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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Arafat poison story hits English-language media

The supposedly new evidence about Arafat's death that I posted on Sunday has hit the English-language Arab media. From Al Arabiya:

Bassam Abu Sharif, former senior advisor to Yasser Arafat announced Monday the results of the tests conducted to identify the kind of poison that killed the late Palestinian president.

According to Abu Sharif, the tests were conducted by “the most prominent forensic toxicology expert in the UK” yet he neither revealed his identity nor mentioned the name of the institution that carried out the research.

The tests, Abu Sharif explained, revealed that the poison used to kill Arafat is called “thallium,” a rare chemical substance whose effects are very hard to detect.

“This fatal substance is extracted from sea weed and comes in the form of a liquid that is colorless, tasteless, and odorless,” Abu Sharif said Monday in a statement of which Quds Press obtained a copy.

One of the characteristics of that chemical compound, Abu Sharif added, is that when it is added to any food or drink, it doesn't make any difference in taste, color, or smell. It can also be injected into the veins.

“Yet the report explained that the most effective way is when the poison reaches the body through the tongue, so it could be added to water, tea, and coffee or to fruits and vegetables and even medicine.”

Abu Sharif said that British and European toxicology experts are not familiar with this poison and that only the forensic toxicology expert was able to identify it.

“According to the expert, this poison is highly effective and no antidote can stop its effect if five hours pass after injection or addition to food or drink.”
Amazing that in five minutes on Wikipedia I am a bigger expert on thallium than the "the most prominent forensic toxicology expert in the UK." And I even found a cure!
He also added that he had warned current Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of the possibility of facing the same fate.

“I told Abbas he has to be very cautious because there might be similar Israeli plans to get rid of him and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. Israel wants Palestinian leadership positions vacant.”

Abu Sharif said that he also warned Arafat a few months before he was poisoned.

“I specifically told him that poison is Israel’s main weapon.”
What a hero he is!

I cannot resist repeating a comment made when I first broke the story. When one commenter asked, as a perfect straight man, if "thallium poisoning" is another name for AIDS, Empress Trudy answered, "No, that would be called Phallium poisoning."