Saturday, March 1, 2008

living and dying in Las Vegas

There's a story in the news this week about a hotel room in Las Vegas whose occupant is now well on the way to dying from ricin poisoning.

He, apparently, was the one responsible for the ricin, likely having made it himself.

Police have already gone to the trouble to say that it wasn't terrorism. The man is American and does not have any obvious relationship to Islam or any middle eastern countries. He has a misdemeanor arrest but nothing glaring in his past, at least so far. Investigations are ongoing.

He did have a book whose subject matter was 'anarchy', they say. It had a chapter on ricin, and that chapter was tabbed or highlighted.

Probably a chapter on how to make and distribute it.

The article is, as always, tremendously vague, but I have to ask:

just because the book wasn't a Jihadi book or the Koran, how can we say he was not intending terrorism? Anarchy as a political philosophy died out almost a hundred years ago, but he didn't need to be an adherent of the book's antiquated political foundations to need it; all he needed was the highlighted chapter with the ricin instructions, which he clearly followed to the letter.

The man will probably be dead by the time I finish typing this, so we don't expect any answers from him. But it is far too early to abandon any notion that this might somehow be connected to terrorism.