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FBI Warns of Ricin Threat

The latest intelligence bulletin from the FBI warns law enforcement nationwide to sniff out deadly toxins. Intelligence from the war front appears to be having an impact on security measures at home. The FBI has sent a classified intelligence bulletin to the nation’s state and local law enforcement agencies advising them to be on the lookout for terrorists making toxins such as ricin and botulism. The alert, entitled “Improvised Chemical and Biological Agents,” and dispatched this morning (April 2) to 18,000 law enforcement agencies via a secure electronic network, was prompted in part by the discovery of homemade biological toxins in a radical Islamist compound in northeastern Iraq that was raided by the U.S. and Kurdish troops late last week. “Recent events including the January, 2003, arrests in the United Kingdom of Algerian extremists apparently attempting to produce ricin toxin in their residences, indicate an ongoing interest among terrorists in developing improvised weapons of mass destruction,” the bulletin says. It warns that ricin and other lethal agents can be easily concocted using recipes that can be found on the Internet and ingredients and equipment that can be bought from nurseries, hardware stores and mail order chemical supply houses. The bulletin cites several cases from the 1990s in which U.S. home-grown extremists and crackpots were arrested for making ricin, a quick-acting poison, and Sarin, a deadly nerve agent. Full Story

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