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REWIND Arafat May Have Been Poisoned

Arafat May Have Been Poisoned

Al Jazeera claimed on Tuesday to have taken a big step toward solving a longstanding mystery: what killed former Palestinian Liberation Organization head Yasir Arafat in 2004? The TV network had a Swiss medical research institute analyze Arafat’s personal effects, and the tests turned up traces of polonium, the deadly radioactive element most famously linked to the 2006 death of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, on items such as his clothes, toothbrush, and kaffiyeh. The researchers turned their attention to exotic substances like polonium after tests for more conventional poisons came up negative.

July 3, 2012 5:31 PM