Police have thwarted an attempt to obtain a lethal chemical weapon at a property in Liverpool, it has been revealed. A 31-year-old man, Mohammed Ammer Ali, has been charged with attempting to have a chemical weapon in his possession and will now appear in court.
It is understood he had tried but failed to procure ricin, a poison capable of killing humans in small doses.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said the charge followed an investigation by the North West Counter Terrorism Unit and Merseyside Police. Last week, five properties included houses and businesses were searched after police became suspicious about attempts to procure chemical weapons.
Ali is accused of attempting to have a chemical weapon in his possession between January 10 and February 12, contrary to the Criminal Attempts Act 1981 and the Chemical Weapons Act 1996. He is due to attend Westminster magistrates’ court on Tuesday, February 17.
On February 11 officers, some of whom were wearing black boiler suits with gas masks, searched five addresses in Merseyside, and “a number of items” were seized. It is believed that ricin, which is poisonous if inhaled, injected, or ingested and was featured in television show Breaking Bad, was not discovered.
Speaking last week, as properties were searched, Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Mole, from the NWCTU, said police were working on information passed to them by law enforcement agencies, but that “no current threat or evidence of an imminent attack” had been unveiled.