- Is Trump defiling the U.S. flag in this MAGA dude’s artwork? Sunday 4:41 PM
- White woman claims she invented sleep bonnets, selling them for $100 Sunday 4:03 PM
- Even real cats are transfixed by the enigma that is the ‘Cats’ trailer Sunday 3:04 PM
- Wait, how tall is Peppa Pig? Sunday 1:55 PM
- Twitter suspends Iranian state media outlets for harassing members of a religious minority Sunday 1:06 PM
- Pro-MAGA pageant queen stripped of title over ‘offensive’ tweets Sunday 11:52 AM
- Marvel unveiled its Phase 4 plans at San Diego Comic-Con Sunday 9:16 AM
- How a queer Instagram is helping fight the opioid epidemic in Appalachia Sunday 6:30 AM
- Philadelphia to fire 13 officers for racist, violent Facebook posts Saturday 6:12 PM
- Nick Offerman is so down to play every single role in ‘Cats’ Saturday 4:27 PM
- Woman documents how airport staff broke her wheelchair Saturday 3:04 PM
- Funeral home allegedly posted photos of woman’s dead body on social media Saturday 1:56 PM
- Alinity Divine is being investigated after throwing her cat during stream (updated) Saturday 12:04 PM
- ‘Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee’ returns with Seinfeld making a racist joke about China Saturday 10:26 AM
- YouTubers Eugenia Cooney and Shane Dawson make a joint comeback Saturday 9:06 AM
Prison sentence upheld for ‘Breaking Bad’ fan who bought ricin on the dark net
Ali ordered 500 milligrams of ricin on the black market.
A British court this week declined to overturn the eight-year prison sentence of a man who used a dark net drug market to buy enough ricin to kill 1,400 people.
Mohammed Ammer Ali of Liverpool, England, lost his appeal a year after being sentenced to eight years in prison for purchasing the deadly substance.
Ali, 32, tried to buy the drug on dark net markets but ended up contacting an undercover agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who alerted authorities in the United Kingdom. Ali first heard about the drug after watching the TV show Breaking Bad.
“I was interested in the dark web and ricin,” he said in court last year. “I just wanted to know what the fuss was about.”
Ali has maintained that he never planned to hurt anyone. In conversations with a vendor on the dark net, he asked how to test the ricin. The vendor told him to kill a rat. Authorities who searched Ali’s computer found a text file with a list of tasks like “paid ricin guy” and “get pet to murder.”
Ali ordered 500 milligrams of ricin on the black market, using the anonymity network Tor to navigate it and paying with bitcoins, the hard-to-trace digital currency.
Despite his precautions, Ali eventually had to provide his physical address to take delivery of the ricin. British police delivered this toy car filled with fake poison to Ali in February 2015.
Greater Manchester Police
Ali, who has two children, was diagnosed with mild Asperger syndrome, but the judge sought a “deterrent sentence” for him.
“Everyone needs to know that the possession of a chemical weapon is extremely serious and long prison sentences will follow,” Justice John Saunders said in court last year.
Ali based his appeal on a “safety interview” conducted outside his home following his arrest, when he did not have a lawyer present.
Police say they were asking him if any other harmful substances were present in his home, but his lawyer said evidence from the interview ought to be excluded at trial.
But Justice Colman Treacy denied this appeal and called the sentence “severe but justifiable.”
Patrick Howell O'Neill is a notable cybersecurity reporter whose work has focused on the dark net, national security, and law enforcement. A former senior writer at the Daily Dot, O'Neill joined CyberScoop in October 2016. I am a cybersecurity journalist at CyberScoop. I cover the security industry, national security and law enforcement.