The Guardian reports (archive) the trial of a British man arrested last February after he allegedly attempted to purchase ricin via the darknet site Evolution Marketplace began this week with the prosecution telling jurors Mohammed Ammer Ali AKA WEIRDOS OOOO attempted to order 500mg of ricin from them paid for in bitcoin and that he promised to be a repeat customer.
Communicating with an undercover FBI agent, Mohammed Ammer Ali is alleged to have arranged the shipment of five 100mg vials from the United States into the UK telling the undercover agent masquerading as a darknet marketplace merchant that:
I do like the idea of five separate vials. Are we talking Breaking Bad-style?
Attempts by the undercover agent to prod information from the defendant as to who he was targeting failed. Despite this, the FBI went ahead and shipped the man five vials containing a harmless substance hidden within a toy car. The prosecution claim a subsequent raid of the man's home and computer revealed he had been making Google searches using keywords such as "abrin v ricin", "home made cyanide and ricin" and "hydrogen peroxide".
The prosecution also told the jury that they expect the defendant to argue he ordered the ricin out of curiosity and not for use as a chemical weapon. Additional Google searches allegedly made by the defendant – including "get pet to murder", "small sized pets" and "Liverpool pet shop" – give some weight to the idea that Mohammed Ammer Ali wanted to experiment with the ricin on animals and not kill between 700 to 1,400 people which scientific opinion for the prosecution claimed the non-existent ricin was capable of.