Terrorism & Insurgency

Foiled French plot indicates intent to deploy biological weapon; detection shows advanced capability in uncovering encrypted communications

22 May 2018


On 18 May, French interior minister Gerard Collomb announced that a terrorist plot involving “either explosives or ricin” had been thwarted.

A 20-year-old student of Egyptian origin, active in online jihadist spheres, was arrested in Paris in connection with the attack. Police raiding the suspect’s flat uncovered gunpowder, manuals on the construction of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), as well as a video on how to make ricin-based poison. The bio-toxin ricin is easily obtained by extraction from castor beans, which can be easily and cheaply purchased in large quantities.

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