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Alexander Litvinenko, KGB, FSB, Chechen Terrorists

An inconvenient truth

By William John Hagan

Monday, December 11, 2006

One of the greatest internal security risks within an intelligence organization is the potential for an officer to begin to empathize with individuals they are assigned to monitor. Alexander Litvinenko, a former officer of the KGB and its more recent incarnation known as the FSB, is a perfect example of an intelligence officer who transferred his loyalties from his country, and the people he was entrusted to serve, to the "enemy" for reasons other than monetary gain. Contrary to media reports Litvinenko was never a spy. In fact, he was never assigned to duties outside of the Soviet Union or the Russian Federation. His areas of expertise included counter-terrorism and organized crime. For reasons unknown, Litvinenko became a supporter of the Islamic terrorists leading the rebellion in the separatist region of Chechnya, despite the fact that they had murdered hundreds of his fellow Russians.

Chechen terrorists have carried out several high profile acts of terrorism against the Russian people. These brutal attacks included a series of apartment building bombings that killed approximately 300 innocent civilians, and the murder of over 100 theater goers in Moscow. Litvinenko's sympathies for the Chechnya separatists were not lessened by their murderous acts of terrorism, instead he attempted to excuse his beloved Chechens by blaming the FSB (Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation) for these crimes. Litvinenko's arguments were baseless and had the same amount of credibility as the assertions of conspiracy theorists who insist that the United States government was behind the attacks of 9/11; however, he garnered some minor notoriety in Great Britain after he published a book illustrating his spurious claims.

After moving to Great Britain, to escape criminal prosecution in Russia, Litvinenko not only supported the Chechnya rebellion through the publication of conspiratorial literature, he also developed personal relationships with the Islamic leaders of Chechnya's separatist movement. One such relationship was with Akhmed Zakayev, Foreign Minister of the Chechen republics' government-in-exile, who happened to be a neighbor of Litvinenko in London. Zakayev has been accused by the Russian government of involvement in the terrorist attack on the same Moscow theater that Litvinenko had conveniently decided to blame on the FSB. There is no doubt that Litvinenko, as a former member of the FSB's counter-terrorism department, would have been aware that Zakayev's Chechen government-in-exile was known to have direct ties to al Qaeda. In addition to the Chechens terrorists' ties to al Qaeda, it can be assumed that Litvinenko would have been aware that in 1995 Chechen terrorists had planted a "dirty bomb" made of conventional explosives and radioactive material in Izmailovsky Park in Moscow. The device was discovered and defused after a tip was received by a member of the Russian media.

The fact that Litvinenko recently died as a result of Polonium 210 must raise the possibility that he was somehow accidentally exposed to the substance during the construction of a radiological device similar to the one built by Chechen terrorists in 1995. While there is little doubt that certain individuals in Russia would have welcomed the death of Litvinenko, the use of Polonium 210 as a weapon seems highly unlikely. Both impractical and unprofessional, an assassination carried out by a former member of the KGB, the current FSB, or Russian organized crime would likely be done in a stealth fashion; one that maximized the chances of eliminating the target while allowing the perpetrator to escape undetected. A radioactive substance such as Polonium 210 is an unlikely weapon to be found in the arsenal of a professional assassin. A professional will go to great lengths to protect his identity whereas a weapon such as Polonium 210 leaves a radiological footprint that can easily be tracked, thereby increasing the chance that the movements of the assassin can then be reconstructed. The use of Polonium 210 as a weapon also presents an unacceptably high risk that the assassin himself could be somehow be exposed and therefore die within a short time after striking the intended target. This, of course, is an undesirable outcome on so many levels since a dead assassin presents the possibility of identification of the organization ordering the hit.

Therefore, without sounding as unhinged as the conspiratorial hordes that we seek to expose, we must seriously consider the possibility that Litvinenko was not assassinated but died after somehow exposing himself to Polonium 210. The "dirty bomb" theory is one of the most likely means of exposure. Polonium 210 has certain industrial uses that make it relatively easy to obtain; however, Litvinenko was not involved in any business that would have had a legitimate reason to use Polonium 210. He was, however, intimately involved with a Chechen terrorist organization that had, in the past, made a "dirty bomb" from radioactive material similar to Polonium 210. The possibility, therefore, exists that Litvinenko was at some point in a location where Polonium 210 was being used to assemble a terrorist weapon. Such a prospect is far more disconcerting then your simple, run of the mill, Kremlin-ordered "hit" of a political dissident; and it is a possibility which should be explored by the British government and the civilized world.

William John Hagan has most recently served as Communications Director for former Congressman Mac Collins. His editorial work has appeared in the Providence Journal, the Houston Home Journal, the Canada Free Press, World Net Daily, Freedom Today Magazine (U.K.), and in other publications.












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