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Britain May Have Spotted Russian Suspects in Poisonings

Two reports say that authorities identified at least two people in airport surveillance
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2018 6:29 AM CDT
Updated Jul 19, 2018 6:46 AM CDT
Yulia Skripal was poisoned with her father, former spy Sergei Skripal, earlier this year, but both survived and are recuperating.   (Dylan Martinez/Pool via AP)
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(Newser) – It looks like Britain may have identified at least two suspects in the Novichok poisonings—and they're Russians. Authorities have not publicly made any announcement, but CNN and the British news agency the Press Association (here via the BBC) are each reporting the development. Investigators pored over surveillance video from airports and from the town of Salisbury around the time that former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and daughter Yulia were poisoned there with the nerve agent Novichok in March, according to the reports. "Investigators believe they have identified the suspected perpetrators of the Novichok attack through CCTV and have cross-checked this with records of people who entered the country," a source tells the Press Association. The investigators are sure the suspects are Russian, the source adds.

The news agency cites "several" suspects, while the CNN report mentions just two. Investigators reportedly used facial-recognition technology to identify the suspects, who are believed to have used aliases on their flight. Russia's ambassador to the UK says he has not been notified of any such development. The Skripals survived the attack, but a second incident believed to be related turned out to be deadly. Last month, a British couple also were poisoned by Novichok, and the woman in that case has died. Investigators don't think the latter couple were deliberately targeted. Instead, they may have picked up a discarded perfume bottle used in the original attack and inadvertently poisoned themselves, reports the Guardian. (Investigators found the bottle in the home of one of the latest victims.)

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