U.S. officials said in August that the Islamic extremist group Ansar al-Islam had tested ricin along with other chemical and biological agents in northern Iraq, territory controlled by Kurds, not Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
The group is allegedly linked to al-Qaeda.
United Nations weapons inspectors who left Iraq in 1998 listed ricin among the poisons they believed Saddam produced and later failed to account for, The Associated Press reported.
You don’t say.
UPDATE: Here’s a bit of skepticism on the ricin issue — though as I mentioned below it would be interesting to know what these guys planned to do with it. Did they work in the food or beverage industry? Could they have been planning Bulgarian-style assassinations? I presume that — if it’s not a false alarm — we’ll know eventually.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Here’s more on Iraq and ricin:
Intelligence sources told ABCNEWS there is evidence the terrorists tested ricin in water, as a powder and as an aerosol. They used it to kill donkeys, chickens and at one point allegedly exposed a man in an Iraqi market.
They then followed him home and watched him die several days later, sources said.
That sort of delay could have terrorist applications, I would imagine.