Monday, November 11, 2013

The Murder of Yasser Arafat

Eric Margolis
Common Dreams
 
Yasser Arafat (Photo: Abbas Momani/ AFP)In 2004, shortly after the mysterious death of PLO leader Yasser Arafat, I wrote a column stating my strong belief that he had been murdered by poison. I recalled Stalin’s favorite line, “no man, no problem.”

Poison had been a favorite tool of the Soviet secret police since the 1920’s. Steps from KGB headquarters at the Lubyanka was the top secret laboratory known as the “kamera” where scientists concocted new, complex poisons designed to be very lethal but untraceable, or extremely hard to identify.

Numbers of Ukrainian nationalists were murdered by use of pens emitting a vapor of quick-acting cyanide gas that left the victims appearing to have died of heart attacks. Later, the kamera produced an even more lethal pellet filled with the deadly castor-bean extract, ricin. A Bulgarian defector, Georgi Markov, died after a ricin pellet was jabbed into his leg in London, the famous “umbrella murder.”

In 2009, Israeli agents of Mossad sprayed a poison liquid into the left ear of Palestinian Hamas leader, Khaled Mashall. He only escaped death when Israel was forced to provide an antidote. The US CIA had its own poison lab that was revealed by the 1975 Church Committee investigation.

Two other poisonings made use of advanced toxins:

In 2004, Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yuschenko was poisoned with dioxin boosted with other adjuvants to make it extremely difficult to trace and highly toxic. Yuschenko survived thanks to German medical help, but was left terribly disfigured.

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