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Novichok poisoning suspects speak out for first time

Novichok poisoning suspects speak out for first time

Theresa May today blasted Russia’s novichok assassins after they claimed to be tourists stuck in Salisbury and called their story ‘lies and blatant fabrication’.

Novichok poisoning suspects speak out for first time
Sergei Skripal with his daughter

The Prime Minister said the suspects, who used the aliases Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov to get into Britain, had ‘insulted the public’s intelligence’ and had been ‘deeply offensive to victims’.  Today the suspected GRU agents, believed to be from Siberia, told state TV station RT they were only wandering around Salisbury after failing to get to Stonehenge because of snow. In the ‘absurd’ interview the men even admitted they may have ended up at Sergei Skripal’s suburban home by accident while looking for the cathedral, which has a 400ft spire and is 25 minutes in the other direction. The pair also refused to say why they booked into an east London hotel 127 miles away – or why it contained traces of novichok – and failed to explain why they appeared to have no luggage when they hastily travelled home to Russia. Body language expert Judy James told MailOnline the men appeared to recite ‘a script’ while others said their description of Salisbury and its landmarks bore a remarkable resemblance to the city’s Wikipedia page. Kremlin-funded broadcaster RT even suggested the suspects weren’t trained killers – hinting they were gay lovers on a romantic break because they had ‘little beards, short haircuts and tight pants’.  The PM’s spokesman said today: ‘The lies and blatant fabrications in this interview, given to a Russian state-sponsored TV station, are an insult to the public’s intelligence, and more importantly they are deeply offensive to the victims and loved ones of this horrific attack.

The two Skripal suspects Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov have spoken out for the first time and say they were just tourists enjoying the delights of Salibury Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov have been accused by British police of being two Russian spies. During their brazen TV appearance the men claimed they now fear for their lives and demanded an apology from Britain and RT said they were so nervous they needed Cognac before going on air The pair claim they were only in Salisbury for an hour because of gaps in the Sunday train service to London and said if they stumbled upon Sergei Skripal’s suburban house it was only by accident Alexander Petrov, right in CCTV footage, and Ruslan Boshirov, left, were named by British authorities as the suspects but insisted they are victims of a smear and were merely on holiday  Former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with Novichok after it was smeared on his front door One of the spies admitted they may have got lost and accidentally ended up near Skripal’s house and said their trip to Salisbury as tourists was hampered by snow so they ‘left early’ on March 4 – the day the Skripals fell ill ‘Sadly it is what we have come to expect. An illegal chemical weapon has been used on the streets of this country, we have seen four people left seriously ill in hospital and an innocent woman has died. Theresa May blasted the suspects’ story and called it an insult to Britain and especially the people of Salisbury ‘Russia has responded with contempt. The police have set out very clearly the evidence against these two men, they are wanted men and we have taken all steps to ensure they are apprehended and brought to justice in the UK if they ever again step foot outside of Russia.’

Scotland Yard says it was aware of statements made ‘by two men’ and reiterated ‘Alexander Petrov’ and ‘Ruslan Boshirov’ are ‘wanted’.  After the extraordinary interview today, it also emerged:  Experts say there are gaping holes in their story and body language expert tells MailOnline the men appeared reciting ‘guide book monologues’ about Salisbury;  PM’s spokesman says that the interview is ‘obfuscation and lies’ to claim the suspected Russian spies went to Salisbury twice in two days as tourists; Scotland Yard says the suspects are still wanted – and insist the two men are using aliases;  Two novichok suspects say they fear that British secret services may be planning to assassinate them; They have also accused UK police of hiding CCTV at Salisbury cathedral and other tourist spots to pin attack on them;   Russian media suggests that the men, who had ‘fashionable beards’ and tight trousers, may have been gay men on a long weekend to Britain rather than a murder mission;  ‘Absurd’ claims of the novichok assassins: Observers point out several holes in pair’s ‘innocent tourists’ story  The ‘accidental’ visit to Skripal’s home CCTV released by police places the two suspects at Sergei Skripal’s suburban house. Today the men admitted they may have ended up there – but claimed it was an accident. The property, which had novichok smeared on the door, is 25 minutes away from the city centre and its cathedral – which the men said they were there to see.  Ruslan Boshirov said: ‘Maybe we passed it, or maybe we didn’t. I’d never heard about them before this nightmare started. I’d never heard this name before. I didn’t know anything about them’.

Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons last week that CCTV evidence ‘clearly’ places the two Russians in the vicinity of the Skripals’ house shortly before the attack on them. The Met Police released photographs of the elaborate ruse used by the Russian agents including a perfect reconstruction of packaging to transport the weapon A timeline of the key developments in the Salisbury poisoning case 2010 – Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer jailed for spying for Britain, is released and flown to the UK as part of a swap with Russian agents caught in the United States. Britain’s most wanted men speak to RT and claim to be humble tourists

 

British Airways hacked ‘compromising’ 380,000 card payments

British Airways on Thursday said it is investigating the theft of customer data from its website and mobile app servers.

According to BA, the stolen data did not include travel or passport information. It does appear to have included the personal and financial details of those booking travel via the BA website and mobile app during the affected period. As many as 380,000 payment cards were exposed to the intruders.

In a separate statement, Alex Cruz, British Airways’ chairman and CEO said “We are deeply sorry for the disruption that this criminal activity has caused. We take the protection of our customers’ data very seriously.”

If you believe you have been affected by this incident, then please contact your bank or credit card provider and follow their recommended advice.

How do I know if I have been affected?

This relates to customer bookings made from 22:58 BST August 21 2018 to 21:45 September 5 2018 inclusive.

For the latest information, please refer to the British Airways Customer data theft web page.

Britain’s poshest Oxfam charity shop where Royal Family donate clothes BURGLED for designer gear

Britain’s poshest Oxfam charity shop where Royal Family donate clothes BURGLED for designer gear

A burglar is believed to have targeted an Oxfam charity shop for its designer gear in the UK’s richest borough of Kensington and Chelsea – close to the homes of Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton. It emerged today that the thief apparently managed to escape on August 7 with around £300 worth of gear – in a store which has been known to stock expensive items by signature brands such as Gucci and Jimmy Choo.

Members of the royal family are understood to have donated unwanted items to the shop on Gloucester Road in the past – but there is no indication that anything they might have given in the past was taken. The thief apparently managed to gain access to the premises with little effort after picking up a set of keys left with the coffee shop opposite. He is said to have claimed to them he was an Oxfam volunteer who had come to collect the keys. Read More Read More He reportedly let himself into the shop on Gloucester Road an hour before it opened at 10am before loading the stolen goods onto a van parked outside. A source cited by The Sun said: “There is so much money around here that people would take in Gucci clothes. “Royals like Princess Michael of Kent and the Duchess of Gloucester have even apparently donated items. “Everyone locally knows they leave the key nearby as they have so many volunteers in on different days “But this is a scandalous way for Oxfam to treat their security,” the source said. The shop is near Kensington Palace, home to Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle

An Oxfam statement said: “A small number of items were stolen from the Gloucester Road shop in a burglary last month. “These donations could have helped raise money for Oxfam’s life-changing work fighting poverty around the world. We are working with the police in their investigation.” Police said no arrests have been made and have asked for anyone with information to contact police on 101.

 

Man jailed for plot to kill Theresa May

A man who plotted to kill the prime minister in a suicide attack has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 30 years. Naa’imur Zakariyah Rahman, 21, from north London, was convicted last month of preparing acts of terrorism. Rahman had planned to detonate a bomb at the gates of Downing Street and then kill Theresa May with a knife or gun. Sentencing him, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said Rahman “would have carried out his attack” had he not been arrested. Rahman was captured by an undercover operation involving the Metropolitan Police, MI5 and FBI. He was arrested moments after collecting a bag and jacket from an undercover operative that he believed had been fitted with explosives. The judge said: “I am sure that at all material times Rahman believed the devices to be real and capable of causing serious harm.” He added that the undercover officers involved in the case were “scrupulous” at all times and Rahman was the “instigator and author” of his own actions. How Rahman was caught By BBC home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani Rahman made contact with IS recruiters via social media – but unbeknown to him the contact was actually an FBI agent. That agent referred Rahman to an MI5 team of online role players who convinced him that they were genuine IS figures. “I want to do a suicide bomb on Parliament,” Rahman told the MI5 role players. “I want to attempt to kill Theresa May. All I need now is a sleeper cell to lay low for now.”

Undercover officers gave Rahman a fake bomb Rahman, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said, had been “told and believed” that the rucksack bomb given to him was “capable of causing casualties on a scale comparable to those caused at the Manchester Arena”, where 22 people were killed. Rahman’s lawyer argued he had been brainwashed by his uncle – who was later killed in a drone strike while fighting for the Islamic State group in Syria – and said his client had not intended to go through with the plot. But a probation report read to the court by the judge revealed that Rahman had admitted in prison he would have carried out the attack had he been able to. A pre-sentence report described him as a “clever and cunning” young man who had the potential to “operate below the radar to dreadful effect”. Mr Justice Haddon-Cave told Rahman he would have “plenty of time” to study the Koran in prison, adding that Islam was “a religion of peace”. The judge added that Rahman – originally from Birmingham – was a “very dangerous individual” and it was hard to predict if he will ever be de-radicalised. Image copyright Met Police Image caption The jacket was filled with fake explosives

During his Old Bailey trial, Rahman pleaded guilty to a separate charge of engaging in conduct which assisted the preparation of terrorist acts, which related to a “sponsorship” video he filmed for an associate who allegedly wanted to join IS in Libya. In addition to the life sentence, Rahman was handed six years in prison for the IS sponsorship video. The sentences will run concurrently, rather than consecutively.

