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  1. ITV Report

Breaking Bad fan convicted of trying to buy ricin online

Ali said he had ricin on his mind after watching Breaking Bad Photo: ANC

A man faces jail after being found guilty at the Old Bailey today for trying to buy ricin poison from the Dark Web after being inspired by the hit US television series Breaking Bad.

Software programmer Mohammed Ali, 31, struck a deal with a supplier on the internet black market to buy 500mg of powder for $500 (£320) in Bitcoins, enough to kill 1,400 people.

But the supplier was actually an undercover FBI agent who tipped off counter terrorism police in England and substituted the consignment of ricin for harmless powder.

Mohammed Ali was convicted of attempting to buy ricin on the Dark Web Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Ali, whose username was Weirdos 0000, held his head in his hands after being found guilty of attempting to possess a chemical weapon between January 10 and February 12.

In his defence, Ali told jurors that he was just "curious" and was unaware that ricin was illegal.

I was interested in the Dark Net and ricin. I just wanted to know what the fuss was about.

I wanted to know can you actually get anything from these sites. So I go on one of these websites - Evolution.

I found lots of different items ranging from drugs, guns, other illegal items, and because I had been watching Breaking Bad TV show I just had ricin in my mind.

– Mohammed Ali

Police swooped on his home when he took delivery of a toy car with five vials hidden in the battery compartment.

Under ultraviolet light, Ali's face lit up showing that he had handled the package which had been specially treated with a marker substance.

Computer analysis showed that Ali first began trawling the internet for information on poisons such as abrin, ricin and cyanide in October last year.

Ricin is a naturally occurring poison which is fatal even in very small doses. Ali knew the dangers of ricin and had been researching poisons for months before he attempted to obtain it. The evidence also showed that he was planning to test it on an animal that he was hoping to buy.

Today shows yet again that even in the case of crimes committed in the darkest corners of the internet, criminals can be caught and convicted.

– Head of the CPS Counter Terrorism Division, Sue Hemming

Adjourning sentencing to September 18, Mr Justice Saunders said there was no evidence that he was planning any sort of terrorist attack.