| GEO World|
| Al-Qaeda Terrorists planned to use cyanide: Saudi Arabia|
| Updated at: 0157 PST, Thursday, October 23, 2008|
RIYADH: Prince Naif, Minister of Interior, revealed Monday night that members of Al-Qaeda had planned to use cyanide in terrorist attacks.
Prince Naif said quantities of the lethal substance were seized from the suspected terrorists. In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) he said the seized cyanide could have been used to poison water supplies and mount other attacks.
Cyanide is an ion composed of carbon and nitrogen and is highly toxic. It replaces oxygen in the blood of human beings effectively choking them. Authorities had previously referred to “chemical substances” in reports of seized materials.
Prince Naif said the quantity of weapons and explosives seized exceeded three tons of RDX, C-4 and TNT; as well as over 25 tons of highly explosive mixtures. Half a ton of these explosive mixtures was used in the Al-Mahayya Compound blast in Riyadh.
Prince Naif said the concerned authorities have started referring 991 people involved in terror cases to Shariah trials after completion of the charges filed against them.
In 2002, US authorities detained a person at Chicago train station after he hid cyanide in an underground passage, while in the same year Italian police arrested four Moroccans in possession of large quantities of cyanide, maps highlighting the main water supply sources to the Italian capital as well as the US embassy, Rome, false documents and propaganda material.