By Alex Glenn • 18 March 2021 • 7:16
Director of Research at Biotech Firm Bought Castor Beans to Extract Deadly Ricin Toxin Credit: Pixabay
DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH at biotech firm bought castor beans to extract deadly ricin toxin.
Dr Ishtiaq Ali Saaem, aged 37, director of research at a biotech firm has been accused of attempting to acquire the deadly toxin ricin. The doctor is alleged to have searched online for deadly poisons and ordered 100 packets of castor bean seeds totalling some 800 seeds to make the deadly toxin.
Saaem is alleged to have lied to FBI agents during an investigation and on Tuesday he was charged with obstruction of justice. It is claimed that Saaem had spent time online researching deadly poisons before making his purchase.
According to federal prosecutors he had bought the 800 seeds in order to extract the toxin ricin. Ricin can be extracted from castor oil plants by using the seeds or beans and is a deadly toxic poison. Authorities allege that Saaem ordered 100 packets of castor beans.
Reportedly when questioned by the FBI Saaem claimed that he wished to grow the seeds in order to have a decorative plant, which he wanted to place in his apartment. The purchase of the seeds is not illegal, but the extraction of ricin from them certainly is.
It is alleged that Saaem had been researching how to make tasteless poisons at home too. The doctor has a PhD in biomedical engineering and had worked as the director of advanced research at a biotechnology firm at the time of the purchase.
He faces a possible sentence of up to 20 years in jail after being charged with one count of obstruction of justice.
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Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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