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 Former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned to death with radioactive polonium: widow

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PostSubject: Former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned to death with radioactive polonium: widow   Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:01 am

Former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned to death with radioactive polonium: widow


The Swiss scient­ists found a lethal level of poloni­um-210 in Arafat's body, Al Jazeer­a televi­sion news channe­l said.
By Reuters

Published: November 6, 2013




Arafat died in France on November 11 2004 at the age of 75, but doctors were unable to specify the cause of death. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

PARIS: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned to death in 2004 with radioactive polonium, his widow Suha said on Wednesday after receiving the results of Swiss forensic tests on her husband’s corpse.

“We are revealing a real crime, a political assassination,” she told Reuters in Paris, after receiving a report from the Lausanne University Hospital’s Institute of Radiation Physics on samples taken from Arafat’s grave in the West Bank city of Ramallah, when the mausoleum was opened last November.

The Swiss scientists found a lethal level of polonium-210 in his body, Al Jazeera television news channel said. That confirmed the findings of an investigation by the Qatar-based channel last year that detected traces of the isotope on Arafat’s personal effects.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/628084/former-palestinian-leader-yasser-arafat-was-poisoned-to-death-with-radioactive-polonium-widow/

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PostSubject: Re: Former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned to death with radioactive polonium: widow   Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:09 am

 Yasser Arafat 'may have been poisoned with polonium'
 
The late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat may have been poisoned with radioactive polonium, says a Swiss forensic report obtained by al-Jazeera.
 
Arafat's official medical records say he died in 2004 from a stroke resulting from a blood disorder.
But his body was exhumed last year amid continuing claims he was murdered.
 
The Swiss report said tests on the body showed "unexpected high activity" of polonium, which "moderately" supported the poisoning theory.
 
Many Palestinians have long believed that Israel poisoned Arafat. There have also been allegations that he had Aids or cancer. Israel has consistently denied any involvement.
A spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry said the Swiss investigation was "more soap opera than science".
 
HOLE IN THE THEORY
 
The scientists - from the Vaudois University Hospital Centre (CHUV) in Lausanne, Switzerland - carried out a detailed examination of Arafat's medical records, samples taken from his remains and items he had taken into the hospital in Paris where he died in 2004.
 
The biological materials included pieces of Mr Arafat's bones and soil samples from around his corpse.
The scientists concluded that their results "moderately support the proposition that the death was the consequence of poisoning with polonium-210".
 
to reach a more definitive conclusion because of the time that had lapsed since Arafat's death, the limited samples available and the confused "chain of custody" of some of the specimens.
 
Polonium-210 is a highly radioactive substance. It is found naturally in low doses in food and in the body, but can be fatal if ingested in high doses.
 
 
The scientists have made "a pretty strong statement", according to Prof Paddy Regan, an expert in radiation detection and measurement at the University of Surrey in the UK, who was not involved in the investigation.
 
"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."
 
Prof Regan says a series of assumptions would have been made in order to ascertain how much Po-210 may or may not have been in Mr Arafat's body at the time of his death.
 
Po-210 has a short half-life of about 138 days.
 
Prof Regan said measuring the tiny fraction left and extrapolating it back to the time of Arafat's death was like a blind man holding the tail of an elephant and using the information to work out the size of the animal.
 
The second problem, he said, was that Po-210 occurs naturally in the environment. However, an indicator that the polonium may be synthetic is if there was far less Pb-210 (lead-210) in the samples.
The professor highlighted results from two samples - the shroud under the corpse of Mr Arafat and urine samples taken from his underwear - both showed high levels of Po-210 compared to Pb-210, possibly suggesting the presence of "additional" synthetic polonium.
 
He noted however that most of the samples of polonium measured in the report were accompanied by activities from Pb-210.
 
Parallel investigations are being carried out by French and Russian experts - one Russian official said last month that no traces of polonium had been found.
Yigal Palmor of Israel's foreign ministry told the BBC: "This is more soap opera than science."
 

Arafat's tomb in Ramallah was opened in private in November last year
 
 
 
He said the investigations had been commissioned by "interested parties" - Mr Arafat's widow and the Palestinian Authority - and 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," said Mr Palmor.
 
"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."
'Real crime'
 
Speaking in Paris, Arafat's widow, Suha, said the Swiss results revealed "a real crime, a political assassination".
 
'Real crime'
 
"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."
 
Reuters said she did not name any suspects and acknowledged that her husband had had many enemies in his lifetime.
 
Arafat, who led the Palestine Liberation Organisation for 35 years and became the first president of the Palestinian Authority in 1996, fell violently ill in October 2004 at his compound.
 
Two weeks later he was flown to a French military hospital in Paris, where he died on 11 November 2004, aged 75.
 
France began a murder inquiry in August 2012 after the Lausanne scientists, working with an al-Jazeera documentary crew, found traces of polonium-210 on Arafat's personal effects.
 
His widow had objected to a post-mortem at the time of his death, but asked the Palestinian Authority to permit the exhumation "to reveal the truth".
 
