David MacIlwain, "Operation Nina - A Conspirator's View", © America Herald Tribune (17 September 2018)
I find this article interesting for the following paragraphs:
"Is it possible that the unwitting Russian “agents”, whose visit to Salisbury has now become the clincher of the UK’s Novichok case, were actually lured to the vicinity of Sergei Skripal’s home, with the conveniently placed chemical weapons labs at nearby Porton Down? Without doubting the innocence of Petrov and Boshirov over any involvement in the BZ attack on the Skripals, might we consider if they were on a different mission, and victims of a “honey trap” not involving women?
This possibility – including their comment that “a friend suggested we visit Salisbury” could explain their slightly evasive and unconvincing answers on why they returned to the city for a second time. While we know that they weren’t caught on CCTV walking along Wilton Road “near the Skripal house” because that was their destination, it’s fair to ask why they chose to walk that way rather than the road north to Old Sarum, which they professed a desire to see.
Old Sarum is about two miles from the city center, so Petrov and Boshirov could have easily visited the site. But perhaps their friend had a different recommendation, and one they understandably would be reluctant to reveal – a venue which appears to be about the same distance from the center, along Wilton Road.
If this explanation for some anomalies in the Russians’ story is true, then it has an ironic twist; at the same time as they were striding off down Wilton Road, the final moves of the conspiracy to poison Sergei Skripal and his daughter were taking place back in the city center.
The exact circumstances and timing of the attack – presumably on the park bench on which they were discovered incapacitated – may only be known to those who set it up, but we may be sure nothing was left to chance. This is in contrast to the apparently haphazard behavior and conflicting reports afterward, despite some serious preparations just beforehand."