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wmd-related cases since 9/11

A June 2006 U.S. Justice Department white paper (pdf file) lists a handful of cases related to weapons of mass destruction since 9/11:

July 2003
Washington State

Kenneth Olsen was convicted of two counts of possession of a biological weapon and possession of "enough Ricin to kill 5,000 people." Prosecutors suspect that Olsen, who was having an affair, was plotting to murder his wife. He was sentenced to 165 months in prison.

November 2003

William Krar and Judith Bruey were indicted for possession of sodium cyanide and bomb-making components. Authorities found weapons, explosives, ammunition, gas masks, knives and sodium cyanide in a locker rented by Krar. According to the Justice Department, it is not clear what Krar intended to do with these weapons, although Krar is said to be fiercely anti-American, with ties to white supremacist and anti-government militia groups. He was sentenced to 135 months in prison.

April 2006

Casey Cutler of Arizona pled guilty to one count of attempting to produce the biological toxin ricin for use as a weapon. Cutler had attempted to produce ricin based on a recipe found on the Internet but used castor oil instead of castor beans, resulting in a harmless powder. Cutler, who had recently been assaulted, wore the powder around his neck in a vial intended to look like cocaine, as bait for would-be attackers.

April 2006

Two Chinese Americans, Chao Tung Wu and Yi Zing Chen were indicted for conspiracy to import shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles from China "with the assistance of a corrupt customs broker." Wu and Chen were arrested in late August 2005, before the deal was completed. Wu pled guilty; Chen pled not guilty and will be tried.

This article was a project of the Investigative Journalism for Print and Television Seminar at the University of California at Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism, taught by Reva and David Logan Distinguished Professor Lowell Bergman and Rob Gunnison under the direction of investigative journalist Marlena Telvick. Reporting by Jeff Kearns, Charlotte Buchen, Jordan deBree, Cathy Bussewitz, Lee Wang, and Center for Investigative Reporting intern Taylor Valore. Additional research by Matt Levin, Kate Golden and Joseph De Avila. Additional editing by Alison Pierce of the Center for Investigative Reporting. Special thanks to the Reva and David Logan Foundation and the Gruber Family Foundation.

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posted oct. 10, 2006

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