[ RadSafe ] Urgent need for whole-body scanners at salad bars?

Clayton J Bradt CJB01 at health.state.ny.us
Tue Dec 21 13:48:01 CST 2010

Report: Terrorists Seek to Poison Food at U.S. Restaurants, Hotels
Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010
The U.S. Homeland Security Department in 2010 identified a terrorist plan 
to contaminate salad bars and buffets at restaurants and hotels with 
lethal materials, CBS News reported yesterday (see GSN, Oct. 6, 2005).

The strikes involving ricin and cyanide would have occurred during one 
weekend at a significant number of establishments. The plot was 
"credible," according to one intelligence insider. The would-be poisoners 
are suspected of having connections to the extremist group al-Qaeda in the 
Arabian Peninsula, which has been tied to a number of plots against the 
United States (see GSN, Dec. 20).

A handful of security personnel from the hotel and restaurant sectors have 
received information on the plot from Homeland Security, Agriculture 
Department and Food and Drug Administration officials.

Just 250 milligrams of cyanide could be lethal, an expert told CBS News.

"Initially it would look very much like food poisoning," said Susan Ford, 
a pharmaceutical sciences professor at St. John's University in New York.

The Homeland Security Department yesterday declined to discuss the 
reported plot.

"We are not going to comment on reports of specific terrorist planning. 
However, the counterterrorism and homeland security communities have 
engaged in extensive efforts for many years to guard against all types of 
terrorist attacks, including unconventional attacks using chemical, 
biological, radiological, and nuclear materials," said spokesman Sean 
Smith. "Indeed, al-Qaeda has publicly stated its intention to try to carry 
out unconventional attacks for well over a decade, and AQAP propaganda in 
the past year has made similar reference.

"Finally, we get reports about the different kinds of attacks terrorists 
would like to carry out that frequently are beyond their assessed 
capability," he added (Armen Keteyian, CBS News, Dec. 20).
Clayton J. Bradt
dutchbradt at hughes.net

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