The Novichok Story Is Indeed Another Iraqi WMD Scam 575


As recently as 2016 Dr Robin Black, Head of the Detection Laboratory at the UK’s only chemical weapons facility at Porton Down, a former colleague of Dr David Kelly, published in an extremely prestigious scientific journal that the evidence for the existence of Novichoks was scant and their composition unknown.

In recent years, there has been much speculation that a fourth generation of nerve agents, ‘Novichoks’ (newcomer), was developed in Russia, beginning in the 1970s as part of the ‘Foliant’ programme, with the aim of finding agents that would compromise defensive countermeasures. Information on these compounds has been sparse in the public domain, mostly originating from a dissident Russian military chemist, Vil Mirzayanov. No independent confirmation of the structures or the properties of such compounds has been published. (Black, 2016)

Robin Black. (2016) Development, Historical Use and Properties of Chemical Warfare Agents. Royal Society of Chemistry

Yet now, the British Government is claiming to be able instantly to identify a substance which its only biological weapons research centre has never seen before and was unsure of its existence. Worse, it claims to be able not only to identify it, but to pinpoint its origin. Given Dr Black’s publication, it is plain that claim cannot be true.

The world’s international chemical weapons experts share Dr Black’s opinion. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is a UN body based in the Hague. In 2013 this was the report of its Scientific Advisory Board, which included US, French, German and Russian government representatives and on which Dr Black was the UK representative:

[The SAB] emphasised that the definition of toxic chemicals in the Convention would cover all potential candidate chemicals that might be utilised as chemical weapons. Regarding new toxic chemicals not listed in the Annex on Chemicals but which may nevertheless pose a risk to the Convention, the SAB makes reference to “Novichoks”. The name “Novichok” is used in a publication of a former Soviet scientist who reported investigating a new class of nerve agents suitable for use as binary chemical weapons. The SAB states that it has insufficient information to comment on the existence or properties of “Novichoks”. (OPCW, 2013)

OPCW: Report of the Scientific Advisory Board on developments in science and technology for the Third Review Conference 27 March 2013

Indeed the OPCW was so sceptical of the viability of “novichoks” that it decided – with US and UK agreement – not to add them nor their alleged precursors to its banned list. In short, the scientific community broadly accepts Mirzayanov was working on “novichoks” but doubts he succeeded.

Given that the OPCW has taken the view the evidence for the existence of “Novichoks” is dubious, if the UK actually has a sample of one it is extremely important the UK presents that sample to the OPCW. Indeed the UK has a binding treaty obligation to present that sample to OPCW. Russa has – unreported by the corporate media – entered a demand at the OPCW that Britain submit a sample of the Salisbury material for international analysis.

Yet Britain refuses to submit it to the OPCW.

Why?

A second part of May’s accusation is that “Novichoks” could only be made in certain military installations. But that is also demonstrably untrue. If they exist at all, Novichoks were allegedly designed to be able to be made at bench level in any commercial chemical facility – that was a major point of them. The only real evidence for the existence of Novichoks was the testimony of the ex-Soviet scientist Mizayanov. And this is what Mirzayanov actually wrote.

One should be mindful that the chemical components or precursors of A-232 or its binary version novichok-5 are ordinary organophosphates that can be made at commercial chemical companies that manufacture such products as fertilizers and pesticides.

Vil S. Mirzayanov, “Dismantling the Soviet/Russian Chemical Weapons Complex: An Insider’s View,” in Amy E. Smithson, Dr. Vil S. Mirzayanov, Gen Roland Lajoie, and Michael Krepon, Chemical Weapons Disarmament in Russia: Problems and Prospects, Stimson Report No. 17, October 1995, p. 21.

It is a scientific impossibility for Porton Down to have been able to test for Russian novichoks if they have never possessed a Russian sample to compare them to. They can analyse a sample as conforming to a Mirzayanov formula, but as he published those to the world twenty years ago, that is no proof of Russian origin. If Porton Down can synthesise it, so can many others, not just the Russians.

