TOXIN ON THE THAMES -- A THREAT? It sounds scary as hell: traces of the ultra-toxic ricin poison, found by an anti-terror squad in a north London apartment. Six men, all of "North African origin," are being held without charges.But while Tony Blair says that the discovery shows a "present and real" danger of a bioterror attack, some experts aren't so sure. Phil Anderson, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, tells Defense Tech:
As a psychological weapon, perhaps (ricin is a major threat)...but it takes large quantities of ricin and the means to disperse it to generate a significant physical impact. My view is that this is not that big a deal. Keep in mind that it is not that difficult to produce anthrax or any number of other toxins/biotoxins. The trick is having the dispersal means necessary to generate significant loss of life/casualties."