With terrorism experts now suggesting that al-Qaida is rapidly withering into irrelevance, some of the group’s recent plots — building bombs inside of toner cartridges, for instance — have looked a bit, well, desperate. Now comes this:
The al Qaeda group that built two toner-cartridge bombs in an unsuccessful attempt to blow up planes in October also has contemplated spreading poison on salad bars and buffets at U.S. hotels and restaurants, U.S. officials told CNN Tuesday.
But U.S. officials sought to downplay the threat â€” first reported by CBS News â€” saying it was months old, and that it was more in the nature of a discussion of “tactics” than an actual plot. Officials implied the tactic is beyond the capabilities of the terrorist organization, which is based in the Middle East.
The United States has received information the group — al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula — was considering the tactic of placing ricin and cyanide poisons into food supplies, Department of Homeland Security officials confirmed to CNN.
Still, even the misguided al-Qaida is these days. If you’re looking to target large crowds of Americans, salad bars are pretty much the last places to set your plot in motion.
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