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Spy Death by Nuclear Poisoning Tied to American Hiroshima By Paul L. Williams Ph.D. & Lee Boyland Wednesday, December 6, 2006 The death of Alexander Litvinenko by radiological poisoning points to the possibility that the former Soviet spy may have been involved with Islamic terrorists in the preparation of tactical nuclear weapons for use in the jihad against the United States and its NATO allies.
Litvenenko, a former KGB agent, died in London on November 23 after ingesting a microscopic amount of polonium-210. In a deathbed statement, Litvinenko blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for the poisoning--an accusation which the Kremlin has vehemently denied.
The denial is fortified by the fact that polonium-210 is a very rare radiological substance that is man-made by bombarding Bismuth-209 with neutrons within a nuclear reactor. It is expensive to produce and difficult to handle. When Russian officials resorted to nuclear poisoning in the past-- including the assassination of two Swiss intelligence officials who were engaged with Russia and South Africa in the nuclear black market--they relied on such readily available radiological substances as cesium-137 in salt form. According to nuclear expert David Morgan, killing a spy or political dissident with a grain or two of polonium-210 is as ludicrous as shooting a rat with a howitzer. Litvinenko, who was born an orthodox Christian, was a convert to Islam with close ties to the Chechen rebels. His last words consisted of his desire to be buried “according to Muslim tradition.” In recent years, considerable attention has been paid to suitcase nukes that were developed by U.S. and Soviet forces during the Cold War. Reliable sources, including Hans Blix of the United Nation, have confirmed that bin Laden purchased several of these devices from the Chechen rebels in 1996. According to Sharif al-Masri and other al Qaeda operatives who have been taken into custody, several of these weapons have been forward deployed to the United States in preparation for al Qaeda’s next attack on American soil.
This brings us to the mysterious case of Litvinenko. The neutron source or “triggers” of the suitcase nukes are composed of beryllium-9 and polonium-210. When these two elements are combined, the alpha particle is absorbed by the nucleus of the beryllium causing it to decay by emitting a neutron. Such “triggers” were a feature of early nuclear weapons in the U.S. and Soviet stockpiles. Polonium-210 has a half-life of 138 days, necessitating the replacement of the triggers every six months. For this reason, the suitcase nukes are far from maintenance-free. In addition, the nuclear core of these devices emit a temperature in excess of one hundred degrees Fahrenheit - - further exposing the weapons to oxidation and rust. Small wonder that al Qaeda operatives including Adnan el-Shukrijumah, who are spearheading “the American Hiroshima” have received extensive training in nuclear technology.
Polonium-beryllium triggers are packaged in foil packs about the size of a package of sugar on a restaurant table. When the twin foil packages are crushed, the elements mix and the neutrons are emitted. A courier transporting nuclear triggers could have had a mishap causing the packages to rupture and a trail of contamination to occur. Polonium-210 is a fine powder, easily aerosolized. Litvinenko could have inhaled the powder, or had a grain or two on his fingers when he ate the sushi. (Paul Williams is the author of THE AL QAEDA CONNECTION and forthcoming THE DAY OF ISLAM. Lee Boyland is the author of THE RINGS OF ALLAH).