Since this ex-KGB man was assassinated, I have been banging my head on the wall trying to figure this one out. In any criminal investigation, the first question is always:
The obvious answer is Russia, because Alexei has been so outspoken against them. That’s a problem… the FSB could have taken this guy at will in the last 10 years, and made it look like a simple mugging, an accident, a heart attack… but they didn’t, and if they wanted to kill him, the FSB certainly wouldn’t use something so ham-handed as Polonium to kill the guy. Frankly, I consider the idea that the Russian government did this to be silly.
I have some knowledge of chemistry and physics, and the amount of Polonium that Alexei Valterovich ingested is what we would describe as “nontrivial”, and besides, using radioactive elements to poison dissidents is nekulturniy. This act was nearly certainly carried out with the support of a nation with advanced nuclear technology. Since Russia is ruled out by logic, we have to ask the question again: Cui bono? The act of smuggling Po-210 into the UK would be simple. It’s a pure alpha emitter that decays to stable Pb-206, common lead. Since alpha particles can be blocked by a sheet of paper, and Po-210’s decay product is stable (non-radioactive), it is very unlikely that a Geiger counter would detect Polonium outside of any kind of sealed container. So we now have another question… Who produced it? Since Po-210 has a very short half-life, and occurs in nature in very small quantities, but can be produced easily in a nuclear reactor, The List of suspects narrows. So who not only benefits from Litvinenko’s death, but also benefits from Russia being blamed? When you look at it that way, the list of suspects becomes shorter still. I can only think of the 3 suspects: China, the Russkaya Mafiya, or Israel.
China has the antipathy and political will to carry this out, but I can’t figure a reason, except to destabilize the Russian leadership, possibly in a prelude to a military incursion into Siberia. I consider this possibility to be extremely remote, mostly because the Commie Chinks would kill the golden goose, i.e. their trade relationship with the United States.
The Russian Mafia is a great suspect. They have the motive and the contacts to obtain the Polonium from Russia. The problem with the Russian Mafia scenario is that this really isn’t their style. When somebody offends the Russkaya Mafiya, they deal with it by getting 10 guys with AK-47’s and blasting the offender and his family down in the street in a fashion that the most militant gangsta-rapper from Compton would balk at. The Russian Mafia is full of ex-KGB types, but they really don’t take care of business like this.
Israel… they are my prime suspect. They not only have the resources to pull something like this off, they would benefit the most from killing this man (whom was a converted Muslim that supported the Chechens) and to boot they get to discredit Russia, a county that supplies weapons to all of their enemies. In fact, Iran and Syria buy most of their advanced weapons (tanks, aircraft, missiles, etc.) from Russia. The pure chutzpah, to borrow a Hebrew word, of this operation to kill Alexei smacks not only of the Mossad, but Israel benefits the most from the result. The only thing that really counters this is the political risk involved... the MSM is already bias against Israel, would they risk an operation like this?
We shall see.