UK Police searching for deadly toxin following arrest of potential Al Qaeda cell
British anti-terrorist police are searching for a quantity of the lethal poison ricin following the arrest in London of a potential al-Qaeda cell, suspected of plotting some form of chemical attack in the United Kingdom.
The national health service was put on alert Tuesday after tests at defense, science and technology laboratories showed that residue found in the bedroom of an apartment in north London was ricin, a toxin with no known antidote, whose manufacture has been linked to supporters of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, according to The Guardian.
Police do not know how much of the poison was made or what the six Algerian suspects were planning to do with it. "The important issue is that the material causing us concern is no longer there," said a source. "We need to find it."
Moreover, detectives believe the six men may have accomplices who are still at large.
Police sources claimed Tuesday night that if an outrage has been disrupted, it is likely to have been a small, focused attack rather than one involving mass casualties. However, they admitted that the arrest of the men and the discovery of ricin, marks the first time since September 11 that real evidence of a potential threat to the United Kingdom has been uncovered.
In a press conference at Scotland Yard Tuesday, assistant commissioner David Veness, head of specialist operations, said six men and a woman were arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000, early Sunday in north and east London. The woman has been released but the men are in custody. (Albawaba.com)