And finally – Mirzayanov is an Uzbek name and the novichok programme, assuming it existed, was in the Soviet Union but far away from modern Russia, at Nukus in modern Uzbekistan. I have visited the Nukus chemical weapons site myself. It was dismantled and made safe and all the stocks destroyed and the equipment removed by the American government, as I recall finishing while I was Ambassador there. There has in fact never been any evidence that any “novichok” ever existed in Russia itself.

To summarise:

1) Porton Down has acknowledged in publications it has never seen any Russian “novichoks”. The UK government has absolutely no “fingerprint” information such as impurities that can safely attribute this substance to Russia.
2) Until now, neither Porton Down nor the world’s experts at the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) were convinced “Novichoks” even exist.
3) The UK is refusing to provide a sample to the OPCW.
4) “Novichoks” were specifically designed to be able to be manufactured from common ingredients on any scientific bench. The Americans dismantled and studied the facility that allegedly developed them. It is completely untrue only the Russians could make them, if anybody can.
5) The “Novichok” programme was in Uzbekistan not in Russia. Its legacy was inherited by the Americans during their alliance with Karimov, not by the Russians.

With a great many thanks to sources who cannot be named at this moment.

Please Also Read My follow-up to this article: “Bothered by Midgies”


575 thoughts on “The Novichok Story Is Indeed Another Iraqi WMD Scam

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  • MJ

    It lloks as though what was intended as a nice little Sunday afternoon propaganda stunt is going to backfire badly. Someone didn’t think it through.

    • Squeeth

      With the state broadcaster and the corp-0-rat media so well organised, they don’t have to think about anything.

  • ian

    I didn’t believe a word of it as soon as I heard the “official” version of events, It smelt of BS, a false flag operation to demonise Russia, part of a co-ordinated effort from the UK, USA possibly dare I say it Israel.

    • glenn_nl

      Agreed – when the conclusion is in long before any evidence has arrived, it’s suspect. Our government lost the right to be trusted on its word.

  • N_

    Theresa May seems to have directly misled the Commons, to whom she stated yesterday, in answer to a question, that “Novichok” is banned.

    I will try to find the reference.

    • N_

      Correction! Clearly Britgov knows it’s not banned. This is from Hansard for Monday:

      Richard Graham (Gloucester) (Con)
      “I understand that the nerve agent Novichok was developed by Russia specifically to avoid being covered by the chemical weapons treaty and to avoid detection by standard equipment. Will my right hon. Friend confirm that Novichok is a totally illegal substance under a treaty to which Russia is a signatory and that any knowledge of detection and treatment that we gain from this ghastly attack will be shared with authorities, including health authorities, in this country and with our allies abroad?”

      The Prime Minister
      “It is very clear that the use of such a nerve agent goes against the spirit of the chemical weapons treaty. As my hon. Friend would expect, we will be talking to the responsible chemical weapons body and raising this issue.”

      • N_

        Oops – it gets more complicated. This is the question and answer I was thinking of:

        Emma Reynolds (Wolverhampton North East) (Lab)
        This horrific attempted murder on British soil demands a strong and united response from this House. Can the Prime Minister confirm whether the nerve agent in question is banned under the chemical weapons convention and that Russia is a signatory to that convention?

        ​The Prime Minister
        “Yes, it is illegal to use a nerve agent of this sort. I understand that it is one that is banned under the convention.”

        Use is different from possession. But Theresa May told the Commons

        it is one that is banned under the convention

        which seems clearly to be a lie.

    • fred

      No chemical weapons are banned in the amounts we are talking about, the treaty only covers stockpiles, all countries are allowed to keep small amounts, even large amounts, of banned chemicals for research purposes. The amounts needed to kill one or two people would not be banned under any treaty.

      The logic behind Novochok was to have separate chemicals not banned under the treaties which could quickly and easily be mixed together to make highly toxic chemicals which would certainly be banned under the treaties if a country stockpiled them in the mixed form.

