ has written about events that we do not see anywhere else. Take a couple days off, and then come back. I do that occasionally when it seems like just too much.

  8. Retired Spook says:

    AND, given that half the stuff the spooks do is lard the journalists with fake stories;

    Too true, Carol. ROTFLMAO! It’s the dip stick Senators like Leahey and Rockefeller that provide the journalists with the real deal, heh.

  9. Carol_Herman says:

    Spook: “Dip stick senators” get elected.

    I remember when I was young, and I met kids’ parents, (and then found out parents had to have sex to “make babies,”) I used to wonder how those parents actually found themselves attracted to each other. Let alone to “having sex.”

    But ya know what? That’s what makes the world go around.

    And, the nice thing about the USA, is that we’re a HUGE country! And, senators? Who live next to the top of the food chain. Did you know they only had to please about half the voters in their states to get elected.

    It certainly wouldn’t work as a method, let’s say, of picking Miss America! Since once that doll is chosen; she’s gotta be pretty enough to “walk down the aisle.”

    Brand Names, ya know, are nothing to treat cavalierly, either. Since your Brand Name usually pays mortgages at companies where people get hired to perform “tasks.”

    While senators? The less the work, the better off we are.

    And, then, when you look at the 435 HOUSE members, what would strike you is that “boy. Are they UGLY.”

    So its been said about politicians, that what drives them is similar to the stuff that drives movie stars. Except that politicians can be UGLY. And, it doesn’t matter.

    While to keep things attractive, enough, in the case of aiming towards stardom, you have to have at least good bone structure. And, it “halps” if you’re not so addicted to drugs, and/or alcohol, that you’re constanting falling down. Or, if you’re sitting, your head ends up in your soup.

    As to any one of these characters actually selling themselves across the broad spectrum of the USA, a lot of them could “nap” and nobody would even know they were among the missing.

    True. Sometimes an unattractive man, like LBJ gets elected. But it wasn’t a “hat trick.” It came after foul play. And, stuff like that has to do with “momentum.”

    But if you’re waiting for momentum to make ya lucky, ya could end up like Kerry. Just a gigolo. Who really has to perform for his allowance. I certainly don’t envy Kerry! I laugh!

    And, I don’t envy the donks, who can blow all they want to, on their dice. They’re not about to win.

    What surprises me, though? Where have all the comedians gone? There’s so much NEW MATERIAL! And, nobody gets on stage just to be funny.

    I miss Mort Sahl. Back in the days when people actually read the New Yuk Times, and WaPo, he made a whole act out of going out on stage, and being funny.

    This was so threatening to the likes of LBJ, that they threatened the owner of the Hungry I with an audit, if Sahl was allowed to perform!

    Talk about the old days, huh. That’s when this government actually had some clout.

    Who was the last guy that made you laugh, recently?

  10. Terrye says:


    I am just running my mouth, don’t pay any attention to me.

  11. ivehadit says:

    Re:Libby, The injustice is killing us…more abuse from the Left who has no compass when it comes to all things ethically important.

    They just want revenge. They care not about intellectual honesty.

    We all pay a price.

  12. gh says:

    The decay rate for Po210 does not change from one batch to another but the signature of impurities would.

    [ I spent a summer doing decontamination in a nuclear research facility … about 1/3 of the time was helping inspect and replace air exhaust filters. ]

  13. AJStrata says:


    I guess I wasn’t clear. I meant to say the amount of decay to led is different since each batch has a different starting point. So if the purity of the product is consistent, a two batches made 2 weeks apart would have different amounts of lead and Po-210 since the earlier batch had been around two weeks longer. The rate is, of course, identical.

  14. gh says:


    The point is that each batch will have a different radioactive signature from impurities. You need to do a chemical analysis to look at lead (a stable decay product in this case, iirc). Spectral measurements are much simpler and much more sensitive. However, I am still guessing. My experience is from 1978 and I am not a chemist.