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FBI Warns of Black Market BioToxin Shipping Trends

In an October 16, 2015 Intelligence Bulletin to law enforcement the FBI has warned of the continued potential for biological toxins such as ricin to be shipped using covert tradecraft to obfuscate the mail contents.

There have been several incidents in which individuals were arrested after trying to obtain biotoxins via the dark web.

  • In July 2015, a Liverpool was been found guilty of ordering a “Breaking Bad-style” delivery of enough ricin to kill 1,400 people from an undercover FBI agent. Mohammed Ammer Ali, 31, attempted to purchase 500mg of “the poisoner’s perfect poison” on the dark web before police raided his family home earlier this year.
  • In January 2015, a two-count Indictment against Cheng Le for attempting to acquire and distribute ricin and committing postal fraud was issued.
  • Many of these cases have a nexus with the Dark Web and sites operating on the Tor network. In addition, many Dark Web sites offer books on smuggling through the postal service including copies of the blandly titled “Guide to Postal Smuggling”.

    The FBI report also provided a list of potential indicators that an individual may be involved in the covert shipping of biotoxins.

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