      • Muscleguy

        Especially since various toxins, which in large amounts could be deadly, are common laboratory reagents. I have used several myself in Biological research, usually in nanomolar amounts. Accompanied by an MSDS sheet which assumes daily use of uncovered 40 gallon drums of the stuff. I dutifully kept them all on file so the box tickers of the H&S people would be satisfied. The same people, often not PhD’s, who will not let trained scientists assess the necessity or desirability of labcoats and gloves at all times. Indeed there is one common procedure which requires you to remove your gloves. It is a simple wash with buffered saline. You remove your gloves so the rnases which drip from our fingers* could reduce the background staining. People used to add RNAse H at that stage. No need and it is hard enough to work with rna (including the riboprobes necessary for that procedure) with vials of rnase about the place.

    • MJ

      Let’s hope May is reading this and heeds your advice. Not holding my breath though…

    • MJ

      “Russa has – unreported by the corporate media – entered a demand at the OPCW that Britain submit a sample of the Salisbury material for international analysis”

      And it has 10 days to comply. If it doesn’t Russia may then impose sanctions of its own. It might for instance revoke all UK visas for the duration of the World Cup, for security reasons. I understand that Ireland will take England’s place in the competition if England can’t make it for any reason.

    • MJ

      Sorry Uzbek Uzbekov, my post wasn’t intended to be a reply to yours. I take it yours is an Uzbek name?

  • mike

    Bravo, Craig. Ian Blackford and Nicola Sturgeon should read this piece and hang their heads in shame, as should just about every “journalist” in the UK.

  • N_

    Black doesn’t say Britain hasn’t got any Novichok. He’s just talking about what’s in the public domain. But clearly it is NOT banned, and the OPCW doesn’t even acknowledge its existence.

    Of course Britain should hand over a sample to Russia.

    • craig Post author

      They have a legal obligation to hand a sample to the OPCW, which they are ignoring. I agree they should hand a sample to Russia, but it’s not an obligation in the same way.

      • Squeeth

        It’s like reading the story of the “secret dossier” in the Dreyfus case every couple of weeks. I suspect that the public are getting bored by the pantomime and the suspicious unanimity of the state broadcaster and the corp-0-rat media.

  • Resident Dissident

    What Black said is that no independent confirmation has been published and that information was sparse in the public domain – that is exactly as it should be and is quite a different position from your wild claims and extrapolations.

    • craig Post author

      you are suggesting that in making a professional publication in a renowned scientific journal, Dr Black was publishing information that he knew from non-public sources to be untrue?

      • S. Tringer

        No I’m sure that our clandestine weapons scientists publish freely all that they know about the most secret illegal weapons programs involving knowledge from espionage sources.

        Good grief.

        • Chris S

          So they’ve been hiding the fact that they know all about these weapons, and have figured out how to synthesize and identify them, in order to conceal that from their enemies? Seems reasonable. Why then have they decided that there is no longer any strategic advantage to keeping the knowledge secret?

      • Fred

        Just had a look through that Washington Post article and don’t see how this contradicts what Craig is saying. It still seems that the only source for the existence of Novichok is this Mirzayanov. Doesn’t prove that it doesn’t exist, but doesn’t disprove what Craig is saying either as far as I can see.

        • Resident Dissident

          Says NOvichoks exist in Russia, they were developed in Moscow and tested in Uzbekistan.

      • james

        it would be unusual for one of the papers for the empire to go against it’s own leaders in the propaganda war on russia… the wapo, nyt and wsj were all willing accomplices in the war on iraq.. this is no different… anyone who expects a straight story from these publications is indeed expecting too much!

      • Vladimir

        *The interrogation room smelled strongly of old cooked cabbage*

        He still forgot to mention the tame bear who was sitting next to the investigator, drinking vodka and playing a balalaika … 🙂

  • N_

    And if anyone wants a bit of distraction before the Tories finally implement “Operation Malthus” and blow us all up, here are some “vote for Putin” videos:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yV4iqq9flR4

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDIlQ3_lsKE

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zk_VszbZa_s
    (“I want a man like Putin”)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjF2dPdHd7Q
    This is supposed to be satirical against Putin – seriously!! It looks more like an ad.

