Prosecutors say a 19-year-old Georgetown University student showed his dormitory counselor a container filled with what he described as ricin, CNN reports.
Daniel Harry Milzman was accused on Friday of of producing the deadly toxin in his McCarthy Hall residence room, the FBI said in a court affidavit. The dorm adviser is said to have reported the incident to school administrators, who subsequently alerted authorities.
Milzman purportedly used his iPhone to find a recipe for the substance, a castor bean derivative that is lethal in small quantities and for which no antidote currently exists.
The FBI asserted he had made the poison in his dorm room and held it there for one month in airtight baggies, Agence France-Presse reported. Authorities said he wore eye covers and a dust mask while preparing the material .
An initial laboratory analysis verified that the material was ricin, CNN quoted the FBI document as saying. The affidavit says he possessed 123 milligrams of the material, a quantity sufficient to kill a victim who breathed it in or received it intravenously, AFP reported.
Milzman now faces a charge of possessing a biological toxin. He made one appearance in federal court on Friday, and is expected to return on Tuesday.
Thomas Lloyd, an alleged confidante who learned of Milzman’s ricin, said the suspect had not been clear about whether he planned to use the toxin in an attack, the Washington Post reported.
“There was certainly no mention of a specific person,” Lloyd said.
A university alumna, though, said she had previously informed Georgetown administrators about malicious comments Milzman had written on the Internet about another student.
In a separate development, police in Pennsylvania on Thursday seized an additional cache of ricin allegedly produced by Hatboro resident Nicholas Helman, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Saturday. The 19-year-old was charged earlier in the week for allegedly sending his romantic rival a ricin-laced scratch-and-sniff birthday card.
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Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
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