Trump threatens Russia with Smart Weapons, Brits lie about Skripal intercepts
As Trump threatens Russia with smart weapons the propaganda war using the Skripals continues.
Elite mobsters running the UK and USA attempt to create a new not so cold war so they can continue to rape and pillage planet earth.
Reports of communications allegedly intercepted by a British listening outpost in Cyprus and suggesting a Russian hand behind the Skripal poisonings do not stack up, an intelligence analyst has told the Cyprus Mail.
Alex Thomson, a former GCHQ officer, said it was unlikely local officers at RAF listening stations had the capability of piecing together, let alone deciphering, highly encrypted communications.
The Cyrus Mail also contacted the Sovereign Base Areas (SBA); they declined to comment on operations.
Citing anonymous intelligence sources, British media outlets are reporting on the ‘chilling’ contents of an electronic message that was intercepted en route to Moscow on the day former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned.The reports of intercepted messages surfaced just as the British government’s narrative on the Skripal affair was coming unglued, following Porton Down’s statement last week that the toxic agent in Salisbury cannot be definitively traced back to Russia.
The message, the Express said, included the phrase ‘the package has been delivered’.
This, as well as an earlier intercept formed a key part of Britain’s intelligence evidence against Russia over the Skripal poisonings, sources told the paper.
The two communications were intercepted by RAF analysts stationed at a listening post in southern Cyprus.
According to the Express, on the day of the poisonings (March 4) one of the messages was sent from a location near Damascus in Syria to ‘an official’ in Moscow. It contained the phrase ‘the package has been delivered’ and said that two individuals had ‘made a successful egress’.
A Flight Lieutenant at the RAF station then recalled a separate message that had been intercepted and discounted on the previous day.
“During a routine trawl through the previous 24 hours’ intercepts, an RAF Signals Intelligence (Sigint) Officer alerted a senior officer to another electronic message, which had been spotted the previous day.
“Given the events of that Sunday, that previous intercept was deemed tangentially relevant as well,” the Express said.
The intercepts were shared with the UK government communications headquarters GCHQ in Cheltenham.
Alex Younger, the head of MI6, is said to have personally sent a ‘well done’ message to the RAF signals unit.
But Thomson, who served with GCHQ from 2001 to 2009, says this account doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
In email correspondence with the Mail, Thomson picked apart the publicly available information, highlighting a number of ‘oddities’.
He had this to say about the Signals Intelligence station within the Sovereign Base Area (SBA) at Ayios Nikolaos:
“RAF signals intelligence officers do exist and include some skilled cryptologists and linguists, but – unless something radical has changed in the past few years, which I doubt – they are focused upon intercepting military radio communications. The Express source’s mention of it being an ‘electronic message’ implies what Siginters call C2C (computer-to-computer communications) – an umbrella term for e-mails and (packets of) all Internet protocols, such as instant messaging.”
“Hence,” Thomson goes on, “if it was an ‘electronic message’, it is highly likely that the decryption, translation and analysis was done at Cheltenham by a civilian or embedded-military GCHQ officer; the more so since the communication was sent ‘from a Russian’ ‘to an official in Moscow’.
“I appreciate that the host RAF officers at the Ayios Nikolaos base will be looking closely at the Russian military presence at Latakia and Hmeimim [air base], but the recipient (‘official in Moscow’) implies Russian MoD, and probably GRU [foreign military intelligence agency of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation] and hence certainly fiercely encrypted comms that the outstation at Ayios Nikolaos can’t cope with at all.”
Thomson, a regular contributor to UK Column News, adds: “Now, are we supposed to believe that a crucial ‘the deed is done’ message regarding a GRU assassination in Britain was sent in the clear or in low-grade, locally-crackable cipher from a Russian military operative in Syria to a Russian MoD staff officer?”
Another discrepancy in the story relates to the MI6 chief congratulating the diligent RAF officer:
“What has Alex Younger to do with GCHQ and RAF Sigint? There are huge rivalries between the agencies and services, and well-defined domains which others keep out of. Sigint, either military or civilian, is in no way subordinate to Humint [human intelligence], which is MI6’s remit, but runs in parallel with it.”
Others, too, find the account of the intercepted Russian communications to be implausible.
Craig Murray, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, has from the outset questioned the entire official narrative on the Skripal poisonings.
On his blog, Murray writes sarcastically: “Because of course, if you were sending a cryptic message back from Salisbury to Moscow, you would naturally route it back via Syria, in the certain knowledge that all such calls from Syria are picked up from Troodos.”
He also deconstructs the account from a linguistic point of view:
“As for the phrase ‘two people have made their egress’, presumably this was said in Russian and I cannot understand the translation at all. Exit, egress, go out, leave to outside – there is only one Russian word to express all of these and that is phonetically from the stem ‘vihod’, either as noun or verb. There is no egress/exit choice in Russian.
“The only possible explanation is that the person actually said ‘two people have left’ and the British government propagandists have translated this as the weird ‘made their egress’ to try to make it sound more sinister and more like a codeword.”
