Washington, Dec 21(ANI): The latest Al-Qaida terror threat to the United States reportedly involves the possible use of poisons aimed at food in hotels and restaurants over a single weekend.
According to CBS News, Department of Homeland Security officials, along with members of the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have briefed a small group of corporate security officers from the hotel and restaurant industries about it.
The plot uncovered earlier this year is said to involve the use of two poisons - ricin and cyanide - slipped into salad bars and buffets.
The plotters reportedly have ties to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which had attempted to blow up cargo planes in October.
Talking about the threat, Dr. Susan Ford, professor of pharmaceutical sciences at St. John's University, said: "It would initially look very much like food poisoning."
She also said that 250 milligrams of sodium cyanide would be a "fatal dose".
Department of Homeland Security spokesman Sean Smith refused to comment on the reports of 'specific terrorist planning', but said that they were engaged in scanning various threats.
"The counterterrorism and homeland security communities have engaged in extensive efforts for many years to guard against all types of terrorist attacks, including unconventional attacks using chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear materials," Smith said.
"Indeed, Al-Qaida has publicly stated its intention to try to carry out unconventional attacks for well over a decade, and AQAP propaganda in the past year has made similar reference," he added. (ANI)