 

Violent fight breaks out on train back from Notting Hill Carnival over sandwich

The woman who had sandwich thrown at her said ‘don’t make me take off my wig’ and ‘I will punch you into next week’.

The people who started fighting are believed to have been on their way home from the Notting Hill Carnival which was held at the weekend. The woman who accused the alleged sandwich thrower tells the man (known as ‘the d**khead in the dungarees’) and woman (known only as ‘pineapple girl’) ‘don’t make me take off my wig’ and ‘I will punch you into next week’. She then launches a violent attack that was filmed and uploaded onto Facebook.

Other passengers initially ignore what’s going on with some moving to other parts of the train before one of them eventually steps in to break up the fight.

Notting Hill carnival 2018 kicks off with an explosion of colour

Heavy rain soaked the 59th year of the Notting Hill Carnival today, but it did not stop the determined revellers who were out for a party. Instead of the t-shirts and shorts sported for the searing hot weather of just a few weeks ago, there were umbrellas and a roaring trade for colourful plastic rain macs at Europe’s biggest street party.

Notting Hill carnival 2018 kicks off with an explosion of colour

As of 9.15pm on Sunday there were 126 arrests at the west London carnival, for offences including theft, criminal damage, sexual offences, common assault, assault on police, possession of offensive weapons, and possession of drugs. More than 125 arrests made on Notting Hill Carnival’s family day.

Notting Hill carnival 2018 kicks off with an explosion of colour

As of 9.15pm on Sunday there were 126 arrests at Notting Hill Carnival, for offences including: 2 x theft/going equipped 1 x theft from a person 3 x criminal damage 2 x sexual offences 3 x common assault 7 x public order 8 x assault on police 20 x possession of offensive weapons 42 x drugs offences 26 x other offences including 12 for psychoactive drugs. A total of 16 knives have been recovered by police.

Notting Hill carnival kicks off with an explosion of colour

Revellers had been asked to show respect and some, including Notting Hill Carnival Limited executive director Matthew Phillip, wore something green for Grenfell in tribute.    Some 13,000 officers have been deployed to the bank holiday weekend event – around 450 more than last year and more than the parades over the past five years. Almost 7,000 officers, some from the Metropolitan Police’s newly formed Violent Crime Task Force, will be policing Monday’s event to ‘combat the threat of violent crime,’ according to the Metropolitan Police. This will be up from 6,100 on-duty officers on Sunday’s less busy family day. Undercover police officers, as well as officers from the force firearms and dog unit, are on duty.

The event is expected to attract more than one million revellers to its floats, food stalls and music. Kensington and Chelsea Council’s new leader Elizabeth Campbell was among the carnival crowds. She was chatting with council deputy leader Kim Taylor-Smith and Conservative politician Shaun Bailey. Rain doesn’t deter the performers as ‘first in line’ leads the group with a matching bedazzled umbrella in the excitement Dancers perform during the Children’s day parade was they try not to trip on rollerblades around the course One group of revellers covered themselves in oil and walked the route with chains, drums and even a vaccum cleaner One pair’s costume includes one being dragged through the festivities along the Notting Hill route in an absence of colour The huge street party in West London has party goers painting the route in fluorescent colours on Sunday’s family day One woman at the carnival poses in her paint covered clothes and hands as she enjoys the festivities of its 59th year Notting Hill revellers throw powder paint kicking off the three and a half mile carnival with an explosion of colour  Some revellers even shunned the protective overalls to to indulge in the colourful atmosphere of the carnival.

The large party in West London is celebrated by many Caribbean cultures in places where West Indian people have migrated Music will also stop for a 72-second silence to pay tribute to the 72 people who lost their lives in the Grenfell tragedy This year police will have the power to stop and search people at the Notting Hill Carnival in a bid to crack down on violence

Find more information at The Noting Hill Carnival Website – https://www.thelondonnottinghillcarnival.com/

Two knife attacks on lone women in East London could be linked

Two knife attacks on lone women in east London could be linked

Women in east London have been urged to remain vigilant after two lone victims, aged in their 50s and 60s, were stabbed two days apart. Scotland Yard believes the attacks, which took place in streets a short distance from each other, could be linked. A 57-year-old woman suffered “a number of stab wounds” in an attack in Parnell Road in Bow on Sunday. Officers were called to the scene just before 8.30pm and the woman was taken to hospital by paramedics. Her condition has not been disclosed. It came after a woman in her 60s was attacked in nearby Chariot Close on Friday. She required hospital treatment for her stabbing injuries, although they were not life-threatening.

