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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Kremlin Critic Paul Joyal Shot in Maryland

The AP Reports:

Police are investigating a shooting that wounded a prominent intelligence expert. Fifty-three- year-old Paul Joyal [pictured] was shot Thursday night outside his house in the 2300 block of Lackawanna Street in Adelphi. Joyal is known for his expertise on intelligence and terrorism and his contacts in the former Soviet Union. He has also been a long-time critic of the the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The shooting came four days after he told "Dateline NBC" that he believes the Russian government was involved in the fatal poisoning of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in London.

Reader Penny notes his relationship with Georgia: "Paul Joyal is a businessman who has been centrally involved in security assistance relationship with Georgia. He published Intercon Daily Report, an electronic information service on events in the NIS."

Maybe this attack was just street crime, we must wait and see, but the implications are terrifying and investigators are concerned about the possibility of Kremlin retaliation. The Washington Post has more:

Federal and local law enforcement authorities are investigating a shooting in Prince George's County that critically injured a prominent intelligence expert who specializes in the former Soviet Union.

Paul Joyal, 53, was shot Thursday, four days after he alleged in a television broadcast that the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin was involved in the fatal poisoning of a former KGB agent in London.

Law enforcement sources and sources close to Joyal, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case, said the motive for the shooting was unclear. But several sources confirmed that FBI investigators are looking into the incident because of Joyal's background as an intelligence expert and his comments about the Alexander Litvinenko case.

Joyal was shot by two men in the driveway of his house in the 2300 block of Lackawanna Street in Adelphi about 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The shooting was reported yesterday by Channel 4.

The identity of the shooters was unknown, and Prince George's police released few details about the incident. But sources close to the investigation and to Joyal said two men accosted Joyal as he stood in the driveway of his home, then shot him once in the groin.

Joyal's wife, who is a nurse, was at home at the time and ran to assist her husband as he lay bleeding in the driveway, the sources said. He was taken to a hospital, where he was in critical condition yesterday.

The sources said it was unclear whether the gunmen were trying to rob him.

Joyal, who has long been an outspoken critic of the Putin regime, appeared in a segment on "Dateline NBC" Sunday about the Litvinenko case. Litvinenko's death from radiation poisoning has caused widespread speculation that Putin and the Russian government were involved, because Litvinenko was looking into the killing of a Russian journalist critical of the regime. Putin and Kremlin officials have repeatedly denied involvement.

In the "Dateline" interview, Joyal accused the Russian government of being part of a conspiracy to silence its critics.

"A message has been communicated to anyone who wants to speak out against the Kremlin: 'If you do, no matter who you are, where you are, we will find you, and we will silence you -- in the most horrible way possible,' " Joyal said.

Joyal, who is a member of the Prince George's law enforcement task force, is a vice president of National Strategies, a Washington-based government consulting firm. He founded his own company in 1991 and established joint ventures in telecommunications and air transportation in Russia and Georgia, according to the company's Web site.

He is well-known for his expertise on intelligence and terrorism and for his network of friends in the former Soviet Union, and he published a daily intelligence newsletter for 10 years that offered information on the former Soviet Union. In 1998, he was a lobbyist for the Georgian government in Washington.

Other reports are here. ABC adds:

The shooting appeared to be a random robbery and street shooting, a law enforcement official with knowledge of the case told The Associated Press. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person did not have authority to comment on the case.

Joyal and Litvinenko were acquaintances, said Oleg Kalugin, a former KGB counterintelligence chief who is now a U.S. citizen and who met with Joyal several hours before he was shot. Kalugin also said Joyal's condition was improving. Joyal works for National Strategies, a Washington-based government consulting firm.


Anonymous said...

In later reports from The WaPo, Elizabeth Joyal made it clear that her husband was not robbed of anything. This shooting was not a robbery.

Also appearing on the same MSNBC "Dateline" on Litvinenko's murder was "The London Times's" consummate journalist Daniel McGrory, who died of a heart attack before the airing date of the program. Mr. McGrory wrote some of the best investigative pieces to date on the Litvinenko affair, and his input and fine instincts are missed already. Daniel McGrory's death and Paul Joyal's assault were announced by MSNBC.

Anonymous said...

Robbery is cover-up. Russian style. Another critique of Putin became a victim of Russian KGB.
See the pattern? Before being killed, a victim would meet a “former” KGB officer?
Litvinenko met Lugovoy.
Mr. Joyal an hour before he was shot met Kalugin.
Is Kalugin a witness or a suspect?