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TERRORISM: FBI Press release: Florida man arrested on biological weapons charges

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posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 03:18 PM
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FBI agents in Ocala, Florida recently arrested a man on charges of manufacturing a lethal toxin that could be used as a biological weapon. The FBI press release stated that if convicted, the defendant faces up to 10 years to life in prison.
 



jacksonville.fbi.gov
Robert K. Cromwell, Special Agent in Charge of the Jacksonville Division of the FBI, announced the arrest on Wednesday, January 12, of Steven Michael Ekberg, 22, of Ocala, Florida ...

Inside the residence, agents and officers discovered substances that later tested positive for the presence of ricin, a lethal toxin derived from the castor bean.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


The press release stated that the FBI do not currently believe that Ekberg had any links to terrorist organizations, however the fact that ricin can be manufactured so easily is of serious concern.

The castor bean plant, from which ricin is derived, is a common ornamental plant and can be easily grown at home. Ricin has no known antidote and is considered to be twice as deadly as cobra venom.

It surprises me that whereas the relatively harmless cannabis plant is illegal, the castor bean plant, from which a deadly bioweapon can be manufactured, is quite legal to own.


[edit on 16-1-2005 by Banshee]




posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 10:28 PM
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I live in Ocala. This guy also had weapons including an AK-47 and an UZI in his room. I don't think this guy was planning any kind of major terrorist act, but maybe had it in for someone or was just a plain old loonie. We have lot's of "unusual" people around here and things like this (though not deadly toxins) pop up from time to time. You should see some of the people living out in the sprawling Ocala National Forest. During my Highschool days in the 90's there were parties out there and one was interrupted by a camo wearing gent wielding an M-14 and speaking gibberish. Fun times.



posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 06:47 PM
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I want to know how they caught this guy. If he didn't tell anyone and was minding his own business how did they get him. If anyone knows post it here.

Makes me curious though. I think he was searching on how to make it and then bought the stuff to make it and it threw up a red flag on some government internet spy group or something. Call me crazy, I don't know. But Unless he was going out and telling people I just don't see some reclusive guy getting caught doing it.



posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 06:54 PM
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Originally posted by Hoppinmad1
I want to know how they caught this guy. If he didn't tell anyone and was minding his own business how did they get him. If anyone knows post it here.


It was a tip from someone who the guy had showed the Ricin to.
Look at the the information in this thread for more details of his arrest:
WAR: Florida man faces bioweapon charge for Ricin


[edit on 18-1-2005 by AceOfBase]



posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 07:09 PM
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What a massive failure on the part of the FBI and CIA and in fact all anti-terror and intelligence units in the united states. The only reason that this guy was caught was because someone he told about it decided to report it? If some schmuk from florida can get that much ricin, how much can organized and well funded terror groups get?



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