RealNews

An Al Qaeda 'Chemist' and the Quest for Ricin

Menad Benchellali, thin and bearded, was known among his Arab friends as “the chemist” because of the special skills he learned at al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan. When he returned to his native France in 2001, according to investigators, he set up a laboratory in his parents’ spare bedroom and began to manufacture ricin, one of the deadliest known substances. Working at night with windows open to dissipate fumes from the process, he blended ingredients in a coffee decanter and spooned the doughy mixture onto newspapers to dry. The final product was a white power that Benchellali stored in small glass flasks and old jars of Nivea skin cream — to be used, as he later told police, “in the event I became involved in the jihad.” Full Story

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