A Swiss laboratory says that at the time of his 2004 death, the Palestinian leader’s body contained high levels of polonium, the radioactive element which killed Russian spy-turned-dissident Alexander Litvinenko after it was slipped into his tea at a London restaurant in 2006. Via Al Jazeera:
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Eight years after his death, it remains a mystery exactly what killed the longtime Palestinian leader. Tests conducted in Paris found no obvious traces of poison in Arafat’s system. Rumors abound about what might have killed him – cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, even allegations that he was infected with HIV.
A nine-month investigation by Al Jazeera has revealed that none of those rumors were true: Arafat was in good health until he suddenly fell ill on October 12, 2004.
More importantly, tests [at the Institut de Radiophysique in Lausanne, Switzerland] reveal that Arafat’s final personal belongings – his clothes, his toothbrush, his iconic kaffiyeh – contained abnormal levels of polonium, a rare, highly radioactive element.