The investigation into the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal took a dramatic turn today when it emerged the detective made seriously ill in the nerve agent attack was poisoned at the home of the Russian spy.
Around 180 specially trained troops from the Royal Marines and the RAF Regiment will be deployed on Friday to safely remove potentially contaminated material from sites in Salisbury.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “The Counter Terrorism Policing Network has requested assistance from the military to remove a number of vehicles and objects from the scene in Salisbury town centre as they have the necessary capability and expertise. The public should not be alarmed and the public health advice remains the same.
“The military has the expertise and capability to respond to a range of contingencies. The Ministry of Defence regularly assists the emergency services and local authorities in the UK. Military assistance will continue as necessary during this investigation.”
Gavin Williamson, Defence Secretary, said: “Our armed forces have stepped up to support the police in their investigation in Salisbury, building on the vital expertise and information already provided by our world-renowned scientists from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down.
“We have the right people with the right skills to assist with this crucial inquiry. This is a dreadful incident and my thoughts remain with the victims and their families.”
Det Sgt Bailey was one of the first police officers to attend the house in a cul-de-sac a few hours after Col Skripal and his daughter Yulia collapsed in Salisbury town centre.
The admission he was made ill at the house was made by Lord Blair, the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, in a BBC interview.
Asked if there were any leads in the case, Lord Blair told the Today Programme on Radio 4: “There are some indications that the police officer who was injured had been to the house, whereas there was a doctor who looked after the patients in the open, who hasn’t been affected at all.
“So there maybe some clues floating around in here.”
The Telegraph has confirmed that Det Sgt Bailey did attend the house.
The disclosure that Det Sgt Bailey was poisoned at the Skripal family home – rather than at the scene where the pair collapsed – strongly indicates that the nerve agent was administered there.
That means the Skripals were in all likelihood not attacked in the street, as previously thought, but poisoned in their own home.
Counter-terrorism police and security services will now be investigating how the nerve agent was administered. Nerve agent is most toxic if weaponised in an aerosol spray and takes immediate effect.
Royal Marines and defence scientists held joint drills to practice dealing with chemical and biological attacks as recently as last month.
Exercise Toxic Dagger held in February was the biggest practice of its kind and saw the marines detecting and dealing with deadly toxic threats.
The revelation that Det Sgt Bailey was poisoned at the house suggests that the Skripals may have ingested the nerve agent and will raise the possibility that Yulia Skripal had inadvertently brought some gift for her 66-year-old father from Moscow that contained the nerve agent.
Miss Skripal, 33, had flown into London on Saturday, the day before the pair collapsed.
Both remain in intensive care, unconscious and fighting for their lives.
Col Skripal was convicted of treason in 2006 and jailed for 13 years for selling secrets to MI6, which had recruited him in the 1990s.
The Kremlin is being blamed for the assassination attempt.
Article Source : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/09/russian-spy-may-have-poisoned-home-police-believe/