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Poisoning of Sergei Skripal a false flag operation orchestrated by MI5: Analyst

Sergei Skripal, a former colonel of Russia's GRU military intelligence service, looks on inside the defendants' cage as he attends a hearing at the Moscow military district court, Russia.

The poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal in Britain is a false flag operation orchestrated by MI5 with the complicity of the British press in order to demonize Russia, according to E. Michael Jones, an American political analyst in Indiana.

Jones, a writer, former professor, media commentator and the current editor of the Culture Wars magazine, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Monday, after US President Donald Trump expelled dozens of Russian diplomats in the United States.

Trump on Monday ordered 60 Russian diplomats that Washington considers spies to leave the country in solidarity with Britain over the alleged nerve-agent poisoning of Skripal, and closed Russia’s consulate in Seattle, senior administration officials said.

The officials said all 60 Russians were spies working under diplomatic cover, including a dozen at Russia's mission to the United Nations.

They said the expulsions meant to send a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin about the "unacceptably high" number of Russian intelligence operatives in America.

“The current wave of expulsions of Russian diplomats from the countries in the West goes back to the immediate cause of, which is the Skripal poisoning case in Britain. If there were ever an obvious false flag operation, it’s the Skripal’s poisoning case,” Jones told Press TV.

“The Russians arrested Skripal as a British agent. He was working for MI5. He spent 13 years in jail. If they wanted to kill him, they could have killed him in a Russian prison and nobody would have known anything different,” he added.  

“They let him go as a part of an exchange of a spy prisoner.  He was living in England and now suddenly Russia feels the need to murder him. There is no possible reason or justification for the Russians doing this at this point.

“It came at a high point of an already fanatical anti-Russian campaign. It’s the campaign to demonize Russia that began with this plot in Washington that somehow Russia meddled in the United States election,” the analyst said.  

“Britain is only following the elite of the United States in this matter and is demonizing Russia and European Union countries are only following Britain’s lead in this matter.  It’s a hysteria, a moral panic and it’s been orchestrated by MI5 with the complicity of all of the British press. That’s the reason this is happening right now,” he concluded.

Tensions are escalating between the West and Russia over the poisoning of Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, in a British town.

The Skripals were found unconscious on March 4 on a bench in the British city of Salisbury. They remain hospitalized in critical condition.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Washington and its allies were acting "in response to Russia's use of a military-grade chemical weapon on the soil of the United Kingdom."

London claims the Soviet-designed Novichok nerve agent has been used to poison the pair and points the finger at Russia.

Moscow has rejected the claims as “absurd,” saying the substance used in the attack could have originated from the countries studying it, including Britain itself. It has offered cooperation with London in probing the case.

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