Arafat’s Death Likely Not Due to Polonium: French Analysts

Global Security Newswire Staff
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Dec. 3, 2013, 7:02 a.m.

A new re­port by French forensic in­vest­ig­at­ors plays down the pos­sib­il­ity that former Palestini­an lead­er Yass­er Ara­fat was as­sas­sin­ated through ex­pos­ure to ra­dio­act­ive po­loni­um, des­pite earli­er sus­pi­cions, the BBC re­por­ted on Tues­day.

The new as­sess­ment as­serts that a “gen­er­al­ized in­fec­tion” was prob­ably re­spons­ible for Ara­fat’s 2004 de­mise. The Palestini­an Lib­er­a­tion Front lead­er died in a French mil­it­ary hos­pit­al after ex­per­i­en­cing a severe stroke, which phys­i­cians at­trib­uted at the time to a blood ail­ment of un­cer­tain ori­gin.

Ara­fat’s re­mains were un­earthed last year so tis­sue samples could be re­moved and trans­ferred for labor­at­ory test­ing in Europe. The latest de­term­in­a­tion out of France came less than a month after a Swiss ex­perts re­por­ted a “mod­er­ate” pos­sib­il­ity that Ara­fat was de­lib­er­ately poisoned with po­loni­um. The lat­ter find­ings cited in­dic­a­tions that the lead­er’s body con­tained a sig­ni­fic­ant quant­ity of the sub­stance at the time of his death.

Mean­while, the Palestini­an head of a re­lated probe on Tues­day said he is on the cusp of as­sign­ing form­al blame for the death, Re­u­ters re­por­ted. In­vest­ig­a­tion lead­er Taw­fiq Tir­awi last month called Is­rael the “only sus­pect” in the pos­sible killing, though the na­tion as­serts it had no in­volve­ment.

This art­icle was pub­lished in Glob­al Se­cur­ity News­wire, which is pro­duced in­de­pend­ently by Na­tion­al Journ­al Group un­der con­tract with the Nuc­le­ar Threat Ini­ti­at­ive. NTI is a non­profit, non­par­tis­an group work­ing to re­duce glob­al threats from nuc­le­ar, bio­lo­gic­al, and chem­ic­al weapons.

What We're Following See More »
DONATING TO FOOD BANKS
Government Buying $20 Million in Cheese
28 minutes ago
WHY WE CARE

Thanks to competition from Europe, America's cheese stockpiles are at a 30-year high. Enter the U.S. government, which announced it's buying 11 million pounds of the stuff (about $20 million). The cheese will be donated to food banks.

Source:
BRIEFER THAN TRUMP’S?
Clinton to Receive Classified Briefing on Saturday
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS
FHFA RULES APPLY
Judge: Freddie Mac Doesn’t Have to Open Its Books
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Freddie Mac shareholders cannot force the mortgage finance company to allow them to inspect its records, a federal court ruled Tuesday." A shareholder had asked the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to allow him to inspect its books and records, as Virginia law allows him to do. "The court held that Freddie shareholders no longer possess a right to inspect the company’s records because those rights had been transferred to the Federal Housing Finance Agency when the company entered into conservatorship in 2008."

Source:
MANY BEING TRADED ON BLACK MARKET
Pentagon Can’t Account for 750k Guns Provided to Iraq, Afghanistan
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The Pentagon has "provided more than 1.45 million firearms to various security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, including more than 978,000 assault rifles, 266,000 pistols and almost 112,000 machine guns." Trouble is, it can only account for about 700,000 of those guns. The rest are part of a vast arms trading network in the Middle East. "Taken together, the weapons were part of a vast and sometimes minimally supervised flow of arms from a superpower to armies and militias often compromised by poor training, desertion, corruption and patterns of human rights abuses."

Source:
SINCE JANUARY
Baltimore Is Spying on Its Residents from the Air
6 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"Since the beginning of the year, the Baltimore Police Department" has been using a Cessna airplane armed with sophisticated camera equipment "to investigate all sorts of crimes, from property thefts to shootings." The public hasn't been notified about the system, funded by a private citizen.

Source:
×