Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I COULDN'T HACK IT: Says jihadist of plan to kill two rabbits with ricin

Readers of this blog know that Islamic terrorists, or wannabe terrorists, while drawn to ricin recipes aren't arrested with the toxin in their possession nearly as much as white American men. Late last week, US Dimwit Found with WMD in Shed, summarized the issue nicely.

Part of the received wisdom passed around by the media and our government-paid national security gurus depends on Americans not understanding what the reality is. They are to understand that ricin is easy to make and that Islamic terrorists make it and that someday, it will kill people. They are to understand that because of these things, it is necessary to fund dozens of scientists and companies with taxpayer dollars to teach how to defend against ricin, how to clean up ricin and how to detect ricin as well as develop a vaccine for it.

They are not to understand that no terror attacks with ricin have been conducted in the last ten years, that no one has been assassinated by a terrorist using ricin in the same time and that the people caught with so-called ricin recipes are absurdly inept and incompetent. If they were to understand such things, it would be bad, because they might begin to resent the good fortune, the terror-war welfare, so to speak, being doled out from their purses.

So a terrorist trial in London's Old Bailey central criminal court is of of interest for the unintentionally comic relief it provides by way of an accused man's testimony. While the jihad men in the dock were not found with ricin in their possession, one of them apparently sang like a bird for British police. Somewhat over half a ton of ammonium nitrate, however, was seized by the UK government and the case is revolving around pinning it on them as part of a plan to make explosives.

"British al Qa'eda suspects planned to use ricin and fertilisers bombs to attack UK armed forces in Afghanistan, the Old Bailey heard today," went the news piece from a British publication.

"But Salahuddin Amin, 30, told police that when the deadly poison was [to be] tested on rabbits he became squeamish and begged terror trainers not to kill the them."

The accused terrorist told police he was "trained" in ricin-making at a camp in Pakistani Kashmir.

British police questioned Amin about what he knew of ricin.

"As far as I was told it is a poison that can be mixed with food to give it to people. . . . I think to slowly kill a person."

For the police, he continued: "Anybody could use it you know, even if you have an enemy like you know, say if you have an enemy you want to kill, obviously you can just put ricin in his food and kill him."

Later he told police, "So I thought, to be honest with you, I just did the whole [ricin-training]course because I had nothing better to do so this was part of it and I just went along with it."

During the alleged ricin-training terror class, Amin told police that the test, the final exam, of sorts, was to try and kill rabbits with the poison.

"They did buy two rabbits and there was a whole like you know nice little thing (going to be) killed and I just told them please don't use it on these things because I can't hack it to be honest," said Amin.

The ricin recipe, used in terror training, of couse, is this: Take one handful of castor seeds, grind into a mash, and rinse with four times their weight in acetone. Keep the dry powder, which will contain about 90 percent less active ricin that what originally was present in the seeds. (Sources: Kurt Saxon's "The Poor Man's James Bond, Vol. 3", Maxwell Hutchkinson's "The Poisoner's Handbook" and The Mujahideen Poisons Handbook.)

The efficacy of this method was quantified by England's bio and chemical defense national laboratory, Porton Down, in the trial of Kamel Bourgass last year:

In connection with the Bourgass terror trial, Porton Down performed a facsimile of the [common] ricin recipe. Porton Down ground castor beans and rinsed them with acetone. It took ten grams of castor beans, five more than called for in the . . . recipe, and determined that they contained 290 milligrams of soluble protein, of which ricin was a minority component, 63 milligrams. By gross weight, a castor bean contains approximately 0.6 percent ricin, a very small amount, a quantity confirmed by Porton Down. Naturally castor beans do contain ricin and one expects to find ricin in a powder or mash of them.

In addition, to get an idea on the toxicity of ricin, Porton Down undertook another test of the dried ground castor bean mixture it had produced in a cell culture assay. The scientist performing the test found the ricin in the mixture to be an order of magnitude less toxic than Porton Down's laboratory ricin standard. That is, of the 63 milligrams of ricin, a small quantity, thought to be present, only ten percent was still intact and biologically active.

The original article and Porton Down citation in conext is here, at GlobalSecurity.Org And the British news article on the terrorist who balked upon being asked to "ricin-ize" rabbits is here.


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