His remains were removed from his tomb in the West Bank city of Ramallah in November 2012 and reinterred the same day.
 
Last month, the head of the Russian Federal Medico-Biological Agency, Vladimir Uiba, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying that Arafat "could not have been poisoned with polonium", saying that test carried out by Russian experts "found no traces of this substance".
 
However, the agency later denied that Mr Uiba had made any official statement on the findings.

The head of the Palestinian investigation team, Tawfiq Tirawi, confirmed on Tuesday that the Russian and Swiss reports had been delivered. The Palestinian team is reported to have handed over its findings on Saturday
 
Speaking in Paris, Arafat's widow, Suha, said the Swiss results revealed "a real crime, a political assassination".
 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-24838061
 
Swiss scientists' findings
 

  • Experts at the Vaudois University Hospital Centre (CHUV) in Lausanne, Switzerland, conducted tests on samples taken from Yasser Arafat's exhumed body in November 2012

  • Samples also analysed by Palestinian, French and Russian teams, whose findings have yet to be published by the Palestinian Authority

  • Swiss report says "unexpectedly high levels of polonium-210 and lead-210 activity" found in specimens taken from Arafat's ribs, pelvis and soil that absorbed his bodily fluids

  • It notes a lack of adequate biological specimens, particularly soft tissues, and the eight years between death and the investigation, rendering detection subject to uncertainties

  • But it concludes results "moderately support the proposition that the death was the consequence of poisoning with polonium-210"

  • Q&A: Exhumation of Yasser Arafat

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Polonium-210
 

  • Highly radioactive and toxic element

  • Present in foods in low doses

  • Small amounts created naturally in the body

  • Can be manufactured by bombarding certain isotopes with neutrons

  • Has industrial uses such as in anti-static devices

  • Very dangerous if significant dose ingested

  • External exposure not a risk, only if ingested

  • Present in tobacco

  • What is polonium-210?






http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-24838061

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PostSubject: Exclusive: Swiss study says polonium found in Arafat's bones   Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:19 am

Exclusive: Swiss study says polonium found in Arafat's bones
 
November 6, 20139:46AM ET
 
Scientists find at least 18 times the normal levels of radioactive element in late Palestinian leader'€™s remain
 
 

 
A mural of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at the Qalandia checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah.Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty
 
 
By David Poort and Ken Silverstein
 
 
PARIS Swiss scientists who conducted tests on samples taken from Yasser Arafat’s body have found at least 18 times the normal levels of radioactive polonium in his remains. The scientists said they were confident up to an 83 percent level that the late Palestinian leader was poisoned with it, a conclusion that they said “moderately supports” polonium as the cause of his death.
 
A 108-page report (PDF) by the University Centre of Legal Medicine in Lausanne, which was obtained exclusively by Al Jazeera, found unnaturally high levels of polonium in Arafat’s ribs and pelvis, and in soil stained with his decaying organs.
 
The Swiss scientists, along with French and Russian teams, obtained the samples last November after Arafat's body was exhumed from a mausoleum in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.
Dave Barclay, a U.K. forensic scientist and retired detective, told Al Jazeera that with these results he was wholly convinced that Arafat was murdered.
 
“Yasser Arafat died of polonium poisoning,” he said. “We found the smoking gun that caused his death. What we don’t know is who’s holding the gun at the time.
 
“The level of polonium in Yasser Arafat’s rib … is about 900 millibecquerels,” Barclay said. “That is either 18 or 36 times the average, depending on the literature.”
 
Suha Arafat, the Palestinian leader’s widow, received a copy of the report in Paris on Tuesday. “When they came with the results, I’m mourning Yasser again,” she said. “It’s like you just told me he died.”
The Swiss report examined only the question of what killed Arafat. It did not address or point toward who killed him or how.
 
By October 2004, toward the end of the second intifada, Arafat had been holed up for more than two years in his Ramallah presidential compound, which Israeli troops had surrounded and partly razed. He was elderly and frail, but his medical reports show he was “in good overall health and did not have any particular risk factors,” the Swiss report states.
 
On the evening of Oct. 12, Arafat suddenly fell ill after eating a meal. Based on his symptoms — nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain — his personal physician initially diagnosed flu.
 
But his health deteriorated swiftly, and Egyptian and Tunisian doctors flown in to see him could not pinpoint the source of his sickness.
 
On Oct. 29, a wan and weak Arafat was carried in a wheelchair from his headquarters. He waved and blew kisses to a waiting crowd and was put aboard a helicopter and taken to Jordan. From there, a French government plane carried him to Paris for emergency treatment at Percy military hospital.
French doctors were unable to diagnose or halt his decline, and he soon lapsed into a coma. On Nov. 11, Arafat, who symbolized the fight for Palestinian statehood, died at the age of 75.
 
Doctors at Percy hospital did not conduct an autopsy, announce the cause of death or release his medical records, which heightened speculation about the cause of his rapid demise. Many Palestinian officials close to Arafat believed he had been poisoned. In the West, rumors circulated that he had died of AIDS. Some doctors suggested that leukemia or a foodborne illness was to blame; others proposed that he had simply succumbed to old age.
 
