8 Jan 2003

The following is an extract from the joint statement from the Metropolitan Police and the Deputy Chief Medical Officer issued on 7 January 2003:

"In the early hours of Sunday 5 January, six men and one woman were arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 at premises in North and East London by officers from the Metropolitan Police Anti -Terrorist Branch.

The six men aged in their late teens, twenties and thirties remain in custody and are being interviewed by Anti Terrorist Branch Officers. The woman has now been released.

This successful joint operation between the Anti-Terrorist Branch, MPS Special Branch and the Security Service followed receipt of intelligence.

A quantity of material and items of equipment were found at a residential premises in Wood Green, North London where one of the men was arrested.

This material has been analysed at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratories at Porton Down. A small amount of the material recovered from the Wood Green premises has tested positive for the presence of ricin poison. Ricin is a toxic material which if ingested, inhaled or injected can be fatal".

Ricin is a protein toxin that is derived from castor oil seeds.

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