About that trail of dead Russians ...

About that trail of dead Russians ...

by digby

I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that if a Muslim were suspected of perpetrating this crime everyone would be screaming about terrorism 24/7 right now:

About 180 military personnel have been deployed to Salisbury to help in the investigation into the attempted murder of an ex-Russian spy and his daughter.

The personnel - from the Army, Royal Marines and RAF - are experts in chemical warfare and decontamination.

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia remain in a critical condition after being exposed to a nerve agent.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd will chair a meeting of the government's emergency committee, Cobra, on Saturday.

She has described Sunday's attack as "outrageous".

Those deployed include instructors from the Defence Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Centre and the 29 Explosive Ordnance Group, who are experts in bomb disposal.

Eighteen vehicles have also been sent.

Members of the military were seen covering over a police car that has been at Salisbury Hospital since Sunday, before men dressed in white hazardous materials suits examined it.

It was later towed away from the hospital, covered by a tarpaulin, on the back of an Army truck.

Officers are also expected to secure Mr Skripal's car.

Specialist officers have also put up a tent over the grave of Mr Skripal's son, who died last year, at Salisbury cemetery.

The Metropolitan Police said the counter-terrorism unit has requested the military's assistance "to remove a number of vehicles and objects from the scene", including ambulances that may have been contaminated while assisting the victims.

The public should not be alarmed and there is no evidence to suggest a wide public health risk at this time, the police added.

Valery Morozov, a Russian exile, told BBC News that Mr Skripal was working in cyber security.

The former Russian military security colonel and his daughter remain in a critical condition at Salisbury District Hospital.

The graves of Mr Skripal's wife and son at a Salisbury cemetery have also been taped off
Det Sgt Nick Bailey - who attended the scene on Sunday - is conscious but "very anxious" about being exposed to a nerve agent.

Director of nursing Lorna Wilkinson said Mr Bailey was in a serious but stable condition.

Specialist investigators wearing protective suits have been seen examining the bench that Mr Skripal and his daughter collapsed on.

Mr Skripal's house and his car have also been cordoned off.

It is known that Mr Skripal and his daughter had visited the Mill pub and Zizzi restaurant in Salisbury on Sunday afternoon, before they were found near the Maltings shopping centre.

Some of the 180 military personnel who have been sent to help the investigation are specialists in chemical biological radiological and nuclear (CBRN) warfare.

They include Falcon Squadron from the Royal Tank Regiment, which uses specialist Fuchs vehicles - effectively mobile laboratories - to carry out tests and decontamination.

"Sensitive Site Exploitation" will look for any further traces of the nerve agent.

Royal Marines from 40 Commando have also just completed the UK's biggest chemical warfare exercise - called Toxic Dagger - involving 300 personnel and including scientists from Porton Down.

The existence of these units - some of which had suffered under defence cuts - highlights a growing concern in the military about the use of chemical weapons by individuals, terrorist groups and "rogue states".

But the public is being told not to be alarmed.

It does remind me of this quote from last year:

Watts encouraged committee members to “follow the trail of dead Russians.”

“There have been more dead Russians in the past three months that are tied to this investigation, who have assets in banks all over world,” he said. “They are dropping dead even in Western countries.”