Ricin Assassination Essay

1116 words - 4 pages

Ricin Assassination
Ricin is a lethal toxic agent that can be found in the seeds of castor bean plant. According to CDC at http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/ricin/facts.asp, ricin is created from castor bean waste after it had been processed and castor oil is made. The agent is illegal and is not available in the United States, but is available in the international countries. The agent itself is known to be expensive within the international market, but the castor bean plant can be found anywhere. The agent can be used as a biological or chemical weapon of mass destruction. During the World War II, the agent was identified as W agent by Croddy and Wirzt (2005). Ricin is deadly and can enter into the body in many ways. Croddy and Wirtz (2005) stated that ricin can enter the body through injection, inhalation, or indigestion. Ricin comes in the form of liquid, powder, or pellets. The agent is tasteless, odorless, and can be hardly detected at times depending on the nature of the agent. It can be spread widely and easily through food or water contamination if a large amount got in the hands of the enemies or terrorist. Ricin is not a contagious agent, but can be spread through the population if it’s in the food, drink, or on the clothing and person touches it. Symptoms of the agent when exposed are abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes bloody, dehydration, decrease in urine, decrease in blood pressure and may cause death within 3-5 days. Currently, there is no treatment for the agent. It can also be produced as bombs or any other explosive device. How it is delivered maybe depending on the enemies. Ricin may be deadly, but according to the http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/ricin/facts.asp (2013), has been used as therapy for cancer. The agent has been around for quite a long time dated back to the early 1900s, prior to World War I. Although the agent has been around for so many years within the military, there hasn’t been any recorded history of deployment of the agent until 1978, when the agent was used for assassination of a famous writer from Bulgaria. Other then the assassination, the agent has been found to be in the countries where large terrorist group derives from.
According to Croddy and Wirtz (2005), the use of ricin can be traced back to 1903, were it was studied by the U.S. Army as a bullet coating or toxic dust, but was never used. At the end of World War II, the United States along with Great Britain and Canada developed a cluster bombs and explosives devices containing liquid ricin agent. During World War II, the agent was considered to be used against Japan, but was never employed due to the laws that were implemented during the early 20th century, were the use of poison and poison arms are prohibited.
In 1991, during the Gulf War, Iraq confirmed to have produced 10 liters concentrated ricin solution as a biological warfare agent. Syria is believed to have produced the agent and possibly Iran. To this date, ricin agent has been...

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