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SENATE POWDER TESTS POSITIVE FOR RICIN (Update -- 16 PEOPLE DECONTAMINATED)
AP Wire ^ | Feb. 3, 2004 | AP Wire

Posted on 02/02/2004 10:18:25 PM PST by varina davis

Senate Powder Tests Positive for Ricin

February 3, 2004 12:20 AM EST

WASHINGTON - Preliminary tests of a white powder discovered in a Senate office building Monday were positive for the potentially deadly poison ricin, the U.S. Capitol Police chief said.

Two out of three tests indicate ricin, Chief Terrance Gainer said at a late-evening news conference. The third test came out negative, and a fourth, more definitive test was under way, with results expected Tuesday.

Sixteen people who were on the floor where the white powder was discovered on mail were being decontaminated and would be allowed to go home, Gainer said.

"At the moment we're in a wait-and-see position from an analytical point of view in what next steps we may take," he said. That included what, if any decontamination of the Dirksen Senate Office Building would be needed.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., also at the news conference, said no symptoms were reported by those near the powder. "Everybody's fine" and there is "no cause for alarm," he said.

"Nobody is sick, we don't expect anybody to get sick," said Frist, a surgeon before his election to the Senate.

The powder was discovered at about 3 p.m. in a mail room near Frist's office on the fourth floor of the Dirksen Building, Gainer said. A congressional official had said earlier the powder was found in Frist's office suite.

Another government official said lab tests were being conducted at Fort Detrick in Maryland, but Gainer refused to give any location.

Authorities do not know if the substance was found on a letter or a package, the chief said.

The Homeland Security Department is monitoring the situation, spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said.

Ricin, derived from the castor bean plant, can kill within days. Twice as deadly as cobra venom, ricin is relatively easily made. It may be inhaled, ingested or injected.

Police found traces of ricin in a north London apartment last January and arrested seven men of North African origin in connection with the virulent toxin that has been linked to al-Qaida terrorists and Iraq.

A package containing ricin was also found at a post facility serving Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport in South Carolina in October.

An FBI official said the bureau was awaiting the result of tests at the Fort Detrick laboratory before deciding whether to get more fully involved in the case.

Mail to congressional offices has been irradiated since deadly anthrax was found in letters sent to the offices of Sens. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., in 2001. No one was arrested in those incidents.

Frist said irradiation would likely have no effect on ricin because the substance is neither a virus or a bacterium.


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: District of Columbia
KEYWORDS: blackmail; castorbean; castorbeans; castoroil; chemicalweapons; chemterror; dc; dhs; dirksenbuilding; hazmat; letters; packages; poisonplots; positive; powder; ricin; ricinplot; ricinplots; senate; tests; wmd
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1 posted on 02/02/2004 10:18:26 PM PST by varina davis
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To: varina davis
Ricin? Yawn..., I've got better things to get worked up about-- like Janet Jackson's nipple....
2 posted on 02/02/2004 10:21:41 PM PST by freebilly
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To: varina davis
Monsieur Jean Kerry

Measure Number: H.R. 3396 (Defense of Marriage Act) Kerry (D-MA), Nay

"I think there has been an exaggeration," Mr. Kerry said when asked whether President Bush has overstated the threat of terrorism.
SC Dem Debate 01/29/04

Kerry opposed the death penalty until 2002 , voted against military action in the 1991 Persian Gulf war, and voted to freeze defense spending.

U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry yesterday said Pope John Paul II ``crossed the line'' by instructing pols to block legalization of gay marriage.
Boston Herald 08/02/03

During the height of the Cold War, Kerry opposed the entire strategic modernization effort proposed by President Reagan — the Peacekeeper, B-1 and B-2 bombers, the Trident submarine and D-5 missile, opposed the non-strategic modernization of the defense budget as well, and the deployment of the INF missiles in Europe.
Washington Times 01/04


3 posted on 02/02/2004 10:26:29 PM PST by KQQL (@)
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To: varina davis
Do you actually get sick from ricin or just keel over dead? Didn't that spy who got the ricin prick from the umbrella die right away?

This seems like big news; why haven't I heard anything about this?

4 posted on 02/02/2004 10:29:51 PM PST by Yaelle
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To: Yaelle
The media was pretty guarded with news about it today, though it has been in the headlines on TV tonight.
5 posted on 02/02/2004 10:31:56 PM PST by varina davis
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To: Yaelle
"I think there has been an exaggeration," Mr. Kerry said when asked whether President Bush has overstated the threat of terrorism.
SC Dem Debate 01/29/04
6 posted on 02/02/2004 10:32:00 PM PST by KQQL (@)
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To: Yaelle
why haven't I heard anything about this?

