British police reportedly believe they have identified multiple Russian suspects in the assassination attempt on a former double agent and his daughter. The suspects’ names have not yet been revealed.
Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found slumped on a park bench in Salisbury, England, on March 4. After an investigation, it was revealed that the pair were poisoned with a nerve agent — Novichok — developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It had been placed on the door of Skripal’s home. Before being relocated to England as part of a high-profile spy swap, Skripal had been a Russian Army colonel who fed information to British intelligence.
What are police saying now?
The Press Association cited an unnamed source who allegedly knows about the investigation:
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 around that time. They [the investigators] are sure they [the suspects] are Russian.
Spokespeople for local authorities have so far declined to confirm these reports. Police have been scouring CCTV footage from the surrounding area in an attempt to identify the suspects.
But a member of Parliament and the Minister of State for Security tweeted to the Press Association that the story belonged in the “ill informed and wild speculation folder.”
I think this story belongs in the “ill informed and wild speculation folder”
— Ben Wallace MP (@BWallaceMP) July 19, 2018
Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley were poisoned with Novichok on June 30 — and it “likely” came from the same batch as the Novichok used to target the Skripals.
Authorities later revealed the nerve agent that poisoned Sturgess and Rowley came from a “small bottle.” Rowley’s brother said the bottle was a perfume bottle. The Guardian reported that one working theory for investigators is that Sturgess unwittingly sprayed the Novichok from the bottle directly on her skin. Sturgess later died from complications related to the poisoning.