[ 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
"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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