It was sent to Frist's office. It would be news if it were sent to Hillary's office....

7 posted on 02/02/2004 10:32:14 PM PST by freebilly
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To: Yaelle
This seems like big news; why haven't I heard anything about this?

Because if this really is Ricin it is almost certainly the work of Islamists. And that would be the anthrax mailings were almost certainly Islamists. And the press really really doesn't want it to be Islamists.
8 posted on 02/02/2004 10:32:56 PM PST by swilhelm73
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To: varina davis
Wasn't ricin found in Iraq?
9 posted on 02/02/2004 10:33:24 PM PST by katz (Rush Rocksee)
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To: varina davis; JohnHuang2
don't worry... its just a chem-bio weapon...
10 posted on 02/02/2004 10:34:03 PM PST by GeronL (www.ArmorforCongress.com ............... Support a FReeper for Congress)
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To: Yaelle
You get sick then slowly die if enough is injested. No cure for it if a lethal dose is administered.
11 posted on 02/02/2004 10:34:13 PM PST by Bogey78O (Why are we even having this debate?)
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To: Yaelle
A package containing ricin was also found at a post facility serving Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport in South Carolina in October.

I don't recall hearing anything about this either.

12 posted on 02/02/2004 10:34:47 PM PST by Dianna
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To: katz
David Kay said that RICIN was being made in IRAQ right up to the invasion... isn't that a WMD???
13 posted on 02/02/2004 10:35:15 PM PST by GeronL (www.ArmorforCongress.com ............... Support a FReeper for Congress)
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To: Yaelle; Peach
Stealing Peach's post from the other thread......


The ricin was found a little after 3:00; CNN has said they've known about since shortly after noon (that was the 11:00 p.m. hour when that jerk who anchors said that).

Anyway, link to FNC story - Frist says it's terrorism:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,110243,00.html
14 posted on 02/02/2004 10:35:17 PM PST by Bradís Gramma (BG (Logan's Personal Mafia Hit Squad))
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To: Yaelle
Since it was just another "field" positive until recently.....now looks more serious and newsworthy quite frankly.

It should be the lead tomorrow morning on national programs. If not, the managing editors of some of these shows need to be replaced.
15 posted on 02/02/2004 10:40:12 PM PST by rwfromkansas ("Men stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up as if nothing had happened." Churchill)
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To: varina davis
Didn't we find ricin in Iraq ..??
16 posted on 02/02/2004 10:40:41 PM PST by CyberAnt ("America is the GREATEST NATION on the face of the earth")
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To: GeronL
It kills fast.
17 posted on 02/02/2004 10:40:42 PM PST by katz (Rush Rocksee)
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To: katz
...hey... I just heard the highway Bill going through Congress would INCREASE the GAS TAX!!! 8 cents a gallon!!

I thought Congress was run by cons...oh.. just Republicans..

18 posted on 02/02/2004 10:42:31 PM PST by GeronL (www.ArmorforCongress.com ............... Support a FReeper for Congress)
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To: KQQL
Taxpayers will never Ketchup with Heinz's boy.

Feel free to use that one.

19 posted on 02/02/2004 10:44:24 PM PST by BJungNan
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To: swilhelm73
Because if this really is Ricin it is almost certainly the work of Islamists.

How can you be so certain that Islamists are responsible? I could understand a suspicion, but certainly the stuff could also be processed here in the USA, by someone not associated with Islam.

Just my thoughts.
20 posted on 02/02/2004 10:46:24 PM PST by SmokinDave (http://www.SmokinDave.com)
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To: Yaelle
Depending on the route of exposure (such as injection), as little as 500 micrograms of ricin could be enough to kill an adult. A 500-microgram dose of ricin would be about the size of the head of a pin. A much greater amount would be needed to kill people if the ricin were inhaled (breathed in) or swallowed.

In 1978, Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian writer and journalist who was living in London, died after he was attacked by a man with an umbrella. The umbrella had been rigged to inject a poison ricin pellet under Markov’s skin.
21 posted on 02/02/2004 10:46:28 PM PST by WestCoastGal ("Hire paranoids, they may have a high false alarm rate, but they discover all the plots" Rumsfeld)
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To: GeronL
I haven't heard about that tonight. Wasn't the Republican Senator from Alaska wanting to increase gas taxes? There was a freshman (woman R) senator fighting against the increase several months ago.
22 posted on 02/02/2004 10:47:36 PM PST by katz (Rush Rocksee)
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To: Yaelle
CNN was live at 11 to 11:30 covering it Fox News and MSNBC already had the lights turned off til dawn.
23 posted on 02/02/2004 10:50:29 PM PST by My Favorite Headache (I Stand With Alex Lifeson)
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To: Bogey78O
ACK! Well, I am saying prayers for all who may have been exposed. I hope and pray that no one gets sick or dies.
24 posted on 02/02/2004 10:51:20 PM PST by California74
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To: Yaelle
How soon do symptoms appear?
The time from exposure to ricin to onset of symptoms can be from less than 1 hour to 12 hours or greater. Symptoms from poisoning through eating can occur within 2-3 hours. Inhalation poisoning occurs within 3 hours.

