Arafat Was Assassinated With Radioactive Polonium
“We are revealing a real crime, a political assassination,” she told Reuters in Paris.
A team of experts, including from Lausanne University Hospital’s Institute of Radiation Physics, opened Arafat’s grave in the West Bank city of Ramallah last November, and took samples from his body to seek evidence of alleged poisoning.
“This has confirmed all our doubts,” said Suha Arafat, who met members of the Swiss forensic team in Geneva on Tuesday. “It is scientifically proved that he didn’t die a natural death and we have scientific proof that this man was killed.”
She did not accuse any country or person, and acknowledged that the historic leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization had many enemies.
Arafat signed the 1993 Oslo interim peace accords with Israel and led a subsequent uprising after the failure of talks in 2000 on a comprehensive agreement.
Allegations of foul play surfaced immediately. Arafat had foes among his own people, but many Palestinians pointed the finger at Israel, which had besieged him in his Ramallah headquarters for the final two and a half years of his life.
The Israeli government has denied any role in his death, noting that he was 75 years old and had an unhealthy lifestyle.
An investigation by the Qatar-based Al Jazeera television news channel first reported last year that traces of polonium-210 were found on personal effects of Arafat given to his widow by the French military hospital where he died.
That led French prosecutors to open an investigation for suspected murder in August 2012 at the request of Suha Arafat. Forensic experts from Switzerland, Russia and France all took samples from his corpse for testing after the Palestinian Authority agreed to open his mausoleum.
The head of the Russian forensics institute, Vladimir Uiba, was quoted by the Interfax news agency last month as saying no trace of polonium had been found on the body specimens examined in Moscow, but his Federal Medico-Biological Agency later denied he had made any official comment on its findings.
The French pathologists have not reported their conclusions publicly, nor have their findings been shared with Suha Arafat’s legal team. A spokeswoman for the French prosecutor’s office said the investigating magistrates had received no expert reports so far.
One of her lawyers said the Swiss institute’s report, commissioned by Al Jazeera, would be translated from English into French and handed over to the three magistrates in the Paris suburb of Nanterre who are investigating the case.
Professor David Barclay, a British forensic scientist retained by Al Jazeera to interpret the results of the Swiss tests, said the findings from Arafat’s body confirmed the earlier results from traces of bodily fluids on his underwear, toothbrush and clothing.
“In my opinion, it is absolutely certain that the cause of his illness was polonium poisoning,” Barclay told Reuters. “The levels present in him are sufficient to have caused death.
“What we have got is the smoking gun – the thing that caused his illness and was given to him with malice.”
The same radioactive substance was slipped into a cup of tea in a London hotel to kill defecting Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. From his deathbed, Litvinenko accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering his murder.
The British government refused to hold a public inquiry into his death after ministers withheld some material which could have shed light on Russia’s suspected involvement.
Barclay said the type of polonium discovered in Arafat’s body must have been manufactured in a nuclear reactor.
While many countries could have been the source, someone in Arafat’s immediate entourage must have slipped a miniscule dose of the deadly isotope probably as a powder into his drink, food, eye drops or toothpaste, he said.
Arafat fell ill in October 2004, displaying symptoms of acute gastroenteritis with diarrhoea and vomiting. At first Palestinian officials said he was suffering from influenza.
He was flown to Paris in a French government plane but fell into a coma shortly after his arrival at the Percy military hospital in the suburb of Clamart, where he died on November 11.
The official cause of death was a massive stroke but French doctors said at the time they were unable to determine the origin of his illness. No autopsy was carried out.
Barclay said no one would have thought to look for polonium as a possible poison until the Litvinenko case, which occurred two years after Arafat’s death.
Some experts have questioned whether Arafat could have died of polonium poisoning, pointing to a brief recovery during his illness that they said was not consistent with radioactive exposure. They also noted he did not lose all his hair. But Barclay said neither fact was inconsistent with the findings.
Since polonium loses 50 percent of its radioactivity every four months, the traces in Arafat’s corpse would have faded so far as to have become untraceable if the tests had been conducted a couple of years later, the scientist said.
