Dad of two 'tried to buy enough ricin to kill 1,400'
Published 22/07/2015 | 02:30
A family man ordered enough deadly poison over the internet to kill 1,400 people, a court has been told.
Father-of-two Mohammed Ali (31) allegedly tried to buy 500mg of ricin worth $500 (€450) from a dealer in the US who went by the names of Dark Mart and Psychochem.
What the computer-obsessed software programmer did not know was that the man he had been communicating with on the internet black market was an undercover FBI agent known as Peter who was posing as a ricin supplier.
Under the username Weirdos 0000, Ali approached Dark Mart in January with a private message: "Hi, would you be able to make me some ricin and send it to the UK?"
In a series of encrypted chats they discussed details including the price of a lethal dose, discounts for bulk orders and repeat purchases, and ricin's "shelf life", jurors were told.
At one point Mr Ali asked: "How do I test this ricin?" and received the instruction: "You must test it on a rodent."
Peter had already alerted British authorities who allowed the negotiations to run their course, jurors were told.
On February 10, Mr Ali took delivery of a toy car with "special batteries" at the home he shared with his wife and two young sons in Prescot Road, Liverpool.
Instead of ricin, the five concealed packets contained a harmless powder and the toy was covered in a "unique marker" which sticks to skin on contact and can be seen under a UV light, the court heard.
When police swooped to arrest Ali they seized the opened package from his home office as well as his computer and mobile phone.
Police found no evidence to suggest Ali had any association with terrorist activities or organisations.
Ali, who was born in Bolton and has lived all his life in the North West of England, denies the charge of attempting to possess a chemical weapon between January 10 and February 12.