What is the treatment for Ricin poisoning?
Ricin poisoning is treated through supportive medical care to minimize the effects of the poisoning.

Where is ricin found and how is it used?
Castor beans are processed throughout the world to make castor oil. Ricin has potential medical uses such as bone marrow transplants and cancer treatment.

WHAT IS RICIN?
Ricin is a poison made from waste left over from processing castor beans. It can be in the form of a powder, a mist, a pellet, or it can be dissolved in water or weak acid. It is a stable substance that’s not affected by extreme conditions such as very hot or very cold temperatures.

SYMPTOMS
Symptoms are determined by the route of exposure and amount received.

Routes of exposure/symptoms:

INHALATION: Difficulty breathing, fever, cough, nausea, and tightness in the chest, heavy sweating, skin turning blue, low blood pressure, respiratory failure

INGESTION: Vomiting, bloody diarrhea, severe dehydration, low blood pressure, hallucinations, seizures, and blood in the urine SKIN and EYE: redness and pain of the skin and eyes Showing these signs and symptoms does not necessarily mean that a person has been exposed to ricin.

HOW IS RICIN SPREAD?
It would take a deliberate act to make ricin and use it to poison people. People can breathe in ricin mist or powder. Ricin can get into the water or food and then be swallowed Pellets of ricin or ricin dissolved in a liquid can be injected into people’s body. Ricin poisoning is not contagious. It cannot be spread from person to person.
25 posted on 02/02/2004 10:51:53 PM PST by stlnative
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To: CyberAnt
The DU freaks are already claiming that this is a ploy to bump Bush's numbers and trace it back to Iraq. Unreal.
26 posted on 02/02/2004 10:52:26 PM PST by My Favorite Headache (I Stand With Alex Lifeson)
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To: rwfromkansas
Well, I listen to talk radio all day and I had heard nothing about it... until 15 minutes after I posted, and then it was top on the half hour KABC news. They did not mention terrorism, only that the powder tested + for ricin.

Did it come in via the mail?

27 posted on 02/02/2004 10:53:07 PM PST by Yaelle
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To: All
Ricin is 500 times stronger than cobra venom and 1,500 times more deadly than cyanide. The equivalent of a grain of salt would be enough to kill an adult, and a fatal dose takes around three days to kill the person affected.
The health service is on alert after traces of the poison were discovered in a flat in London and six men were arrested as terrorist suspects at the weekend.

Ricin-related symptoms include fever and nausea, which progresses to severe abdominal pains and fits. Victims die from multiple organ failure and there is no known antidote or vaccine.

The bioxtoxin works by shutting down protein synthesis in the body and takes four to eight hours to incubate after being eaten or inhaled, so a victim would not necessarily realise they were in potential peril at the moment of contact.

The poison inhibits protein synthesis and has widespread toxic effects on the body, which include damage to most organ systems and a combination of pulmonary, liver, renal and immunological failure which may lead to death.

The exact early symptoms depend on the route of exposure. In all cases, fever, gastrointestinal upset, and coughing will be amongst the first effects noted - but of course these are symptoms of any number of benign ailments.

Absorption via inhalation as a result of exposure to the toxin in aerosol form leads to particularly serious lung damage including adult respiratory distress syndrome. Flesh eating lesions develop in the airways and cause respiratory and heart failure.

Swallowing ricin causes gastroenteritis, bloody diarrhoea and vomiting. People poisoned by a large dose could die of shock after massive fluid loss through severe diarrhoea. Effects on the central nervous system have been reported to include seizures.

The symptoms are similar to the first world war gas phosgene, or more modern nerve gases such as sarin, developed in the second world war, and used by the Aum cult on the Tokyo subway system in 1995 in an attack that left 12 people dead.
28 posted on 02/02/2004 10:55:17 PM PST by stlnative
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To: GeronL
>>...hey... I just heard the highway Bill going through Congress would INCREASE the GAS TAX!!! 8 cents a gallon!!
I thought Congress was run by cons...oh.. just Republicans..>>

Wrong thread...Check the headline before youe post....


