Computer programmer convicted of attempting to possess a chemical weapon

A Breaking Bad fan who tried to buy the deadly ricin poison from the Dark Web after being inspired by the TV series was jailed for eight years.

Mohammed Ali, 31, was convicted at the Old Bailey in 2015 of attempting to possess a chemical weapon.

Ali, from Liverpool, struck a deal with a supplier in January to buy 500mg of powder - enough to kill 1,400 people.

He was unaware that his source was in fact an FBI agent.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The father-of-two was sent harmless powder hidden inside a toy car. After opening the package, which had been treated with a marker substance, he was arrested at his home.

The court heard Ali, a computer programmer, first heard about ricin after watching US crime drama Breaking Bad.

He told jurors he was just “curious” and wanted to test the boundaries of the Dark Web, and was unaware ricin was illegal.

Ali approached the undercover agent with a private message, saying: “Hi, would you be able to make me some ricin and send it to the UK?”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In a series of encrypted chats, they discussed the price of a lethal dose, discounts for bulk orders and ricin’s “shelf life.”

Ali was sent what he thought was ricin concealed inside the battery compartment of a toy car

After Ali took delivery of the toy car with five vials hidden in the battery compartment, police swooped to arrest him at his home.

The police operation to arrest Ali was co-ordinated by Merseyside Police and the North West Counter Terrorism Unit.