Positive test for terror toxins in Iraq - World news | NBC News
TERRORISTS TEMPTED BY TOXINS
MSNBC.com’s samples of ricin and botulinum, two deadly biological agents, were taken from the soles of a boot and a shoe recovered from the Sargat camp. The facility has been flattened by several Tomahawk cruise missiles, fired as part of the U.S. campaign against Ansar al-Islam.
The thick rubber boot twice tested positive for ricin, a toxin derived from castor beans. Ingesting a pinch of ricin, which causes shock and respiratory failure, can kill a human being within 72 hours. There is no cure.
A black running shoe, shredded by the U.S. bombing, tested positive for botulinum. U.S. officials say terrorists have a particular interest in botulinum and ricin toxins, which may be delivered through release in food and water. Botulism, the illness resulting from botulinum ingestion, is a muscle-paralyzing disease that can cause a person to stop breathing and die, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.