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Man tried to buy a deadly toxin on the dark web after watching Breaking Bad

Liverpool man Mohammed Ali tried to buy ricin – and now faces jail.

Ali said he was looking for ricin after learning about it on Breaking Bad.
Ali said he was looking for ricin after learning about it on Breaking Bad.
Image: Youtube/AMC

A LIVERPOOL MAN was caught in a police sting trying to use the dark web to buy the deadly toxin ricin after seeing it on Breaking Bad.

Mohammed Ali was convicted at Westminster Magistrates’ Court after he thought he was speaking to a genuine seller of the toxin but was actually speaking to an undercover FBI agent.

During their conversations, Ali showed an awareness of the drug’s toxicity and how it can be use to cause serious harm.

The FBI then contacted Merseyside police and a UK terrorism unit who plotted a sting operation to catch the 31-year-old.

Ali placed an order for ricin from the agent in February and UK police then sent him a toy car containing a harmless powder that he believed to be ricin.

The toy car was also covered in another liquid chemical that shows up under a UV light, this later proved that Ali had handled the car.

ali 5 Police hid the fake ricin in a toy car to make the package appear genuine. Source: GMP

The Guardian reports that he agreed to buy 500mg of ricin a month if he was satisfied with the product.

In one message he asked, “I do like the idea of five separate vials. Are we talking Breaking Bad-style?”

Just over a week after placing the order, officers raided five premises recovering the ‘ricin’ and arresting Ali.

“Ali attempted to buy a deadly poison and we can only speculate on what he planned to use it for, but in any case such as this, we take swift and decisive action,” chief superintendent Tony Mole said after today’s conviction.

Ali 4 Ali under after he was arrested with the liquid showing under a a UV light.

BBC reports that Ali claimed in court that he was just curious to see what he could purchase through the dark web.

“I found lots of different items ranging from drugs, guns, other illegal items, and because I had been watching Breaking Bad I just had ricin in my mind,” he said.

Analysis of his computer revealed that Ali had used Google to search for ‘small sized pets’ and had made a note that read “get pet to murder”.

After he received the toy car containing the substance, he also searched Google for ‘Liverpool pet stores’.

Ali photo 2 Five vials of a harmless power were hidden in the toy car. Source: GMP

The judge noted that no link had been established between Ali and any terrorist group. He was also diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in an evaluation following his arrest.

Today he was convicted of attempting to have a chemical weapon in his possession. He will be sentenced in September.

Read: This teen was found guilty of plotting to murder soldiers >

Read: 14-year-old boy arrested over ‘credible terrorist threat’ >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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