Christopher Steele Sergei Skripal
© PA WIRE/ITV NEWS/LNP
Sergei Skripal, centre, and Christopher Steele, left, who compiled the notorious dossier on President Trump that detailed his allegedly corrupt dealings with Vladimir Putin. Right: a police officer wearing protective equipment at one of the scenes of the investigation.
A security consultant who has worked for the company that compiled the controversial dossier on Donald Trump was close to the Russian double agent poisoned last weekend, it has been claimed.

The consultant, who The Telegraph is declining to identify, lived close to Col Skripal and is understood to have known him for some time.

Col Skripal, who is in intensive care and fighting for his life after an assassination attempt on Sunday, was recruited by MI6 when he worked for the British embassy in Estonia, according to the FSB, the Russian intelligence agency.

The Telegraph understands that Col Skripal moved to Salisbury in 2010 in a spy swap and became close to a security consultant employed by Christopher Steele, who compiled the Trump dossier.

The British security consultant, according to a LinkedIn social network account that was removed from the internet in the past few days, is also based in Salisbury.

On the same LinkedIn account, the man listed consultancy work with Orbis Business Intelligence, according to reports.

Orbis is run by Mr Steele, a former MI6 agent, who compiled the notorious dossier on President Trump that detailed his allegedly corrupt dealings with Vladimir Putin.

The dossier has sparked a formal investigation in the US into Russian collusion in the US presidential election, to the fury of both presidents Trump and Putin.

If the Kremlin believed that Col Skripal might have helped with the compilation of the dossier, it could explain the motive for the assassination attempt in Salisbury town centre. Col Skripal's daughter is also in intensive care, along with a police officer who rushed to help them after they were attacked with nerve agent.


Comment: Or rather: If the UK and the US Deep State believed that Skripal was about to spill the beans about the fraudulent Steele dossier, it could explain the motive for the assassination attempt. Consider that the UK government sought to supress the link between Skripal and Steele:

Gov't Forcing Media to Suppress Bombshell Skripal Case Details, Effectively Changing the Story



Counter-terrorism police, along with MI5, are trying to establish why Col Skripal was targeted seven years after being released from a Russian penal colony. He was sentenced to 13 years for being a traitor in 2006, but sent to the UK in a swap for Russian spies including Anna Chapman, a British citizen who had been caught spying in the US.

Valery Morozov, a former construction magnate who fled Russia after revealing corruption, claimed last night that Col Skripal, 66, was still working, and remained in regular contact with military intelligence officers at the Russian embassy. That would raise the possibility that he was still feeding intelligence to people in this country.

Mr Morozov said that, as a result, he had decided to steer clear of Col Skripal for his own safety. He told Channel 4 News: "If you have a military intelligence officer working in the Russian diplomatic service, living after retirement in the UK, working in cyber-security and every month going to the embassy to meet military intelligence officers - for me, being a political refugee, it is either a certain danger or, frankly speaking, I thought that this contact might not be very good for me because it can bring some questions from British officials."

Neither Orbis nor the security consultant commented tonight. The consultant's wife told the Telegraph, when asked if her husband had worked for Orbis and knew Col Skripal: "He won't be talking."

Police are now trying to piece together Col Skripal's movements in the days before Sunday's attempt on his life. CCTV footage emerged yesterday showing him buying everyday items - milk, sausages and lottery scratch cards - in his local shop, apparently joking and seemingly oblivious to the imminent threat to his life.

At the time, Col Skripal was awaiting a visit from his daughter Yulia, 33, who lives in Moscow but was due to visit.

It is thought that Miss Skripal was visiting her father in Salisbury to mark the birthday on March 1 of his only son Alexander, who had died the year before, aged 43.

Colonel Skripal had asked his housekeeper to clean his daughter's room on Monday February 26, ready for her visit.

Security services now suspect that when Miss Skripal flew out of Moscow, her departure triggered a "red flag" with a hit squad that was being dispatched to assassinate Col Skripal. It is thought that Miss Skripal was being targeted along with her father in a clear message that "traitors" are not tolerated by the Kremlin.

It is not clear when Miss Skripal landed in the UK, but sources suggest the Russian team sent to kill her father was probably a day behind her.

Intelligence services suspect that the attempt on Col Skripal's life would have been made earlier than Sunday but the snowstorm - dubbed the Beast from the East - hampered the initial attempt.

The snow may have deterred father and daughter from venturing out, while it also would have put in doubt the assassination squad's likely escape from the UK. With flights cancelled and delayed at Heathrow, they risked arrest if they were stuck in the UK.

By Sunday afternoon - and with Miss Skripal on the brink of returning to Moscow - the assassination squad

had little room for manoeuvre and were forced into action in broad daylight in the middle of a busy shopping precinct.

"It now looks as though they got desperate by Sunday afternoon and decided to strike," said one intelligence source.

The police officer who was one of the first on the scene and is now seriously ill appears to be collateral damage to what may have been a rushed, bungled attack.