Saturday, February 25, 2006

Ricin Suspected In University of Texas Dorm

From ABC News:
AUSTIN Feb 25, 2006 (AP)— A University of Texas student found a substance in a roll of quarters that tested positive for ricin, a potentially deadly poison, but more tests were needed, officials said Saturday.

The 19-year-old student, who said she unwrapped the powder in her dormitory room Thursday, and her roommate were checked at a hospital for potential exposure to the poison, although neither had any symptoms, officials said.
Ricin is a poison extracted from castor beans. It can be made in a kitchen. It does not occur naturally, unlike anthrax.

NBC News reported tonight that the intial test was a "weak" positive, and that the powder will be examined by a special FBI investigative team. What's really scary though, is that NBC also reported that university officials "have ruled out terrorism". Really? That seems a bit premature, and will seem even more premature if further suspicious rolls of quarters turn up.

Michelle Malkin has a roundup of blog coverage, including possibly related ricin incidents.