29 posted on 02/02/2004 11:02:50 PM PST by sissyjane
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To: brigette
CDC - Facts About Ricin
30 posted on 02/02/2004 11:03:27 PM PST by stlnative
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To: varina davis
Again. I call for the immediate outlaw of the castor bean plant with possession penalties commensurate with that of pot. [cough] [Hypocrisy is grand ain't it?]
31 posted on 02/02/2004 11:04:05 PM PST by Indie (KILL EM ALL AND LET ALLAH SORT EM OUT)
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To: Dianna
If I am not mistaken, it was found back in October. It was in a vial accompanied by a letter signed by a "Dark Angel". The letter threatened use of the chemical if the bill involving truckers went through. The bill lowered the number of hours that a trucker could stay on the road.
That bill took effect in January of this year.

We were amazed that a bigger story wasn't made of this! It was over a week after it was found, before it was even announed here! The FBI is involved with this case and I believe a reward of $10k was offered.
32 posted on 02/02/2004 11:04:43 PM PST by 4everontheRight (GW'04 - Rice"08)
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To: SmokinDave
How can you be so certain that Islamists are responsible? I could understand a suspicion, but certainly the stuff could also be processed here in the USA, by someone not associated with Islam.

1) History - After the last bio-chem attack we were told it couldn't be Islamists. The government spent a year and a half looking for everyone other then Islamists. They've still yet to find the culprit. However, the original anthrax mailings stopped at the same time we arrested/expelled everyone we could find with ties to Islamist terror. Looks like its taken them this long to set up for a major operation again.

2) The Target - Since a couple of liberal senators were amoung those targeted last time, the press claimed it must be the work of right wingers. Well, the Reps control the Senate, so who exactly is being targeted here?

3) Minor terror attacks continue, all Islamists - see the DC snipers and the LAX shooting.

4)Other warnings - We've just finished being off alert for an Islamist bio-chem attack on air planes when a bio-chem attack goes down in DC.
33 posted on 02/02/2004 11:08:38 PM PST by swilhelm73
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To: All
Of eight tests conducted throughout the day, six were positive for the toxin, with a ninth and final test due by 5 a.m. Tuesday morning.

"From a scientific standpoint, this is ricin," Frist said. "It is in all likelihood sent with intent to harm."

Traces of ricin found in Senate mailroom - Frist: Substance likely 'sent with intent to harm'
34 posted on 02/02/2004 11:10:12 PM PST by stlnative
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To: swilhelm73
oh yes and also;

Islamists have ricin - They aren't the only ones of course, but I rather doubt this is the work of the Russians or PRC.
35 posted on 02/02/2004 11:10:38 PM PST by swilhelm73
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To: varina davis
According to FBI sources, Dr. Steven Hatfill is still not a suspect in this recent ricin terrorist mailing. /sarcasm

At least we know where the rest of the ricin that the Brits found traces at a London mosque ended up. Let's see if the FBI does some tests to see if the concentrations and contamination signatures of the two ricin samples match.

I guess one could do some air sampling around some DC mosques to see if they smell of castor beans.
36 posted on 02/02/2004 11:14:29 PM PST by anymouse
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To: brigette
What is the treatment for Ricin poisoning?
- Ricin poisoning is treated through supportive medical care to minimize the effects of the poisoning.

That's kind of like saying "Ricin poisoning is treated through treatement of Ricin poisoning."

37 posted on 02/02/2004 11:19:58 PM PST by bluefish
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To: swilhelm73
2) The Target - Since a couple of liberal senators were amoung those targeted last time, the press claimed it must be the work of right wingers. Well, the Reps control the Senate, so who exactly is being targeted here?

Good point. Drumming fingers on desk, and waiting impatiently for cnn et al. to blame this one on the "left-wing" extremists. Hahahaha. Did anyone mention a cold day in July?

38 posted on 02/02/2004 11:26:12 PM PST by texasbluebell
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To: My Favorite Headache
ROTFLOL! Geeeee .. they are really paranoid. I don't see any connection this will have in helping Bush .. do you ..??
39 posted on 02/02/2004 11:37:43 PM PST by CyberAnt ("America is the GREATEST NATION on the face of the earth")
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To: GeronL
>>David Kay said that RICIN was being made in IRAQ right up to the invasion... isn't that a WMD???

I wonder if the exact composition of this RICIN, and any impurities in it could form a SIGNATURE that could be traced back to the RICIN traces found in Iraq?

