Fake Terror – Ricin Ring That Never Was


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

British Government Ordered Shutdown Of Fake Ricin Story
Prison Planet | April 22 2005

The British government has ordered a D-notice clampdown on details relating to 
the ricin terror ring story which was exposed as being fake last week.

Inside sources from the Guardian newspaper in London have confirmed that the 
reason the Guardian article 'The ricin ring that never was,' was removed from 
its website was due to a direct order from the government. Several other 
websites worldwide have also removed the article but it is still available on 
numerous websites, Rense.com being one. [see below]



Fake Terror - Ricin
Ring That Never Was
Yesterday's trial collapse has exposed the deception behind
attempts to link al-Qaida to a 'poison attack' on London
By Duncan Campbell
The Guardian - UK

Colin Powell does not need more humiliation over the manifold errors in his 
February 2003 presentation to the UN. But yesterday a London jury brought down 
another section of the case he made for war - that Iraq and Osama bin Laden were
supporting and directing terrorist poison cells throughout Europe, including a 
London ricin ring.

Yesterday's verdicts on five defendants and the dropping of charges against four
others make clear there was no ricin ring. Nor did the "ricin ring" make or have
ricin. Not that the government shared that news with us. Until today, the public
record for the past three fear-inducing years has been that ricin was found in 
the Wood Green flat occupied by some of yesterday's acquitted defendants. It 

The third plank of the al-Qaida-Iraq poison theory was the link between what 
Powell labelled the "UK poison cell" and training camps in Afghanistan. The 
evidence the government wanted to use to connect the defendants to Afghanistan 
and al-Qaida was never put to the jury. That was because last autumn a trial 
within a trial was secretly taking place. This was a private contest between a 
group of scientists from the Porton Down military research centre and myself. 
The issue was: where had the information on poisons and chemicals come from?

The information - five pages in Arabic, containing amateur instructions for 
making ricin, cyanide and botulinum, and a list of chemicals used in explosives 
- was at the heart of the case. The notes had been made by Kamel Bourgass, the 
sole convicted defendant. His co-defendants believed that he had copied the 
information from the internet. The prosecution claimed it had come from 

I was asked to look for the original source on the internet. This meant 
exploring Islamist websites that publish Bin Laden and his sympathisers, and 
plumbing the most prolific source of information on how to do harm: the writings
of the American survivalist right and the gun lobby.

The experience of being an expert witness on these issues has made me feel a 
great deal safer on the streets of London. These were the internal documents of 
the supposed al-Qaida cell planning the "big one" in Britain. But the recipes 
were untested and unoriginal, borrowed from US sources. Moreover, ricin is not a
weapon of mass destruction. It is a poison which has only ever been used for 
one-on-one killings and attempted killings.

If this was the measure of the destructive wrath that Bin Laden's followers were
about to wreak on London, it was impotent. Yet it was the discovery of a copy of
Bourgass's notes in Thetford in 2002 that inspired the wave of horror stories 
and government announcements and preparations for poison gas attacks.

It is true that when the team from Porton Down entered the Wood Green flat in 
January 2003, their field equipment registered the presence of ricin. But these 
were high sensitivity field detectors, for use where a false negative result 
could be fatal. A few days later in the lab, Dr Martin Pearce, head of the 
Biological Weapons Identification Group, found that there was no ricin. But when
this result was passed to London, the message reportedly said the opposite.

The planned government case on links to Afghanistan was based only on papers 
that a freelance journalist working for the Times had scooped up after the US 
invasion of Kabul. Some were in Arabic, some in Russian. They were far more 
detailed than Bourgass's notes. Nevertheless, claimed Porton Down chemistry 
chief Dr Chris Timperley, they showed a "common origin and progression" in the 
methods, thus linking the London group of north Africans to Afghanistan and Bin 

The weakness of Timperley's case was that neither he nor the intelligence 
services had examined any other documents that could have been the source. We 
were told Porton Down and its intelligence advisers had never previously heard 
of the "Mujahideen Poisons Handbook, containing recipes for ricin and much 
more". The document, written by veterans of the 1980s Afghan war, has been on 
the net since 1998.

All the information roads led west, not to Kabul but to California and the US 
midwest. The recipes for ricin now seen on the internet were invented 20 years 
ago by survivalist Kurt Saxon. He advertises videos and books on the internet. 
Before the ricin ring trial started, I phoned him in Arizona. For $110, he sent 
me a fistful of CDs and videos on how to make bombs, missiles, booby traps - and
ricin. We handed a copy of the ricin video to the police.

When, in October, I showed that the chemical lists found in London were an exact
copy of pages on an internet site in Palo Alto, California, the prosecution gave
up on the Kabul and al-Qaida link claims. But it seems this information was not 
shared with the then home secretary, David Blunkett, who was still whipping up 
fear two weeks later. "Al-Qaida and the international network is seen to be, and
will be demonstrated through the courts over months to come, actually on our 
doorstep and threatening our lives," he said on November 14.

The most ironic twist was an attempt to introduce an "al-Qaida manual" into the 
case. The manual - called the Manual of the Afghan Jihad - had been found on a 
raid in Manchester in 2000. It was given to the FBI to produce in the 2001 New 
York trial for the first attack on the World Trade Centre. But it wasn't an 
al-Qaida manual. The name was invented by the US department of justice in 2001, 
and the contents were rushed on to the net to aid a presentation to the Senate 
by the then attorney general, John Ashcroft, supporting the US Patriot Act.

To show that the Jihad manual was written in the 1980s and the period of the 
US-supported war against the Soviet occupation was easy. The ricin recipe it 
contained was a direct translation from a 1988 US book called the Poisoner's 
Handbook, by Maxwell Hutchkinson.

We have all been victims of this mass deception. I do not doubt that Bourgass 
would have contemplated causing harm if he was competent to do so. But he was an
Islamist yobbo on his own, not an Al Qaida-trained superterrorist. An Asbo might
be appropriate.


Duncan Campbell is an investigative writer and a scientific expert witness on 
computers and telecommunications. He is author of War Plan UK and is not the 
Guardian journalist of the same name

© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005


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