    And here he is, singing “On Blueberry Hill”…He’s the man!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IV4IjHz2yIo

    Nobody gets sacked in the MSM for saying the Russian election is “fake” and that Putin only wins because he stops popular opponents from standing. The truth is very different, and if people take the time to study propaganda of this kind, and the Putin phenomenon, it’s fascinating.

    • James

      Is it? How so?

      Putin looks like a dictator, by any reasonable definition of the term. Obtain power through a fair-ish election process, then maintain it by any means necessary. The continued appearance of an electoral democracy is ideal if you can get away with it.

      • james

        seems to be working for the oligarchs – financial / military /energy complex that are responsible for all the bs that our politicians represent at present – with the msm in tow as well… i guess that is the kind of ”dumbocracy” you prefer… oh well…

  • S. Tringer

    You make some interesting points here, but you speculate beyond the evidence.

    1) Porton Down has acknowledged in publications it has never seen any Russian “novichoks”.
    True. They are a clandestinely manufactured chemical. This is hardly a shock. “No independent confirmation of the structures or the properties of such compounds has been published. (Black, 2016)” – No independent, publicly available published data is absolutely NOT the the same as the MoD having no knowledge of the structure of these compounds, how to identify them or indeed of their existence.

    The UK government has absolutely no “fingerprint” information that can safely attribute this substance to Russia.
    Again, where is your evidence for this? It is speculation based on the lack of independent PUBLISHED information on a clandestinely manufactured chemical weapon only thought to exist in the chemical weapons facilities of one nation.
    The UK government knows from espionage sources that the Russians have an organophosphate based chemical weapon, whose various properties match the ones present in the attack in Salisbury. What evidence would you expect them to have? What would you consider sufficient?

    2) Until now, neither Porton Down nor the world’s experts at the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) were convinced “Novichoks” even exist.
    Again, this is well past the evidence presented here.

    3) The UK is refusing to provide a sample to the OPCW.
    The UK has not refused (AFAIK).

    4) “Novichoks” were specifically designed to be able to be manufactured from common ingredients on any scientific bench. The Americans dismantled and studied the facility that allegedly developed them. It is completely untrue only the Russians could make them, if anybody can.
    If you think that an extremely volatile, lethal chemical weapon that has the potential to poison long after its initial manufacture is the sort of thing that can be made ‘by a bench chemist’, I would suggest that your knowledge of industrial organic chemistry is insufficient to be making the claims you are making here by quite a degree.

    5) The “Novichok” programme was in Uzbekistan not in Russia. Its legacy was inherited by the Americans during their alliance with Karimov, not by the Russians.
    Where is your evidence for this? It directly contradicts one of the sources that you use to make your argument.

    • james

      well st. tringer, until the uk provides some evidence – it is baseless slander on another nation ( russia ) – something that have been turned in a high art form by the uk and usa in particular… hopefully you won’t be asking for evidence of that.. instead, consider asking for some evidence in all the conjecture that is offered as fact from may and the msm… of that you will find none to date..

    • Merkin Scot

      The UK government has absolutely no “fingerprint” information that can safely attribute this substance to Russia. Correct.
      Water is water whether I synthesise it in the UK or US or Israel.

    • What's up Doc?

      OK I’ll bite. As a former industrial organic chemist, both synthetic organic, pilot plant, and QC (quality control), post-doc, this smells to me.

      Regarding the synthesis, as I understand it, this class are binary agents, i.e. non-lethal till mixing, so the two ‘halves’ could be made without specialist kit. Even active nerve agents could be prepared using a just fume cupboard, and the right PPE. Nothing too special required other than non shaky hands. Could be made anywhere the precursors are available. We worked with HF, OsO4, Thallium etc in such environments.

