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Update on the War on Terrorism - 2003-01-08

In London, anti-terrorism police have now arrested seven men after discovering traces of the deadly poison Ricin in an apartment. There is no known antidote for the substance. News reports identify six of the men as Algerians. Police are looking for terrorist connection. British Prime Minister Tony Blair:

“This danger is present and real and with us now. And its potential is huge.”

Ricin has been linked to al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq.

Meanwhile, in the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has removed from its website photographs of five suspected terrorists. The F-B-I said the information they had been given was a hoax. A man in jail in Canada had fabricated the story while trying to make a deal with the F-B-I over charges he faces in New York.

In Hong Kong, three men have agreed to be extradited to the United States on charges they plotted to swap drugs for anti-aircraft missiles they were planning to sell to al-Qaida. The missiles are capable of shooting down civilian jetliners flying at low attitudes. Two of the men are Pakistani nationals and the other is a U.S. citizen.

And finally, a Jordanian military court has upheld the death sentence of a Jordanian-American. Raed Hijazi was convicted of conspiring to carry out poison gas attacks on American and Israeli targets three years ago.