On Sunday, a 51-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm, although was later released under investigation pending further inquiries.

Scotland Yard said, “In both cases, the suspect is described as a black male, aged around 40s, of large build with big hair who flees the scene of the attack on foot. ” Police in Tower Hamlets are appealing for help from local communities to identify the suspect and urge the public, particularly women, to be vigilant.”

Anyone with information should call 101 quoting CAD 6062/26AUG18 or tweet information to @MetCC. They can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

 

Moment police catch one of Britain’s most wanted fugitive killers

Moment police catch one of Britain’s most wanted fugitive killers

Dramatic footage shows the moment armed police finally cornered a killer who has been on the run for more than a year.

Shaun Walmsley was serving life for murder before he spent 18 months on the run following an audacious escape from Liverpool’s HMP Walton. But a team of armed police officers took him back into custody on Tuesday when he was captured in Leeds. Pictures from the scene show Walmsley’s remarkably different appearance after he grew a hair and let his hair grow long to evade capture.

This is the moment police cornered a murderer who had been on the run for 18 months Footage of the arrest shows an Audi, in which Walmsley is thought to have been travelling, boxed in by two unmarked police cars. Armed officers are thought to have bundled the criminal on to the floor and the footage suggested either he or one of his associates was tasered. Walmsley became one of Britain’s most wanted men after thugs armed with a gun and knife forced guards to hand him over outside Aintree University Hospital in February last year. He was later named on a Europol ‘most wanted’ list amid fears he may have fled abroad. Walmsley, who had previously had a shaved head, had shoulder-length brown hair and a full beard when he appeared at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court via video-link today.  Shaun Walmsley, pictured left, following his arrest for murder and, right, after this week’s raid Walmsley was cornered and arrested on this usually quiet residential street in Leeds

During the brief court hearing today, Walmsley spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth and that he understood the charge of escape from lawful custody. No application for bail was made and he was remanded in custody by magistrates. He will next appear at Liverpool Crown Court on September 19. The 29-year-old had previously been serving life with a minimum term of 30 years for the murder of Anthony Duffy. Mr Duffy, 33, was lured to an address in Aintree in May 2014 and ‘repeatedly stabbed’.   The drug dealer had an appeal against his punishment rejected in late 2016 – leaving him facing the prospect of three decades behind bars. He then attempted to lose a lot of weight to give the impression he was ill and needed hospital treatment. Walmsley, 29, was freed after thugs armed with a gun and knife forced guards to hand him over outside Aintree University Hospital in February last year

The plot was supported by his criminal network of contacts, including the Vale Heads gang.  Detectives hunting the escaped prisoner put up £20,000 of the inmate’s own money for information leading to his capture. The reward was made up of cash which was seized by Merseyside Police after Walmsley was arrested and convicted for a murder he committed in 2014.

 

Moment police seize £15m worth of cocaine off luxury UK yacht near Ibiza

Moment police seize £15m worth of cocaine off luxury UK yacht near Ibiza

Police seized cocaine worth more than £15million after intercepting a luxury UK-registered yacht off the coast of Ibiza.

Five people have been arrested so far following the discovery of the huge 300kg haul of drugs – hailed as the biggest ever in the holiday islands. All of the suspects were crew members on board the million pound yacht, four of them of Dutch nationality and one German. Police say “Operation Haircut” is still open and there will be further arrests. Customs officers intercepted the yacht in the early hours of Sunday morning, about 15 miles from Ibiza. Police arrested the ship’s five crew members; four Dutch and one German.

The five suspects, the boat and the cocaine have been placed in the hands of a court in Palma. Raids are also taking place in the Netherlands to crack an international drug smuggling gang. Investigations have been ongoing since mid-2016 when a yacht linked to a cocaine network was located in Mallorca. The yacht, flying a Gibraltar flag, was tracked at the weekend as it once again left Palma heading towards the Spanish mainland. Surveillance from the air recorded the moment the crew picked up a number of packages which had just been thrown into the sea from a cargo ship. Spanish authorities intercepted the ship ‘HCH-X’ 15 miles off Ibiza island.

Police say this is known as the “drop off” method whereby smaller ships collect the drugs and take them back to the coast. Checks revealed the luxury yacht was registered in the UK. Half of the seized cocaine, described as of high purity, was found in bales secured by ropes whilst the other 150 kilos was found in a secret compartment under the floor of the captain’s cabin.