      Regarding the analysis. Typically small quantities are analysed (I used to install them) using GCMS. Gas Chromatography Mass spectrometry. This can detect down to femtogram levels.

      OK.

      So there exists databases of substances and their breakdown patterns under fragmentation, which can give possible matches to known compounds. This compound may have been on there. However, for an allegation of such seriousness, these would be ‘indicative’ rather than ‘conclusive’. For conclusive confirmation a coincidence of what is called ‘retention times’ would also be required against a standard. The retention time is the time it takes for the compound to ‘show itself’ at the end of the long thin tube inside the Gas Chromatograph. Different chemicals hold on to the tube with varying tenacities.and hence give various rates of elution.

      So a professional forensic scientist, I would hope, would do the following.
      Run a GC-Mass Spectrum to confirm the molecular weight.
      Check against a database for possible compounds which correspond to that molecular weight and fragment pattern (there may be a few, it may not be unambiguous at this stage)
      Check for the presence of other impurities, and the ratio of the main ingredient to these, which would give you the ‘fingerprint’
      Run the sample of unknown concentration against a standard of known concentration to determine the amount of active ingredient in the sample.
      Compare the ‘fingerprint’ to database of other ‘fingerprints’ in a library.
      Only when this fingerprint matches the fingerprint from a library can you determine the origin. Even then you can not say who administered the substance, but you would have an avenue to explore.

      OK so a good forensic laboratory would have access to the following.
      A synthetically pure sample of known weight and impurity profile.
      Finger prints of the sample from ‘sources of concern’

      So what is being implied here, is that the authorities have both. A control sample and samples from a few different labs to confirm that the fingerprint was from lab A not lab B for example.

      How did they get those?

  • Jan Holden

    ‘Russa has – unreported by the corporate media – entered a demand at the OPCW that Britain submit a sample of the Salisbury material for international analysis.’

    It has been reported, because I knew it before reading it here. Couldn’t remember where, but google tells me the Guardian had it yesterday, so probably there.

    The BBC & even the Mail had it overnight too.

    However only the BBC report says Russia has ‘been refused access to the nerve agent‘.

    All very interesting, & I’m wondering how much the growth of the internet/social media since the Litvinenko poisoning is affecting the way this is being handled & presented.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Excellent article, thanks.

    This provocation was planned, not something just overplayed.

    Like what the Palme killing was intended to instigate, and was prevented by all the spying by Americans for Moscow.

    Hopes to see the break-up of Russia itself. The Iraql WMD was resorted to to give some legitimacy for going after the Taliban

    What the Anglo-American fascists have long dreamed of.

  • Sharp Ears

    Theresa May @ 12.39pm followed by Jeremy Corbyn @ 12.49pm.

    Note he was heckled by the blonde thug.

    Salisbury Incident: Further update
    https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2018-03-14/debates/071C37BB-DF8F-4836-88CA-66AB74369BC1/SalisburyIncidentFurtherUpdate

    Nothing else is happening in this country of course.

    The ‘search’ for ‘nerve agent’ has now spread to Gillingham, Dorset.

    ‘They seek it here, they seek it there, they seek the damned nerve agent everywhere.’

  • N_

    I’m surprised to see Boris Berezovsky on the list of deaths to be investigated.
    Word is that both Britgov and the Kremlin wanted him out of the picture because of what he might reveal or raise in the Litvinenko case.
    Berezovsky had Israeli bodyguards, BTW. Not that that is unusual for “Russian” bigwigs in London, Monaco, etc.

  • Deepgreenpuddock

    have read and digested craigs post.it seems incredible that the british populationare so easly manipulated by mainstream news..at a loss to know why.are we ealy so susceptible. willltry to link the cm blog to my tiny blog readership..

