Ricin and Reason


A reflexive, row of (Castor) beans explanation for finding ricin in this hotel: “This is not a terror incident.”


Man in critical condition after exposure to ricin 

A man who stayed in a Las Vegas hotel room where ricin was found is in critical condition at a hospital, where he has been since mid-February, said a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department official.  

These details are provided, for now: 

Deputy Chief Kathy Suey said the man called from the hotel asking for medical help on February 14, saying he was suffering from respiratory distress, and was transported to the hospital. Since he was gone from the extended-stay hotel and not paying his rent, managers began eviction procedures, Suey said at a news conference.A friend or relative of his who came to remove his belongings from the room found the ricin Thursday, she said…She said the man was unable to speak to police, but a doctor at the briefing said he held out hope the man might recover enough to provide information. 

And since neither Bin Laden nor Zawahiri were found in the same hotel room where the stash of ricin was discovered, making, or watching beheading videos: 

The FBI said it was treating the matter as a criminal investigation and terrorism was not suspected.


According to this CNN report, “Deadly toxin found at Las Vegas hotel,” Las Vegas, Nevada, police are investigating the discovery of the deadly poison ricin in an Extended Stay America hotel around 3 p.m. Thursday, February 28, after a man brought a bag holding a small container to the manager’s office, which turned out to be,“100 percent ricin,” as per Capt. Joe Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. “We don’t know who (the ricin) belongs to or why it would be here at this time.” Then Captain Lombardo opined, “This is not a terror incident at this point.” 

But, for example, unless found in the laboratory of a toxicologist studying ways to treat deadly ricin toxicity—at present, no antidote, vaccine, or other specific effective therapy is available for ricin poisoning —such a discovery is tantamount to uncovering at least a planned act of terrorism, until somehow disproven. 

Additional suspicious details have already emerged: Lombardo said authorities found castor beans in the room and also powder in a small vial….’We did have enough ricin to be of concern,’ Lombardo said.” 

Ricin, one of the most potent and lethal substances known, particularly when inhaled, is an attractive weapon, due to the ease with which the native castor bean plant (Ricinus communis) can be obtained and the toxin extracted, from the castor beans. The Al-Qaeda group Ansar al-Islam was reportedly experimenting with ricin in 2002/2003  

Nonspecific symptoms after ingestion (onset within 12 hours) may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain and may progress to hypotension, liver failure, renal dysfunction, and death due to multiorgan failure or cardiovascular collapse. With inhalation (onset of symptoms is likely within 8 hours) of ricin the expected sequelae are cough, dyspnea, arthralgias, and fever, which may progress to respiratory distress and death, with few other organ system manifestations.  

Thus, “Three hotel employees and a fourth person who came to the room to retrieve some items were taken to the hospital as a precaution, Officer Ramon Dendy told CNN. Three police officers who went into the room are also being watched at the hospital.” 

Thankfully,  “None of the seven have shown symptoms of ricin poisoning, which can include anything from difficulty breathing, fever, cough, nausea and sweating to severe vomiting and dehydration. ‘At this point, it has been contained and processed where it’s not a threat to anybody.’ …the ‘area of concern’ is under quarantine and is going through a decontamination process. All seven people have been decontaminated.” 

For now, “… police do not have any suspects at this time.” 

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