Does the newly publicized Swiss report of evidence Yasser Arafat was poisoned by radioactive polonium-210 indicate the Palestinian leader was killed by Russia’s intelligence agency, the heir of the Soviet Union’s KGB?
A little more than four months before the news this week that tests on Arafat’s body in a Swiss investigation showed “unexpected high activity” of polonium, a book co-authored by former Romanian spy chief Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa was published documenting Arafat’s training by the communist Soviet Union and pointing out that the only other known case of polonium-210 poisoning was the death of former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko in 2006.
After BBC News reported Wednesday the results of the Swiss forensic report obtained by the Middle East news agency al-Jazeera, Pacepa noted to WND that the British experts who investigated the assassination of Litvinenko found that the use of polonium-210 made Russia the most likely culprit.
The amount of polonium-210 used in the Litvinenko poisoning could come only from state-regulated nuclear reactors, and 97 percent of the world’s legal plutonium is produced in Russia.
Pacepa’s book “Disinformation,” co-authored with historian and law professor Ronald Rychlak, and the companion feature-length film documentary of the same name show that the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Palestinian leader, Arafat, was actually a creation of the KGB.
Pacepa documents that Arafat – a committed Marxist who became the father of modern terrorism – was born in Egypt, not Jerusalem, revealing the KGB destroyed Arafat’s original birth documents and created new ones.
Arafat’s successor as president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, was educated in Moscow at a KGB-run school.
Pacepa, former head of Romania’s foreign intelligence and top adviser to dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, points out that it was the poisoned Russian spy Litvenenko who revealed that al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was trained by the KGB.
Arafat’s official medical records say he died Nov. 11, 2004, at age 75 from a stroke resulting from a blood disorder. He had been flown to a French military hospital in Paris.
The report by experts at the Vaudois University Hospital Centre in Lausanne, Switzerland, who exhumed Arafat’s body in November 2012, does not claim to be conclusive. The experts said the “unexpected high activity” of polonium found in specimens taken from Arafat’s ribs, pelvis and soil that absorbed his bodily fluids “moderately” supported the poisoning theory.
Israel also has dismissed the Swiss investigation as “more soap opera than science.”
BBC News noted many Palestinians have long believed that Israel poisoned Arafat while Israel has consistently denied any involvement.
There also have been allegations that he had AIDS or cancer.
The BBC said the findings of Palestinian, French and Russian teams that also analyzed samples have yet to be published by the Palestinian Authority
The Swiss report notes a lack of adequate biological specimens, and it cautions that the eight years between death and the investigation render detection subject to uncertainties.
Kremlin got rid of Arafat?
In their book, published June 25, Pacepa and Rychlak presented the theory that the Kremlin killed Arafat before the results of samples taken of Arafat’s bones were known. At that time, traces of polonium-210 had been found on Arafat’s personal effects.
“At the time of this writing, no one knows if Polonium-210 will be found in the samples of Arafat’s bones taken from his exhumed body. Nevertheless, there is solid ground for postulating that the KGB/FSB may have gotten tired of Arafat and decided to get rid of him,” they write in “Disinformation.”
The authors note that Arafat fell violently ill in October 2004 at his compound while, similarly, Litvinenko suddenly fell ill and was hospitalized Nov. 1, 2006.
Litvinenko’s illness was later attributed to poisoning with polonium-210, Pacepa and Rychlak write, a highly toxic isotope known to be used by the former Soviet Union as neutron trigger, or initiator, for nuclear weapons.
The BBC report this week noted a Russian Interfax news agency report quoting Vladimir Uiba, head of the Russian Federal Medico-Biological Agency. Uiba reportedly said Arafat “could not have been poisoned with polonium” and the test carried out by Russian experts “found no traces of this substance.”
The Russian federal agency, however, later denied that Uiba had made any official statement on the findings.
The BBC cited Prof. Paddy Regan, an expert in radiation detection and measurement at the University of Surrey in the U.K., who said the Swiss scientists have made “a pretty strong statement.”
“They are saying the hypothesis that Arafat was poisoned with polonium-210 is valid and has not been disproven by the data. However they cannot say definitively that he was murdered,” he said.
Arafat’s widow, Suha, had objected to a post-mortem at the time of the Palestinian leader’s death, but she asked the Palestinian Authority to allow the exhumation last year “to reveal the truth.”
She said the Swiss results revealed “a real crime, a political assassination.”
“This has confirmed all our doubts. It is scientifically proved that he didn’t die a natural death, and we have scientific proof that this man was killed,” she said, according to BBC News.
Reuters said Arafat’s wife didn’t name any suspects and acknowledged her husband had many enemies.
Yigal Palmor of Israel’s foreign ministry argued the investigations had been commissioned by “interested parties,” Arafat’s widow and the Palestinian Authority, who had “never bothered” to look for some key data.
“The other huge hole in the theory is the absence of all access to the French hospital where Arafat died and to Arafat’s medical files,” Palmor said, according to BBC News.
“How can the cause of death be determined without the opinion of the doctors or the results of the medical tests they ran on the patient?
“Israel doesn’t feel concerned in the least.”
After a crisis of conscience, Pacepa defected to the United States in 1978 and became a critical asset to American intelligence services. He was debriefed by the FBI and others for many years.
Pacepa, who still lives in the U.S. under a CIA-protective identity due to active assassination threats against his life, was credited by the CIA as the only person in the Western world who single-handedly demolished an entire enemy espionage service – the one he himself managed.
When he was naturalized as an American citizen in 1988, the CIA credited Pacepa with making “an important and unique contribution to the United States of which you can be justly proud.”
President Ronald Reagan reportedly referred to Pacepa’s first book, “Red Horizons,” as “my bible for dealing with dictators.”
Order “Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategy for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion and Promoting Terrorism” or the companion film, “Disinformation: The Secret Strategy To Destroy The West.” Get both the book and DVD together – at a very special reduced price.