Two intriguing tweets, one by by a former UK ambassador and another by a Channel 4 News journalist, relate to an aspect of the so-called ‘Trump dossier’ that might explain why Sergei and Yulia Skripal were targeted in Salisbury.
Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, asserted that a ‘D Notice’ was applied to the wider role of Pablo Miller. Murray attributed this claim to Channel 4 News journalist Alex Thomson:
According to the DSMA (Defence and Security Media Advisory) service, there is no ‘D Notice’ that specifically refers to the Skripals. However, all five current notices are quite vague and could easily be applied to the Skripals case.
So who is Miller?
In March 2000, The Guardian reported that a ‘senior Russian intelligence officer’ had been arrested in Moscow. Allegedly, this person was recruited by Pablo Miller, who was descibed as the “head of British intelligence in Tallinn, working under the cover of first secretary of the British embassy in Estonia”.
According to the FSB (Russian Security Service), the GRU (military intelligence) officer recruited [Russian] by Miller was Sergei Skripal. Skripal was subsequently assigned [paywall] the codename ‘Forthwith’. At the time, Miller was using the name Antonio Alvarez de Hidalgo.
A photo of Miller first surfaced in 2007.
Miller was later awarded the OBE for his service to British foreign policy.
Enter Christopher Steele
The information that Skripal disclosed to MI6 would likely have been given to Christopher Steele, who was a high-ranking MI6 agent [paywall] and head of the Russia desk, before moving to Paris.
Former MI5 staffer Annie Machon, told Undercoverinfo that she has no inside knowledge on the Skripal’s case, but commented:
Early reporting established that Miller & Skripal remained in contact in Salisbury. If the Steele connection is true, no surprise re D Notice!
So what does this alleged Steele connection imply?
Murray previously commented:
it seems to me even more probable that Sergei Skripal contributed to the Orbis Intelligence dossier on Trump.
This so-called ‘Trump dossier’ [pdf] – a series of briefings – was produced by Steele.
Orbis was tasked with investigating Donald Trump’s dealings with Russia by Washington-based political research company Fusion GPS. Fusion was initially commissioned by a conservative publication opposed to Trump. But after Trump won the Republican nomination, a Democrats supporter law firm took over the funding of the brief.
The dossier includes [pdf, p11-14] multiple references to the Democratic National Convention (DNC) emails that show how the DNC allegedly conspired to undermine Bernie Sanders in the leadership election.
As to the ‘Trump dossier’, regardless of the veracity of the intelligence and allegations [pdf] made in the briefings, the tweets by Murray and Thomson point to an aspect of the Skripals story that may require further scrutiny. In particular, whether Sergei Skripal directly contributed intelligence to the dossier.
And the amswer to that could well result in wide-ranging consequences.