On March 4, a 66-year-old former colonel in Russia’s Military Intelligence Directorate was hospitalized in critical condition in Salisbury, England, about eight miles from the Stonehenge monument. In 2010, Sergey Skripal was traded to Britain for a group of Russian spies discovered in the United States. Four years earlier, he’d been sentenced to 13 years in prison for treason. According to investigators, he provided British intelligence with information about Russian security agents. For a secret spy saga, there's actually quite a bit we know about his case.
Having worked for Russia’s Military Intelligence Directorate (GRU) since the Soviet era, Sergey Skripal was recruited in 1995 by the British agent Pablo Miller, who at the time was posing as Antonio Alvarez de Hidalgo and working in Britain’s embassy in Tallinn. Russia’s Federal Security Service says Miller was actually an undercover MI6 agent tasked with recruiting Russians.
The first reports about Miller's work in Russia emerged in the early 2000s, after multiple Russians arrested for spying fingered Miller as their recruiter. For example, former tax police Major Vyacheslav Zharko says it was Miller who recruited him. He says it was Boris Berezovsky and former Federal Security Service (FSB) agent Alexander Litvinenko who introduced him to British intelligence agents. Zharko surrendered himself to Russian officials when he learned about the British authorities’ suspicions that another former FSB officer, Andrey Lugovoi, had poisoned Litvinenko with polonium.
Skripal, however, never turned himself in. For nine years, according to the FSB, he collaborated actively with British intelligence, transmitting information about Russian agents.
Nikolai Luzan, who calls himself a colonel and a veteran of Russia’s security agencies, wrote a detailed book about how the British recruited Sergey Skripal. Luzan says his book, “A Devil’s Counterintelligence Dozen,” is an “artistic-documentary production.”
If we assume that Luzan’s account is generally accurate, then Skripal was recruited during a long-term assignment in Malta and Spain, where he “got greedy.” On this trip, Skripal befriended a Spanish man with the surname Luis, and the two started their own wine-import business in secret from Russia’s Military Intelligence Directorate. Luis later introduced Skripal to Antonio Alvarez de Hidalgo, the British recruiter Pablo Miller’s alter ego. At first, Miller pretended to be another entrepreneur, inviting Skripal to go into business with him. According to Luzan, he once took Skripal to a strip club, but the Russian military intelligence colonel soon ran home to his wife.
In the end, Skripal and Miller came to an agreement: in exchange for money, Skripal provided information to the British about at least 300 of his colleagues in Russian intelligence. In 1999, he retired from the GRU for health reasons, but he soon traveled abroad and reconnected with Miller. Skripal agreed to spy again for Britain, and he got to work compiling data about the GRU’s inner structures. He often traveled to the Turkish city of Izmir, where he met British agents posing as tourists. On these trips, Skripal brought his wife, who apparently didn’t know anything about the nature of his activities.
According to the news agency TASS, after Skripal resigned from the GRU, he took a position in the Russian Foreign Ministry’s General Affairs Department, stepping down in 2003. In December the next year, he was arrested.
Skripal never denied the charges against him. Like with any treason case, his trial was held in a closed session, and journalists were only permitted to attend the reading of the substantive provisions of his verdict in August 2006. As the judge announced a 13-year prison sentence, Skripal listened calmly. He came to court wearing a windbreaker in the colors of the Russian flag. When Skripal was found critically ill in Salisbury, most news outlets ran photos of the former GRU colonel taken at this sentencing 12 years earlier.
Prosecutors had asked for a 15-year sentence, but the judge took into account Skripal’s poor health and cooperation with investigators. The FSB argued that Skripal’s betrayal had been extremely damaging to Russian interests, even comparing him to Oleg Penkovsky, who is considered one of the West’s most effective spies. Penkovsky was arrested in October 1962 and executed by firing squad the following May.
According to what investigators could dig up, Skripal’s reward for nine years of spying was a surprisingly modest $100,000. Nevertheless, as Nikolai Luzan’s book argues, Skripal’s espionage work allowed him to live beyond the means of a typical GRU pensioner.
After the sentencing, Skripal tried to appeal the verdict. He was unsuccessful.
The spy swap and emigre life
Sergey Skripal was one of four Russians exchanged in 2010 for 10 Russian “sleeper agents” discovered in the United States. Skripal and another treason convict, Igor Sutyagin, decided to resettle in Great Britain, while the other two went to the U.S. The British press called Skripal “the spy with the Louis Vuitton bag,” after pictures surfaced showing him carrying a bag at an airport en route to meeting his handlers.
Unlike Sutyagin, who took a job with NATO and earned fame as a military expert, Skripal led a quiet life in Salisbury, where he reportedly bought an average house for 340,000 British pounds (about $472,000). His neighbors describe him as an ordinary, reasonably friendly pensioner. When he moved to the area, he even invited the whole street over for a housewarming party.
It’s unclear why Skripal decided to resettle specifically in Salisbury, but LinkedIn indicates that Pablo Miller — the MI6 agent who recruited him — lives in the same town. In 2015, the year he retired, Miller received the Order of the British Empire for services to Her Majesty’s Government.
Skripal’s wife, Lyudmila, lived with him in Salisbury until her death a few years ago. His son died from liver failure in 2017 in St. Petersburg.