    • glenn_nl

      Put a link to your blog (in the ‘website’ section when you fill in your details for the comment), and you may up your readership a bit! 😉

  • S Dewsbury

    I agree about it being interesting as a corrective to the assumptions being made in the media, but I think your point about the difference between published knowledge and actual knowledge is a strong one.
    Also, what motive would the UK government have if they don’t have strong grounds? This is a very difficult situation for them, effectively taking on a much stronger adversary with little effective that they can do. Why should they create such a problem for themselves? There may be only a limited amount of competence in the UK Cabinet at present, and a large capacity for foot shooting, but I’m doubtful that they would go this far.
    Good point by the author about the need for independent testing of the chemical used.

    • LondonBob

      I agree about the first point but it is very clear certain folks are positively giddy about this. This would have been done by a small clique, confident in the likely reaction of the press and MPs, see Litvinenko. The international lack of reaction is also telling.

    • PhilM

      Last time I looked the UK was a member of NATO, so hardly a tiny minnow “taking on a much stronger adversary”.

  • Christine Smith

    Thank you for writing this. The whole story just didn’t add up for me. It didn’t make sense both from the point of view of Russia. There was absolutely no reason for them to do this at this time. And the happenings in Salisbury. One policeman I’ll, fortunately recovered, others who attended the victims not affected, no hospital pictures, no reports from hospital staff, etc etc.
    Your articles have explained a lot and given me some facts to argue with……..my famity think I’m paranoid

  • simon

    in all probability all a fairy tale
    no cctv footage no public in hospital but we here many victims
    we should be thankful indeed indeed
    with the uss liberty false flag they actually killed folks
    qui
    qui
    bono
    already

  • Bob Apposite

    I’m all for healthy skepticism, but this knee-jerk stuff seems rather unpolished.
    Basically the argument here is:

    1. novichok doesn’t exist
    2. novichok does exist, but they don’t know the formula
    3. novichok exists, and not only do they know the formula, they made it

    This seems a lot like throwing shit at a wall to see what sticks.

    • Bob Apposite

      Isn’t it more likely that Britain didn’t know the formula, but that someone who did – (the U.S. perhaps?) shared enough of it with them, to allow them to do a spectrometer analysis?

      Presumably there is information sharing in these matters.

      I mean, if you prefer to believe that the British scientific community are unprofessional, war-mongering liars, that’s your call. I’m going to go with Ockham’s Razor, though.

    • Bob Apposite

      Isn’t it more likely that Britain didn’t know the formula, but that someone who did – (the U.S. perhaps?) shared enough of it with them, to allow them to do a spectrometer analysis?

      Presumably there is information sharing in these matters.

      If you have questions – why wouldn’t you just ASK Robin Black?
      I mean – did you attempt to contact him?

      *I* would probably do that before I would pen articles accusing my country of fabricating evidence and fomenting war. That’s pretty jump-to-conclusions paranoiac. (I’m sorry – I don’t know how to state the obvious here without it sounding like a personal attack).

    • J

      @Bob Apposite

      Craig pointed out the inconsistencies and contradictions in the story. If you don’t mind me saying so, this suggests the story and more pointedly, the act itself were somewhat unpolished, rather than the commentary. No?

    • What's going on?

      1) 2) and 3) are what Theresa May would have you believe, like you, Craig is pointing out that only one (if any) of those can be true.

      • Bob Apposite

        No, LOL. Craig Murray is making all 3 of those arguments.

        Whereas Theresa May’s argument isn’t even in that list:

        2.5: novichok exists, they know enough of the formula to make an identification

        But nice try.

    • Not Bob

      No, it isn’t. You’re misrepresenting his case.

      1. The existence of Novichok cannot be confirmed
      2. As a corollary of 1., nobody is familiar with its chemical composition and therefore it is impossible to identify
      3. Even if it does exist, the only information we have about it suggests explicitly that it could be crafted relatively easily by any state, because it was designed, so far as we know, exactly for that purpose

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Craig,

    Your Research of The Facts is Excellent. They trained you exceedingly well, somewhere. You didn’t seem to do that much at University. In fact it is quite obvious from reading your books, you really liked it, for an extended period of time (that’s what childhood is for – if you can get away with it)

    But what was it, that made you even better, in your late 50’s of researching the facts, and publishing the details, on your own blog, irrespective, of what the British Government, or those in control of them may do to you?

