A controversial document retrieved by the publisher and whistle blowing website Wikileaks could shed light on a possible Cuban link to the recent assassination attempt on the former Russian spy and double agent Sergei Skripal. Skripal, who, together with his daughter, was found in a state of collapse close to his home in Salisbury, England, on Sunday 4th March, is believed to have been poisoned using the deadly nerve agent Novichok, developed by the Soviet Union as part of its chemical weapons program during the nineteen seventies and eighties.
In spite of appeals for witnesses, and the deployment of some 250 specialist police officers from 8 separate units across the country, no direct evidence of proven Russian involvement has so far emerged, other than the presence of the Novichok nerve agent. Yesterday, just hours after an extract from the document had surfaced on the Wikileaks twitter feed, the former MI5 officer Annie Machon spoke to the Russian news service and government propaganda agency RT, amid calls for her to boycott the media organization, expressing the definite need to find a possible motive for the crime before pointing the finger at anyone.
Machon, a regular contributor to the Consortium News website, has been highly critical of the entire ‘Russia Gate’ agenda from the beginning. Described on her own website as ‘a former intelligence officer for MI5, the UK Security Service, who resigned in the late 1990s to help blow the whistle on the spies’ incompetence and crimes,’ she has also been highly critical of other government intelligence agencies, most notably those of the United States, and has links to the Chaos Computer Club; at whose events she has been a guest speaker. With the UK government seemingly intent on continuing to push its anti-Russian agenda, however, independent expert opinion is likely to be ignored.
The document, which appears to be suggestive of the direct involvement of a state actor other than the Russian Federation, forms part of a collection referred to by Wikileaks as ‘The Global Intelligence Files‘, first released into the public domain on Monday February 27th, 2012. According to the organization’s website, ‘WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files, over five million e-mails from the Texas headquartered “global intelligence” company Stratfor’ as a means of revealing ‘the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods.’
Most of the e-mails date from between July 2004 and late December 2011, and although Wikileaks do not reveal their sources as a matter of policy, it is generally accepted that the Hacktivist collective Anonymous played a pivotal role in bringing these documents to light. There have also been allegations of a possible conflict of interest in the prosecution of the Anonymous hacker Jeremy Hammond, who is himself currently serving a ten year sentence for his part in the celebrated ‘Stratfor Hack‘, as a result of what has been revealed in some of the aforementioned e-mails. And, what the document, referred to in the tweet from Wikileaks that was put out at 10:42 PM on Monday 12 Mar 2018, seems to suggest, is that Cuba is believed to have developed a number of chemical agents independently of Russia, including but not especially Novichok.
More interesting still, but not thus far revealed by either Wikileaks or Anonymous, is the fact that Stratfor’s extensive research into various related matters, as part of its internationally recognized Global Organized Crime Assessments, published during the very same time period to which the Wikileaks Global Intelligence Files can be positively dated, seem to indicate a direct link between the Cuban Intelligence Service, or Direccion General de Inteligencia (DGI), and certain Russian organized criminal elements who may have a motive for wanting Mr. Skripal out of the way. Although the Stratfor Assessment does not name names, it openly acknowledges that in the immediate aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union ‘Miami became a node in the Russian criminal world that saw the trafficking of drugs and sale of high powered weapons.’ The Assessment also alleges the possible direct or indirect involvement of the DGI in bringing this about.
At the time of his recruitment by the British Secret Intelligence Service MI6 Mr. Skripal had obtained a position in the Russian military attaché’s office in Madrid, Spain. His MI6 handler, one Pablo Miller, at that time going by the name Antonio Alvarez de Hidalgo, was also involved with the murdered Russian defector Alexander Valterovich Litvinenko. Litvinenko’s involvements with the British MI6 and MI5 are alleged to have involved matters relating to the international threat posed by Russian organised crime in Europe; with specific reference to Russian mafia activities in Spain. Among those whose activities he is alleged to have unmasked for the specific benefit of the Spanish authorities were Zahkar Kalashov and Tariel Oniani. Although, like Wikileaks, MI6 does not comment directly on its relationships with its informants, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Mr. Skripal’s involvements with the British Secret Intelligence Service touched on similar areas to those upon which the late Mr. Litvinenko was himself publicly acknowledged for his extensive expertise.
Previous to his recruitment by MI6 Skripal had been attached to the Russian embassy in Malta, a location where a number of major players within the world of international organized crime are known to have extensive involvements. These are alleged to include the controversial President of Finstar Investment Holdings, Oleg Boyko, who, according to the ‘Russian Criminal’ website, is himself the subject of an on going FBI investigation. Although it would be inappropriate to accuse either Mr. Boyko or any of his associates of having any involvements whatsoever with the murder of Sergei Skripal, their connections to international organized crime in the US are said to be extensive and they are alleged to be linked to Russian Mafia Groups in the Brighton Beach area of New York, a popular point of transit for Russian criminals bound for Miami and the Florida Coast according to the New York Times, which first exposed Russian Mafia involvements along the South Eastern seaboard some eighteen or so years ago. Brighton Beach New York is also the principal East Coast locality where criminal interactions are initiated between major Russian Mafia players and their organized criminal counterparts from Israel. Although there is no evidence of any Israeli involvement in the Skripal Affair, Radioactive Polonium, the principal agent in the Litvenenko Murder, appears to have played a role in the death of Yasser Arafat, a long term opponent of Israel despite his eventual reconciliation with the Israeli Government in the interests of the later Peace Process.
Having begun his career as a junior researcher at Thames Television in London, he has written for a wide range of publications including 'The Brighton Reporter', 'Durham Town and Country', 'The Brighton and Hove People' and 'The New Celtic Review'. As an exhibited film maker he has been a regular contributor and award nominee at the Portobello Film Festival in London; and has seen his work shown at the annual London Film Makers' Convention at the prestigious Round House Theatre.
As well as receiving enthusiastic reviews from BBC Radio 4 and others for his book on Sir Walter Scott, his pioneering work as an Underground Film Maker on the fledgeling Goa Trance Scene has set him in a field of his own amongst many of his contemporaries; both in the UK, where he presently resides, and elsewhere. Current projects presently in hand include a book centred on his 'Legendary London' series of documentary films, which have stimulated an enthusiastic response from the likes of Glenda Jackson and others; and a novel set in France and Edinburgh during the eighteenth century Scottish Enlightenment.
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