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THE NATION | RESPONSE TO TERROR

Man Accused of Making Weapon With Lethal Toxin

June 20, 2002|From Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. — A man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of building a homemade biological weapon with a lethal toxin from the castor plant, the FBI said.

FBI agent Norm Brown said there was no known connection between the man, Kenneth Olsen, and terrorists.

Olsen, 47, was allegedly making ricin, a deadly extract of castor beans. Traces of ricin have been found by U.S. troops in Afghanistan at suspected Al Qaeda biological weapon sites, Brown said.

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office began investigating Olsen last August and the FBI later became involved, Brown said. There was no sign of a bomb in the man's house.

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