UK Man, a few cards short of a full deck, convicted on ricin charge

Posted in Bioterrorism at 2:03 pm by George Smith

By now it should be patently obvious that the FBI, as well as British national security, are well into operations and investigations on the Dark Web.

In the latest news, Mohammed Ammer Ali has been convicted of buying what he thought to be five vials of ricin from an FBI special agent named “Peter” who was fronting a sting operation aimed at netting people who were trying to by poisons on the Internet.

From the Guardian, a few days ago:

On the evening of Tuesday 10 February this year, Mohammed Ammer Ali sat down in his computer room to write his daily to-do list. Alongside a reminder to pay the car insurance were the aide memoires: “Get pet to murder” and “Paid ricin guy”.

What Ali was not to know, however, was that the seller he knew as “DarkMart” and “Psychochem” was an undercover FBI agent. And the powder concealed in the children’s toy car was not ricin – it was a harmless substance planted by detectives from the UK’s north-west counter-terrorism unit, who were watching his every move.

At 8am the following morning, a dozen police officers dressed from head to toe in protective clothing burst through the front door of the family’s modest flat above the Salt & Pepper restaurant in inner-city Liverpool, arresting a partially-naked Ali.

A series of raids were carried out simultaneously at other addresses across Merseyside. Acting on an FBI tipoff, counter-terror officers moved quickly to thwart what could have been a major bioterrorism case with parallels to the Wood Green ricin plot in 2002.

There was one problem: detectives could find no suggestion that Ali was involved in any terrorism plot.

A quiet family man from Bolton, Ali had worked for his parents’ newsagents business until he got a job as a software programmer for a local company shortly before his arrest. He was computer mad and excelled at school. Following psychological assessments after his arrest, he was diagnosed with showing personality traits associated with Asperger syndrome.

On the stand, Ali indicated he bought the material on the Dark Web to find out “what all the fuss was about.”

If absolutely true, it was a dreadful class.

Ali also said he had been inspired by the television show Breaking Bad. This adds to the already odd feature of the hit cable show that starred Brian Cranston: The only TV show in history to have inspired a handful of people in the US and the UK convicted on ricin charges.

A long write-up on the trial was published by the Daily Mail.

It includes a picture of Ali with a glowing nose, the result of a substance planted in the toy car containing the vials of harmless powder sent to him by British counter-terrorism forces, the purpose of which was to prove he had opened and handled it.

Ali, reports said, will undergo further psychiatric evaluation before sentencing.

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