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Polonium 210 poisoning raises fears of terrorist involvement

Poisoning of dissident with radioactive polonium results in anti terrorism emergency committee meeting again.

The Polonium poisoning in London of Russian dissident secret agent Alexander Litvenenko has started alarm bells ringing. Government emergency group COBRA has met again due to concerns that Polonium 210 has been found in a number of locations and could fall into the wrong hands.

Russian agent was poised with a massive dose of radioactive polonium 210. Polonium is a rare element that is difficult to obtain. It is most likely to have been sourced from a nuclear power station as it is a by product of extraction of radium from uranium minerals.

There is widespread speculation around the death from radioactive poisoning of the agent. Included in the list of possible suspects include the Russian Secrete Service - the FSB, Russian Mafia but perhaps most alarmingly, Chechen Separatists. Some have that the contacts between agent and Chechen Separatists might point to possible involvement of Al-Quaida, who are known to be keen on obtaining nuclear materials for use in dirty bombs. Some have said that Litvenenko was going to expose certain Chechen Separatists involvement with russian business.

Radioactive polonium and terrorists

The UK Governments anti terrorism Emergency Planning Committee, COBRA, are worried that dangerous quantities of radioactive polonium 210 might be found in other areas of London. They are also worried about the identity of the group behind the attack and where the radioactive polonium was obtained. The anti terrorist squad are investigating the murder. The Health Protection Agency have advised anyone at the London Millennium Hotel or Itsu Sushi bar recently to contact them. Polonium 210 must be inhaled or ingested in order to present any danger. The HPA have said that it is not a radiological hazard as long as it remains outside the body.

Related: Home Office Anti terrorism and security
Polonium-210 radioactive poisoning health issues


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