A man who attempted to purchase deadly ricin poison off the Dark Web has been jailed for eight years.
Mohammed Ali (not that one) was convicted at the Old Bailey of attempting to possess a chemical weapon back in July.
Ali, from Liverpool, had made a deal to purchase 500mg of the powder, enough to kill 1,400 people, but was unaware he was actually talking to an FBI agent.
He was sent a harmless powder instead, which was treated with a marker substance and stored in a toy car. He was arrested the following day. Under ultraviolet light his face lit up, showing he had handled the package.
The court heard that he was inspired by TV show Breaking Bad, and he told jurors he was just ‘curious’ and wanted to test the boundaries of the Dark Web, the BBC reports.
He was told by the undercover agent to test the product on a rodent, and the police found a to-do list on his computer which included entries saying: “paid ricin guy” and “get pet to murder”.
The judge said:
I am satisfied that Mohammed Ali had no intention of disposing of ricin immediately. He intended to keep it.
That created a real risk that, at some stage in the future, he might decide to experiment with it or it fall into the wrong hands.
Ali, who was diagnosed with mild Asperger’s or autistic traits, stood impassively as he was sentenced.