By 2011, when Al Jazeera began an investigation, Arafat’s death was a cold case. During the investigation, Suha Arafat gave the network access to her late husband’s full medical records and a bag of his belongings, including clothing he wore during his final days. Tests conducted by the Swiss scientists who issued the new report found elevated levels of polonium-210, one of the element’s isotopes, in blood, sweat and urine stains on Arafat’s clothes.
 
In July 2012, Al Jazeera broadcast the results of its investigation in "What Killed Arafat?" The documentary triggered a French murder investigation and led to the exhumation of the leader's remains. Sixty samples of his body tissue were taken, and 20 each distributed to the Swiss team; a French team of judges and forensic experts assigned to the murder investigation; and a Russian group invited at the request of the Palestinian Authority.
 
The Russians are expected to disclose their results soon. The French are not expected to release their results before the murder investigation concludes.
 
Saad Djebbar, Suha Arafat’s lawyer, said the Swiss report was a “significant piece of the jigsaw puzzle” that could help the French murder inquiry.
 
A rare but lethal poison
 
Polonium is a soft, silvery-gray metal found in uranium ore. The isotope polonium-210 emits highly radioactive alpha particles, but they travel no more than a few centimeters in air and are “stopped by a sheet of paper or by the dead layer of outer skin on our bodies,” according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
 
For that reason polonium-210 is not a risk to human health as long as it remains outside the body. But a dose of 0.1 microgram — the size of a speck of dust weighing less than a millionth of a snowflake — would be fatal if it were ingested in food or liquids or inhaled in contaminated air.
Only a handful of people are reported to have died from polonium poisoning. The most famous case involves Alexander Litvinenko, a KGB officer turned dissident who received political asylum from the British government and lived in London.
 

Yasser Arafat's wife and daughter awaiting the Swiss study's results in Paris.David Poort
 
Litvinenko died in November 2006, three weeks after meeting several Russians, including a onetime KGB officer, at London's Millennium Hotel. A British public prosecutor alleges that the Russians, acting at the behest of their government, poisoned Litvinenko by lacing his tea with polonium-210.
 
Polonium-210 is “one of the most obscure, most bizarre, and yet most merciless of poisons,” writes Alan Cowell in "The Terminal Spy," a book about the Litvinenko case.
 
It was used as a trigger for early nuclear weapons and subsequently as a power source for satellites and spacecraft. However, polonium-210 is extremely rare and would be difficult to obtain without the help of a government or access to a nuclear reactor. It also requires considerable scientific know-how to handle in a safe manner.
 
Polonium-210 is manufactured by bombarding the isotope bismuth-209 with neutrons in a nuclear reactor. Only about 100 grams are produced each year, almost all in Russia.
 
In terms of motive, the chief suspects would be Arafat’s Palestinian rivals or the Israeli government, his sworn enemy. Ariel Sharon, the prime minister in 2004, viewed Arafat as a “terrorist” and called his death "a turning point in Middle Eastern history.” A year earlier, then-Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said killing Arafat ''is definitely one of the options.”
 
However, Israel has always vehemently denied it had anything to do with his sickness or death, and to date no evidence has emerged that implicates it.
 
While Barclay expressed confidence in the cause of death, he said it would be a difficult case to solve.
“The main problem is the time frame,” he said. “If this was a murder that happened yesterday, you’d have witnesses and cell phone records, emails, bank transfers. In a nine-year-old case, that type of information will be hard to obtain.”
 
“We can’t point a finger at anyone,” Suha Arafat said. “The French are conducting a serious investigation. It takes time.”

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/11/6/swiss-study-poloniumfoundinarafatasbones.html

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PostSubject: Re: Former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned to death with radioactive polonium: widow   Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:25 am

They certainly did not confirm that he was murdered, only that it is possible he MIGHT have been. The second story points out some of the problems with the whole thing, making it questionable. What was not mentioned, is that many experts feel that the quantities found are too large for the time that has lapsed. Coupled with an investigation that is incomplete and years overdue, it becomes hard to swallow. No doubt, the Radical propaganda mills will use this to attack Israel anyway.

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PostSubject: Re: Former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned to death with radioactive polonium: widow   Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:52 am

That is why I looked for a few different articles to different opinions.  As I was reading, I had noticed that it was a controversial topic

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PostSubject: Re: Former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned to death with radioactive polonium: widow   Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:20 am

Yep, He will still lead them to horrendous acts even after going to the grave.. its sad but extremely typical in that area of the world.

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PostSubject: Re: Former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned to death with radioactive polonium: widow   Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:12 pm

A couple of things that just do not add up ... first, IF it happened, Polonium poisoning is a Russian shtick, in fact no one else even produces it. Why would they off their buddy Arafat? Second, the "expert" Barclay states that the was 900 millibecquerels in Arafat's rib, but the millibecquerel is a measure of radiation, not material. Further, since only a tenth of a microgram is needed to be fatal, if he had been poisoned any residue would be infinitesimally small.

All in all, it may make for some good propaganda, but my guess would be that anything found was deliberately planted there when the body was exhumed.

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