Amesbury poisoning: what we know so far

The good news at this point is that the brits haven’t started pointing fingers at Russia yet.  The couple have no known history or background that would point to a reason as to why anybody would single them out for such an attack. Some of the theories floated around at this point in time are that they could have been exposed to remnants of Novichok from the Skripal event. I personally find this a bit silly as the nerve agent Novichok degrades rather quickly, even if it is in a sealed off environment.

BBC reports

The couple, believed to be Charlie Rowley, 45, and Dawn Sturgess, 44, fell ill at a house in Amesbury on Saturday and remain in a critical condition.

Police say no one else has presented with the same symptoms.

There was “nothing in their background” to suggest the pair were targeted, the Met Police said.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said it could not be confirmed whether the nerve agent came from the same batch that Mr Skripal, and his daughter Yulia, were exposed to.

But he said the possibility was “clearly a line of enquiry”.

Mr Basu said no contaminated items had yet been found, but officers were putting together a “very detailed examination of [the couple’s] movements” in order to determine where they were poisoned.

He added that members of the public should not pick anything up if they don’t know what it is.

“We have no idea what may have contained the nerve agent at this time,” he said.

The Counter Terrorism Policing Network is now leading the investigation, working with Wiltshire Police.

The BBC’s security correspondent Gordon Corera said: “The most likely hypothesis is that this is leftover Novichok from the attack on the Skripals back in March.”

Chemical weapons expert Richard Guthrie said it was possible that the Novichok which poisoned the Skripals may have been disposed of “in a haphazard way”.

If the couple had come across it in a syringe or pot, it might have been better preserved, he told BBC Breakfast.
England’s chief medical officer, Sally Davies, said: “I want to reassure the public that the risk to the general public remains low.”

The Skripal episode meant officials had a “well-established response” in place, she said.

“As before, my advice is to wash your clothes and wipe down any personal items, shoes and bags, with cleansing or baby wipes before disposing of them in the usual way.

“You do not need to seek advice from a health professional unless you are experiencing symptoms, as any individual who had been significantly exposed at the same time would by now have symptoms.”
On Saturday, paramedics were called twice to the property in Amesbury – in the morning, after Ms Sturgess had collapsed, then later the same day, after Mr Rowley had also fallen unwell.

“It was initially believed that the two patients fell ill after using possibly heroin or crack cocaine from a contaminated batch of drugs,” Wiltshire Police said.

The news that Novichok was to blame was announced following analysis at the defence research facility at Porton Down, Wiltshire.

As a precautionary measure, sites in Amesbury and Salisbury, believed to have been visited by the couple before they fell ill, have been cordoned off.

There is no evidence to suggest either visited the sites that were decontaminated following the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

Local residents have been warned to expect to see an increased police presence – including officers wearing protective equipment.
Security correspondent Gordon Corera said the poisoning was “hugely significant” as the public “will be worried about public health”.

He added: “Perhaps this is some of the Novichok prepared for the attack [in Salisbury in March] and discarded – maybe somewhere like a park, a house – and maybe these two came across it.”

He added it could give counter-terrorism investigators new leads on where the nerve agent was “brought and put together” before the attack on the Skripals.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said his thoughts were with the two individuals affected and thanked the emergency services and staff at Salisbury District Hospital.

He said the events follow “the reckless and barbaric attack which took place in Salisbury in March”.

“The government’s first priority is for the safety of the residents in the local area but as Public Health England has made clear, the risk to the general public is low,” he said.

“Tomorrow [Thursday] I will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency committee Cobra in relation to the ongoing investigation.”

Only time will tell where this will go. If they want to turn this into another blame Russia case, the timing couldn’t be worse. Right in the middle of the World Cup and the meeting between Trump and Putin right around the corner. Let us hope for the recovery of the victims and that no more cases of this occur

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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September 5, 2018

Call or email the UK Embassy in your home country and ask them if the UK’s radical operatives also killed this couple’s pets as they did the Skripals’. The UK’s assassins are not using Novichok, because those poisoned by it would already be dead as hell.

Marc Leif
Marc Leif
September 5, 2018

I would re-state “timing couldn’t be worse” to “timing couldn’t be more predictable”. This whole unending “nerve agent” nonsense from the UK simply defies any standard of reason or common sense. If anything, it sounds like there’s some lunatic from the UK weapons lab running around loose. The is kind of a mirror of the whole “anthrax scare” that attended the Patriot Act coup when the American republic was overthrown during “9/11”.

Seán Murphy
Seán Murphy
September 5, 2018

“Timing couldn’t be worse” : yet there was a talking head on Sky News at lunch time blaming Russia. All the usual talking points– “rules based order” (!), “Novachok only produced in Russia”, “intelligence agencies assessment”, etc, etc, but not a scintilla of evidence put forward. Looks like someone in the UK fears the Trump-Putin meeting and is trying to sabotage it.

September 5, 2018

More Nobichok! Apparently now Sajid Javid new to the job as the UK Home Secretary has come out asking Russia to explain… Such a dulard how can Russia explain when even Porton Down or the OPCW can’t?? If their is no risk to the public then how did these two ghosts get infected? I say ghosts as they may not be real. Clearly this is season 2 of the Skripal Saga. The tale of an investigation with no facts just pure conjecture. Where the victims that didn’t die have not been available to speak freely and the Brits think Russia… Read more »

Doom Sternz
Doom Sternz
September 5, 2018

The report states…….She was “having a fit, foam coming out of her mouth”… “He was sweating loads, dribbling. … He was rocking backwards and forwards”…Are they referring to May and Boris? Who are obviously high on Russiaphobia. What the British Government is peddling Is nonsense. From 3-4 months ago………………………“The Syrian Arab Army and with the help of Russia captured a shipment of chemical weapons destined for the Eastern Ghouta. These were British weapons produced at Porton Down in Salisbury. Russia has indicated that the Skripal incident is related to Porton Downs chemical weapons smuggling, Skiripal was working at Porton Down… Read more »

September 5, 2018

How can the risk to the general public be considered low. Surely unless the authorities know exactly when,where and how they were affected the risk to the public must be high, because the problem could be anywhere.

AM Hants
AM Hants
September 5, 2018

How much did the UK tax payer pay to clean up and shut down Salisbury, when the Skripals touched the doorknob? Including the demolition of the house the UK tax payer, purchased twice? Remember, even the bench was removed? So how come to drug addicts, find a syringe containing Novochok, whilst out and about? Thought it was the doorknob? How long does a military grade, nerve agent take to work? Does it allow you to drive into town, go for a drink, followed by a meal, then walk in the park, plus live to tell the tale? Does it allow… Read more »

September 5, 2018

Deadly nerve agent hasn’t killed four people.

Breaking: Amesbury Police confirm novichok used to poison couple

New Russian law safeguards Russian citizens from terrorists – and US Intel agencies