When I was there in the summer of 2005, I left two days before the suicide bombings. Now it turns out I was across the street from the bar where police now believe Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned. It faces Grosvenor Square, where I spent part of a Sunday afternoon a couple weeks ago.
Fortunately, this was a couple weeks after the poisoning.
The thing that really amazes me is that the hotel is about 100 yards away from the American Embassy– so if Litvinenko was poisoned there, not only did it happen on British soil, if you were a Russian spy who wanted to accidentally give American diplomats radiation poisoning, you couldn’t pick a better place.
9-11 memorial, Grosvenor Square [via flickr]
As one British intelligence official said in response to a Russian dismissal of the idea that the Kremlin could have been involved, it’s bloody cheeky.
I still want to go back, though I might carry that copy of “Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain” along.
[To the tune of Johann Sebastian Bach, “BWV 0227 – 02. Es ist nun nichts,” from the album “Motteten”.]