But you know what's more likely... Just like those 200 WMD shells found in Iraq, some Clinton appointee still working for Bush will declare tomorrow or Wednesday, it was a FALSE ALARM! And then ALL the mainstream media will run with that!!!

40 posted on 02/02/2004 11:42:45 PM PST by Future Useless Eater (Freedom_Loving_Engineer)
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To: anymouse
The London ricin was in the form of a cream.
41 posted on 02/02/2004 11:43:37 PM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge.)
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To: bluefish
That's kind of like saying "Ricin poisoning is treated through treatment of Ricin poisoning."

That's because there is no antidote. The only thing that can be done is to treat the effects and pray that the body can recover. If too many cells in too many systems are damaged, there is nothing to do but watch your patient die.

42 posted on 02/02/2004 11:56:32 PM PST by Ophiucus
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To: GeronL
"don't worry... its just a chem-bio weapon..."

Impossible -- David Kay, after an incomplete search, assures us WMD don't exist. ;-)

44 posted on 02/02/2004 11:56:58 PM PST by JohnHuang2
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To: Yaelle
It takes a while to die, I think symptoms may not appear for hours, but there is no antidote. You got a lethal dose, you die, and the lethal dose is very very small -- I heard it described as an amount of a pinhead. You can also inhale it and die.
45 posted on 02/02/2004 11:57:30 PM PST by FairOpinion
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To: My Favorite Headache
"The DU freaks are already claiming that this is a ploy to bump Bush's numbers and trace it back to Iraq. Unreal."

==

THAT is not unreal -- what is unreal that I have seen people here on FR posts similar things -- one of them has finally been banned, but I know there are others still left.
46 posted on 02/03/2004 12:00:10 AM PST by FairOpinion
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To: All
Police found traces of ricin in a north London apartment last January and arrested seven men of North African origin in connection with the virulent toxin that has been linked to al-Qaida terrorists and Iraq.

A package containing ricin was also found at a post facility serving Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport in South Carolina in October.

This part of the story makes me wonder about the coverage. This appears to give a clear trail:
Iraq->Al Qaida->London, England->Greenville, SC, USA-> Washington DC, USA

Questions I have are is this trail that clear an open? What was/wasn't done to intercept the passage of ricin? What is known about the operation that carried this out? How much of the operation was compromised to have just a package of ricin arrive in the Senate mail room rather than it being released similar to the Japan subway attack years ago?

Of course, it does beg the question, with so much of the anthrax activity centered in the same places as the hijackers and now ricin in the Capitol, why does the FBI insist on their domestic 'person of interest' theory?

47 posted on 02/03/2004 12:05:29 AM PST by Ophiucus
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To: varina davis
Ricin suspects linked to al Qaeda

Thursday, January 16, 2003 Posted: 7:43 PM EST (0043 GMT)


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. intelligence has evidence of connections between four people charged with possessing chemical weapons in London and a senior al Qaeda leader, officials tells CNN.

The four men were arrested during a January 5 raid by British police on two addresses in north and east London where traces of ricin, one of the world's deadliest poisons, were discovered.

Now U.S. officials say they believe the suspects can be tied to al Qaeda, specifically "associates" of senior al Qaeda figure Abu Mussab al Zarqawi, a senior official tells CNN.
http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/europe/01/16/ricin.alqaeda/



"United Nations weapons inspectors who left Iraq in 1998 listed ricin among the poisons they believed Saddam produced. U.S. troops also found traces of the substance at suspected Al Qaeda biological weapons sites in Afghanistan."
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,74833,00.html




But I am sure the FBI is already looking for the "angry white male" to blame it on, as they blamed the anthrax attacks on Hatfill, totally ignoring the mountain of evidence linking it to Al Qaeda and Iraq.

48 posted on 02/03/2004 12:12:00 AM PST by FairOpinion
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To: varina davis
""At a university there was a person of interest involved in the ricin program [Ricin is a poisonous protein extracted from castor beans. Iraq has produced at least 10 liters of ricin and tested it for use in artillery shells.] "

It's from a great article, which details the elaborate deception tactics of the Saddam regime, to hide their WMD from the inspectors.

Here is the link:

FORMER UN WEAPONS INSPECTORS DESCRIBE IRAQ'S CONCEALMENT TACTICS

http://islamabad.usembassy.gov/wwwh02111404.html

49 posted on 02/03/2004 12:14:42 AM PST by FairOpinion
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To: varina davis
This story is weird. Who has access to this stuff?

I'm sure the government knows more than us right now.
50 posted on 02/03/2004 12:21:38 AM PST by My Dog Likes Me
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