Tuesday, April 12, 2005

'Ricin Plot' was yet another Powell myth

"The trial of the infamous 'UK poison cell,' a group portrayed by Secretary of State Powell as al Qaida-associated operatives plotting to launch ricin attacks in the United Kingdom and in league with Muhamad al Zarqawi in Iraq, found nothing of the sort. The jury found the defendants generally speaking, not guilty of conspiracy to do anything.

"Two days after the January 5th search of the Wood Green 'poison cell' flat, and well before the outbreak of war with Iraq, the chief scientist advising British anti-terrorism authorities, Martin Pearce -- leader of the Biological Weapon Identification Group at Porton Down, had finished lab tests which indicated the ricin finding was a false positive.

"But... another employee at Porton Down charged with passing on to British authorities the information that the preliminary finding of ricin was in error, turned around and did the opposite, informing that ricin had indeed been detected.

"On February 12, 2003 CNN reported that Colin Powell had said: "The ricin that is bouncing around Europe now originated in Iraq -- not in the part of Iraq that is under Saddam Hussein's control, but his security forces know all about it."


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