Wednesday, October 04, 2006

TO THE BIG HOUSE FOR RICIN POSSESSION: American man, not jihadist, as usual

The US newsmedia is like a cloud of flies for dog excrement when the topic is Islamic terrorists said to be involved in ricin production. The name of the dead terrorist, al Zarqawi, must be echoed thousands of times, always mentioned in connection with his alleged ricin factory, even though no hard evidence of the poison's production has been found corroborating it. [For what evidence there was, see here.]

And the company that has taxpayer dollars to manufacture a ricin vaccine, DOR Biopharma, simply cannot issue a press release without insinuating that terrorists are using ricin.

But when Americans are arrested or convicted on ricin possession, it almost never makes national news. While they're busy at it, in number -- far more than their jihadist rivals, the American ricin-makers just don't have the right color of skin, religion and politics for the war on terror.

It just wouldn't do to confuse citizens with fact, like that which shows domestic attempted ricin production is far more common than jihadist ricin diddling.

Recent example Numero Uno: Late in September, a married couple was arrested in Mississippi for a murder plot said to involve ricin. It barely made the local news, appearing below an item about the robbery of a barbershop.

And from the Arizona Star, today:
A seven-year prison sentence has been handed to a 59-year-old Phoenix man convicted of trying to make the deadly poison ricin. Earl Carroll, U.S. District Court judge, sentenced Denys Ray Hughes for the attempted production of a biological toxin for use as a weapon, possession of an unregistered destructive device and possession of an unregistered silencer.

In delivering his sentence, Carroll noted the case was one of the most serious to come before him as a judge.

He says the evidence overwhelmingly proved Hughes attempted and intended to produce the deadly biological toxin ricin.


DD covered Hughes earlier this year when discussing the evidence seized from his properties.
From Hughes' "library:" "The Weaponeer," a Saxon pamphlet with a ricin recipe, "Poor Man's James Bond, Vol. 3", also containing a ricin recipe, "Poor Man's James Bond, Vol.2," Festering Publication's "Silent Death," containing yet another ricin recipe, "Deadly Brew," "Deadly Substances," and an assortment of what Dick Destiny blog calls really bad science books . . . with titles like "Grandad's Wonderful Book of Chemistry."

Accompanying the books in evidence were a mortar and pestle, bottles of castor seeds, castor beans in a package, castor beans in a bin, and Red Devil lye -- which is another reagent dumbly recommended by survivalist literature as useful in purifying ricin . . .


The rest is found in The Jailbird Bookshelf.

Other recent cases include the Casey Cutler incident, in which the accused tried to make ricin from castor oil, which contains no ricin, and the story of Steven Ekberg, a Florida man living at home with mom, caught with the usual assortment of boring but incriminating reading materials: The Anarchy Cookbook,” “The Unabomber Manifesto,” an “Assorted Ways to Kill Someone” document, a “Common Poisonous Plants” document, and the books or pamphlets, “Explosives and Demolitions,” “Guerilla Warfare,” and “Encyclopedia of Terror.”

Through GlobalSecurity.Org, DD has discussed all of the domestic ricin cases in the last couple years. And I will have more to say on the unusual travails of Casey Cutler at a later date. It's an exciting story of utter confusion, biochemical bumbling and shame. So stay tuned. You'll flip.

A detailed recap of the latter two cases are here -- at GlobalSecurity.Org.

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