Monday, April 14, 2003
Another terrorism scare shot down.
Vials of what was suspected as the poison ricin found in train station locker last month turned out to be wheat germ and barley, officials said Friday.
The discovery of the suspicious substance at the Gare de Lyon in central Paris on March 17 set off widespread terrorism concerns just two days before the start of the Iraq war.
The deadly poison has in the past been linked to al-Qaida and Iraq.
France at the time doubled the number of soldiers in the streets to 800 and ordered increased surveillance in train stations and ports. Flights were temporarily banned over nuclear power plants, chemical, petrochemical and other facilities deemed sensitive.
Announcing the laboratory test results Friday, the judicial officials said the ground up bits of wheat germ and barley have certain chemical similarities to ricin and initially produced misleading findings.