The presidential administration is getting concerned that a regional and dangerous arm of al Qaeda is trying to produce a deadly poison called Ricin. They are afraid it may be used in attacks on the United States. Although they cannot name their sources the New York Times on Friday reported that an affiliate of the al Qaeda in Yemen has been trying to get a large quantity of castor beans, which is used to produce this deadly poison.
What they apparently want to do is pack this poison around a small explosive so it could be exploded to send out the ricin. This poison is a powdery white substance that is so extremely deadly that just a speck can kill a person if it is taken into the bloodstream or inhaled. The apparent intent is to detonate these explosives in enclosed areas like a large shopping center or the airport.
Although top security aides and the president have known about this threat since last year and have been receiving updates since that time they feel that there is no indication that they were planning on using this in an attack any time soon.
Fortunately there are limits on this poison’s ability to be used as a weapon. One of the reasons is that it loses its potency in sunny, dry conditions and cannot be easily absorbed through your skin like some other nerve agents can.