“A tiny amount of polonium the size of a flake of dandruff would be enough to kill 50 people if it was dissolved in water and they drank it,” he added.
The Al Jazeera investigation was spearheaded by investigative journalist Clayton Swisher, a former U.S. Secret Service bodyguard who became friendly with Arafat and was suspicious of the manner of his death.
Hani al-Hassan, a former aide, said in 2003 that he had witnessed 13 assassination attempts on Arafat’s life, dating back to his years on the run as PLO leader. Arafat claimed to have survived 40 attempts on his life.
Arafat narrowly escaped an Israeli air strike on his headquarters in Tunisia in 1985. He had just gone out jogging when the bombers attacked, killing 73 people.
He escaped another attempt on his life when Israeli warplanes came close to killing him during the 182 invasion of Beirut when they hit one of the buildings they suspected he was using as his headquarters but he was not there. In December 2001, Arafat was rushed to safety just before Israeli helicopters bombarded his compound in Ramallah with rockets.
(Additional reporting by Gerard Bon; Writing by Paul Taylor; editing by Crispian Balmer and Ralph Boulton)
We also feel the bus attack in Bulgaria, killing 6 Israeli citizens is highly suspect for the same reasons as well.
Israeli radio broke the story Sunday night, midnight, but never mentioned it again. This has been confirmed by sources inside Israel
The real story as we have been able to learn is this; About 16 hours ago, Secretary Clintons convoy, traveling from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, was attacked. There would have been a minimum of 3 to 5 vehicles, with Clinton probably traveling in a bulletproofed Chevy Tahoe or Israel built Toyota Land Cruiser.
This follows the story earlier of an attack on a bus loaded with Israeli tourists that exploded in Bulgaria. Six were killed. Netanyahu said he would respond by attacking Iran. It is our opinion that this was a Mossad “false flag” operation much as was the Clinton assassination attempt. Bulgarian security services are trained by the Mossad. There are dozens of Mossad agents operating in Bulgaria which still has in place massive Soviet era security services that follow all tourists and check on every “overnight” guest in Bulgaria.
In fact, you can’t leave Bulgaria without meal and hotel receipts being reviewed. Bulgaria is considered, next to North Korea, the most “watchful” nation on earth.
There has never been evidence of any Iranian security personnel operating in Eastern Europe though Iran could, if they chose, claim retaliation for the murder inside Iran of a number of scientists and their families, acts openly admitted to by Israel. Iran has, however, made no such threats.
Coincidentally, the attack on Clinton was within hours of her statement in support of Israel regarding the Bulgarian attack. We do not believe in coincidences and find the timing of these events and the arrival of the USS Stennis, another American aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, to be coincidental also.
Were Secretary Clinton murdered as intended, Iran would have been blamed also as would Iran have been blamed for the US Navy’s attack on a Dubai fishing boat which failed to sink, a boat the Navy said was “Republican Guard” but returned to Dubai with dead and wounded fishermen who were gunned down, unarmed by American .50 caliber machine gun rounds.
In making these statements, which will surprise none of the world’s intelligence community, we expect reprisals from Mossad based press management and intimidation groups, such as the one that suppressed the Clinton murder attempt.
A white Citroen DS, a French car built (assembly plant in Israel) drove alongside the convoy and opened up on Clinton’s vehicle with automatic weapons fire.
Normal security procedures should have prevented any vehicle on open regions from coming within 200 meters of Clinton. Additionally, the Secretary of State would have traveled with Apache helicopter air support above while on open highway.
Thus, the concept of a cheap French sedan with plastic wheels and a 1 litre deisel engine escaping such an incident is fanciful.
The translation of the intercepted Reuter’s story from Israel is below.
We list probability of the story being high and that networks are being asked to suppress the incident as an embarrassment to Israel.
Reports are coming in, to Israeli blogs, radio and TV that red flares and illumination is seen at the “alleged ” site.
This is the first visit by Secretary Clinton to Israel in two years: