August 13, 2011

Better News: AQAP Seeks Chem Weapons Attack Against US

The bad news:

For more than a year, according to classified intelligence reports, Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen has been making efforts to acquire large quantities of castor beans, which are required to produce ricin, a white, powdery toxin that is so deadly that just a speck can kill if it is inhaled or reaches the bloodstream.

Intelligence officials say they have collected evidence that Qaeda operatives are trying to move castor beans and processing agents to a hideaway in Shabwa Province, in one of Yemen’s rugged tribal areas controlled by insurgents. The officials say the evidence points to efforts to secretly concoct batches of the poison, pack them around small explosives, and then try to explode them in contained spaces, like a shopping mall, an airport or a subway station.

The good news: ricin isn't all that easy to produce and even harder to deliver. It's one thing to make the stuff in Yemen, it's another thing altogether to get it to the US and deliver it successfully.

But on the small chance that they get this right, be vigilant.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:08 PM | Comments |