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Russian agency ‘thought to be behind Novichok attacks’ is same one accused of hacking U.S. election

The Russian military intelligence agency GRU, which is named in Robert Mueller’s indictment for allegedly meddling in the 2016 American elections, is also thought to be responsible for the nerve agent attacks in the United Kingdom that have killed one person and injured three others.

Britain was ‘closing in on identifying the individuals they believe carried out the operation’ that killed Dawn Sturgess, 44, last Sunday and left her partner, Charlie Rowley, 45, fighting for his life, according to The New York Times.

Authorities have not ruled out the possibility that other agencies could have been involved, though British officials are increasing their focus on current or former members of GRU as the culprits.

Russia has denied any involvement in U.S. election meddling as well as in the poisoning of British nationals. 

Russia’s military intelligence agency GRU (whose headquarters are seen above in Moscow) is also thought to be responsible for the nerve agent attacks in the United Kingdom that have killed two people and injured two others

Dawn Sturgess

Charlie Rowley

Britain was ‘closing in on identifying the individuals they believe carried out the operation’ that killed Dawn Sturgess (left), 44, last Sunday and left her partner, Charlie Rowley (right), 45, fighting for his life

Experts are trying to determine whether the Novichok that poisoned them was from the same batch used in the attempted murder of Sergei (right) and Yulia Skripal (left)

Experts are trying to determine whether the Novichok that poisoned them was from the same batch used in the attempted murder of Sergei (right) and Yulia Skripal (left)

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced on Friday that a federal grand jury charged 12 Russian intelligence officers on Friday with hacking Democratic computer networks in 2016

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced on Friday that a federal grand jury charged 12 Russian intelligence officers on Friday with hacking Democratic computer networks in 2016

A federal grand jury charged 12 Russian intelligence officers on Friday with hacking Democratic computer networks in 2016, in the most detailed U.S. accusation yet that Moscow meddled in the presidential election to help Republican Donald Trump. 

The indictment, which alleges a wide-ranging conspiracy involving sophisticated hacking and staged releases of documents, raises the stakes for a summit next week between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Officers of Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, covertly monitored computers of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign and Democratic campaign committees, and stole large amounts of data, the indictment said.

Rowley’s brother Matthew has claimed that the nerve agent was found in a perfume bottle that he then picked up, BBC News reported. 

Charlie Rowley was left fighting for his life in hospital after being exposed to the deadly nerve agent in Salisbury, Wiltshire and his partner Sturgess died last Sunday following a heart attack. 

Police started a murder investigation after Sturgess’s death and are now said to be closing in on the people who carried out the attack. 

Charlie Rowley (pictured), 45, was left fighting for his life in hospital after being exposed to the deadly nerve agent in Salisbury, Wiltshire

Charlie Rowley (pictured), 45, was left fighting for his life in hospital after being exposed to the deadly nerve agent in Salisbury, Wiltshire

He said Charlie Rowley was ‘absolutely not the brother I know’ and said he was still concerned after speaking to his brother on the phone. 

But he said his brother had started eating solid food again as he continues to be treated at Salisbury District Hospital.

Sergei Skripal served in the GRU, which is also cited in charges by U.S. officials related to alleged Russian hacking in the 2016 presidential election. 

Police said last week they had found traces of the nerve agent in a small bottle in the Amesbury home of Mr Rowley.

Experts are trying to determine whether the Novichok that poisoned them was from the same batch used in the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

Earlier it was reported that Charlie Rowley’s first words when he woke from a coma were ‘They killed my girlfriend, They killed my girlfriend!’ 

A post-mortem for Ms Sturgess is scheduled to take place on Tuesday and an inquest into her death is set to open and adjourn in Salisbury on Thursday.

Experts are trying to determine whether the Novichok that poisoned them was from the same batch used in the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal

Experts are trying to determine whether the Novichok that poisoned them was from the same batch used in the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal

Search teams investigating the poisoning have recovered more than 400 exhibits, samples and items – with police warning that searches could last months.

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, national lead for Counter Terrorism Policing in the UK, described the process as ‘painstaking and vital work’.

Counter-terror detectives are trying to establish where the bottle came from and how it came to be in Mr Rowley’s home.

The UK has invited experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to independently confirm the identity of the nerve agent. 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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