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18 Pounds of Mercury

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Oct 31, 2002.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    A suspected member of a Chechen gang was arrested in Moscow while carrying nearly 18 pounds of mercury, and authorities believe he intended to use the poison in a terror attack, police said Thursday.

    Sergei Krymgerei, an alleged member of prominent Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev's gang, was arrested by police acting on a tip, city police spokesman Filipp Zolotnitsky said. The suspect was carrying a champagne bottle full of the highly toxic substance when arrested, the Interfax news agency reported.

    "Such an amount of mercury would poison a very large number of people," Zolotnitsky said on NTV television.

    Full story...

    You know what's hard? For me to believe that the guy actually had the Champange bottle on him. If I were to gauge Russia's politica posturing, I would say this is a mafia member that was used as a scapegoat. Since he is an "animal" anyway, why not use him.

    Sorry to be a skeptic like this but I know Russia more than I know America, and I feel I know the US mighty well.
  2. jamming

    jamming Banned

    There are other more effective ways to poison people than using a heavy liquid metal. I would think that there are other industrial uses that the mercury would be better put to for a terrorist/criminal organization.
  3. EMIG

    EMIG Yup

    Where's Mikeky when you need him? Mercury is farily nasty, it even absorbs through your skin, IIRC. However, it's insoluble and denser than water, so I dunno it could be used to poison a large number of people...
  4. mikeky

    mikeky Member

    As jamming and EMIG (now that I see the avatar, the username makes sense!) said, liquid mercury probably wouldn't be very effective at all in water supplies because of its low solubility. They might have planned to vaporize it (say into an air duct), but still not as effective and quick-acting as other potential poisons. Maybe they were planning to introduce it to specific foods like fish, where it might be possible to get a sufficient dose to cause harm, but seems that would not cause widespread problems.

    Maybe a precursor to something else, like mercury fulminate (an explosive initiator)?
  5. jamming

    jamming Banned

    I was thinking more of trimble switches or impact arming switches.
  6. immortal one

    immortal one 501st Geronimo

    I agree with Jamming.
    Switches are the first thing that came to mind.
  7. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    I don't know that just having that much mercury for switches makes a lot of sense. Mercury switches in a large variety of configurations are readily available in industrialized countries for very legitimate applications...many of which are readily adaptable for use as detornators and the like.
  8. Perry Stroika

    Perry Stroika Member

    Correct. A scapegoat after a siege like that is well for politics. Gets people to sigh and breathe easier, no matter how inrealistic.

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