More Questions in Litvenenko death: Polonium cost estimated at over $10 million

By Douglas J. Hagmann, Director

19 December 2006: The Northeast Intelligence Network reported earlier this month that the “murder” of Alexander Litvinenko might not have been a “Putin polonium poisoning plot,” but could potentially be associated with nuclear terrorism. According to news reports, intelligence agents from the UK are now beginning to believe that the “official explanation” regarding his death are not right - that his death does not appear to be a “sanctioned” hit to silence an outspoken critic of the Kremlin. As we previously pointed out, there are much easier, effective and obviously less costly methods.

According to a British newspaper published yesterday, autopsy results on Alexander Litvinenko established that he was poisoned with more than ten times the lethal dose of polonium-210 - a murder that would have cost in excess of $10 million. The UK paper quoted a British detective:

“You can’t buy this much off the Internet or steal it from a laboratory without raising an alarm. So the only two plausible explanations for the source are that it was obtained from a nuclear reactor or very well-connected black market smugglers.” [emphasis added].

Questions again arise concerning the death of Litvinenko and his possible connection to Chechens who have a reputation of selling nuclear material and devices on the black market to Islamic terrorists. Questions that demand investigation - and answers - especially about the possibility of previously deployed nuclear devices present inside the U.S. The most vocal critics of accounts that smaller, tactical size nuclear weapons are present inside the U.S. argue that such devices need maintenance to remain viable. Such maintenance involves a re-supply of nuclear components - one which just happens to be polonium-210.

Our previous coverage:

*8 December 2006: Count on it: The radiological hunt for polonium-210 will extend to the United States & Canada

*13 December 2006: The nuclear poisoning death of Alexander Litvinenko - something “more sinister,” perhaps? (Listen to the Audio at this link)

*15 December 2006: Something dangerous is cooking in the terrorist kitchen