    I know you may respond, like you did in your book Murder in Samarkand..well they kept trying to kill me, with various, mainly chemical weapons, but my gut, rejected them, because these chemicals were not up to the quality of Glenglassaugh and my body naturally rejected them.

    They checked on Craig Murray the next day. They looked at each other, and said – F’ck Me – He is Still Alive.

    Well done, young man. You remind me of Lemmy. I’ve met him.

    Tony

  • Old Red Sandstone

    Fascinating post, Craig. Thanks. However, what do you make of this titbit about an alternative location [Shikany], from Ewen MacAskill in today’s Guardian blog?

    28m ago 18:04
    Ewen MacAskill

    The location where the nerve agent novichok was developed and produced is a closed town in central Russia, Shikhany, according to chemical weapons expert Hamish de Bretton-Gordon.
    Shikhany is the Russian equivalent of Porton Down, home to various research facilities that deal with radiation and chemical weapons.
    He said the information was disclosed in a report sent by the Russians to the international body responsible for monitoring chemical weapons, the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

    • LondonBob

      Chemical Hamish seems to be an information ops agent from his activities in Syria, his involvement is suspect. Nice of the Russians to identify where the agent came from, convenient.

    • Spencer Eagle

      I think Hamish de Bretton-Gordon’s name is more impressive than his expertise. According to the guy who was actually in charge of Russia’s biological and chemical weapon development program, Ken Alibek (defected to the US in 92). ‘Shikhany, Volga River Region, Testing ground for chemical weapons and BW simulants’. So it wasn’t a production facility and therefore it’s highly unlikely anything was developed there, let alone the mythical Novichok.

  • james

    thanks craig… insightful and on the money… unfortunately the uk politicians and scribes for the msm are loath to touch anything you are covering here… i guess brainwashing is their specialty…

  • yesindyref2

    Craig, this is a good and interesting article, but the headline “The Novichok Story Is Indeed Another Iraqi WMD Scam” jumps to conclusions in exactly the same way the UK Government had. A lot could have happened in intelligence and even chemical terms since 2016, and intelligence agencies do not compromise active agents.

  • Lee Burkett

    Thank you. I’ve done my own research on this, and my conclusions align with yours.

    • james

      ditto… all of this is covered at moa, in particular by a poster named yoffa… it is good to have an alternative voice like craig murray, based in the uk – coming to the same conclusion here..

  • yesindyref2

    Just to add to that, rather than automatically blaming the UK Government as many have done, you have to ask yourself who else might be interested in stirring up bad relations between the UK and Russia, and have the means to do so, with Boris the big mouth being a suitably totally gullible foreign minister and target. I doubt the rest of the world is unaware the UK has totally zero statescraft.

    I can think of several candidates.

  • mark golding

    Thank-you and others for this excellent research Craig which indicates to me that UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s advisors are in truth neophytes or fast and loose in fabricating a scheme that eludes a challenge. Clearly the secret intelligence services need people who are at best shrewd at worst duplicitous liars.

    Reinforcing the facts here a good friend of mine, an engineer with a 2nd class degree, absolutely brilliant at designing radio antenna failed an interview with MI5 that included a scenario where he was required to talk himself out of a situation that had been compromised. He failed to and was sent away with a warning not to disclose the content of MI5 job interviews.

    • What's going on?

      I wonder if things are being set up so that May’s jumping to conclusions can be shown for what it is later on.

      OR

      Big bad Russian bear, Big bad Trump. Lillul UK need big strong EU.

  • Bob Apposite

    FWIW, Wikipedia says there were probably numerous Soviet Novichok test sites, not just the one in Uzbekistan.

    Ustyurt plateau
    Krasnoarmeysk near Moscow

    • Dave Price

      Crikey, so all Dr Robin Black and the The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Scientific Advisory Board had to do to inform themselves properly was browse over to Wikipedia!

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