Be afraid of terrorists poisoning buffets

Honeymoon shot of a woman standing before a breakfast buffet in a Thailand hotel.

Avoid dishes that include ricin and cyanide, if you know what's good for you. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Eric/Picasa)

Terrorist attacks on U.S. soil have been warded off since 9/11, but according to CBS News, that doesn’t mean Americans should do without a good, old-fashioned helping of fear, served media fresh. Reports indicate that a key U.S. intelligence source has labeled the threat of terrorists poisoning buffets as “credible.” This has understandably set the U.S. hospitality industry on full alert.

Terrorists poisoning buffets has hospitality industry on guard

According to the Department of Homeland Security, several key members of the U.S. hotel and restaurant community have met with the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration regarding the threat of terrorists poisoning buffets and other foods. Taking nothing for granted and erring on the side of caution, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has pronounced that her organization “operates under the premise that individuals prepared to carry out terrorist acts are in this country.”

Suspected use of ricin and cyanide in ‘Operation Hemorrhage’

CBS News reports that a plot was uncovered earlier this year and thwarted. Terrorists from al Qaeda would have used the poisons ricin and cyanide to taint various salad bars and buffets. According to online al Qaeda propaganda, terrorists poisoning buffets would have been an extension of the recent cargo attacks that have occurred in various parts of the world. The official name for the series of attacks is “Operation Hemorrhage,” where terrorists would make smaller, more frequent attacks that would create a heavy economic burden.

Sources indicate that various terrorist-affiliated websites explain in simple terms how to make both ricin and cyanide. The drugs were allegedly pinpointed by al Qaeda due to the ease of manufacture, as well as the fact that perceived symptoms in victims would initially seem like food poisoning. According to St. John’s University professor of pharmaceutical sciences Dr. Susan Ford, a mere 250 milligram dosage is fatal.


CBS News

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