Washington, Jan. 24: Islamic militants arrested in Britain this month may have been plotting to lace the food supply on at least one British military base with the poison ricin, according to US government officials.
The revelations raised concerns in Britain and the US about the security of allied forces as war preparations continue. US officials said they had received intelligence reports showing that British authorities suspect that a group of militants arrested there in a series of raids may have been attempting to gain access to the food supply on at least one military base in Britain.
British officials found traces of the poison ricin in a London apartment where the first arrests were made in the case.
“It’s a very live theory,” said one US law enforcement official familiar with the information from the British.
US officials said that the reports showed that one of the suspects worked for a food preparation company and had been in contact with individuals who worked on at least one British military base.
The US officials said they did not know the identity of the suspect. They said they also did not know which British military base or bases may have been targets of the plot. Officials cautioned that the assessment is a working theory among British investigators, and that conclusive evidence has not yet been obtained.
“There are some investigators who believe the ricin was being developed to poison British troops,” an American official said. “But we still have found no direct evidence between the ricin discovery and that kind of plot.” A spokesman for the British home office declined to comment on the reports.