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FBI: San Francisco bomb suspect sought toxins

By Paul Elias

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A man charged with possessing explosive material at his San Francisco apartment also used an anonymous, Internet-based marketplace to try to buy biological agents and lethal toxins, the FBI said in documents unsealed Friday.

In the search warrant affidavit, FBI agent Michael Eldridge said witnesses reported shipping pure nicotine and abrin to suspect Ryan Chamberlain.

UPS records confirmed a package that a witness said contained abrin was delivered to Chamberlain's apartment on December 6, 2013, the affidavit said.

Authorities have not said what, if anything, Chamberlain intended to do with the toxins or with the bomb-making materials and toxins authorities say were found at his apartment.

Chamberlain said he wanted to use the abrin - a poison found in the seeds of a plant called the rosary pea - to "ease the suffering" of cancer patients, according to the affidavit.

A witness testified that Chamberlain asked about the dosing size and effects of abrin, as well as if "an autopsy could detect whether abrin had been used to kill an individual," according to the document. The initial abrin purchase was to be a trial run that, if successful, would be used "on a larger scale," the witness said.

However, the witness told authorities that Chamberlain had later complained that the abrin he ordered "did not work."

The federal Centers for Disease Control reports on its website that abrin is not known to have ever been used in war or terrorist attacks, but it has been used in medical research for its potential to kill cancer cells.

Nicotine, in its pure form, can be used to contaminate food, water and agricultural products, according to the CDC. It was once used to fumigate crops, and exposure to relatively small amounts can cause birth defects or even be deadly.

Previously, according to one witness cited in the document, Chamberlain had tried to get the liquid form of ricin - a naturally occurring poison found in castor beans - but had found that it was too expensive. The U.S. once experimented with ricin for military uses in the 1940s, and more recently it has been used by terror groups.

Chamberlain's public defender, Jodi Linker, declined to comment.

Chamberlain, 42, was arrested Monday after a three-day manhunt that authorities said was prompted by the discovery of bomb-making materials at his apartment.

Chamberlain apparently came to the attention of the FBI as it investigated and monitored the online marketplace where people allegedly bought and sold guns, bombs, drugs, chemicals and counterfeit goods. A customer who was planning to commit suicide turned himself into police after buying abrin and cyanide and allegedly implicated Chamberlain.

Also on Friday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins refused to let Chamberlain post bail pending his trial, which has not yet been scheduled.

Prosecutor Phil Kearney said that in interviews with investigators, Chamberlain never mentioned depression or sought mental health help.

Chamberlain has been charged with one count of possessing material that could be used to build an explosive device. He has not entered a plea.

The judge scheduled an afternoon hearing to determine whether to transfer Chamberlain to a secured psychiatric unit at a hospital, where he could undergo an examination.

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stengernc June 07 2014 at 6:15 AM

The NRA would say, it was to be used for his protection and he has a right to possession.

I can just see him walking into a restaurant wearing a bomb and carrying a can of poison.

Heck, if yahoos in Texas can carry AK-15's into restaurants, bars, churches and other public places why not. Stand your ground laws then allow some other wingnut to feel threatened and blow them away while by standers get caught in the shoot out.....what is wrong with the NRA....don't they realize that they have taken this too far?

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36 replies
bonitoking61 June 07 2014 at 7:39 AM

This is nothing, BP dumped millions of gallons of Corexit in the Gulf of Mexico and people are sick and dieing. If that isn't an act of terrorism then I don't know what is.

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2 replies
lamsantosantos bonitoking61 June 07 2014 at 9:18 AM

And they got the US Coast Guard to help!

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ffeonxe bonitoking61 June 07 2014 at 10:19 AM

I thought that was an accident. Was it not??

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2 replies
lamsantosantos ffeonxe June 07 2014 at 11:08 AM

They used Corexit on top of the oil to make it sink to the bottom of the Gulf,it was also used in Alaska on the Exxon Valdez oil spill. It is even more toxic than the oil and together its a double whammy. All the workers who were involved in the cleanup were also warned not to use respirators so as not to alarm the local residents or they would be fired. They are getting sick and some have died. The shrimpers are finding tumors and oil IN the shrimp. Its now washing up in the delicate wetlands and killing the wildlife! These areas are spoiled forever,don't swim in or fish from the Gulf of Mexico.

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mivogo ffeonxe June 07 2014 at 11:47 AM

Yeah, the same way GM's negligence was an accident. Or George W spending billions for a war without accounting for it in the budget was an accident. Yes, BP was negligent!

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Kingfisher Farm June 07 2014 at 12:56 AM

It seems to me that a good place to begin would be "to transfer Chamberlain to a secured psychiatric unit at a hospital, where he could undergo an examination." Having quoted that, if he did say (allegedly) that the abrin ' "did not work," I am curious if he tried it on himself or if he put some in the drink/food of another. I am also curious if it turns out all that has been reported is true, was he bent on mass murder, serial murder or angel of death.

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3 replies
GUNSLINGER June 07 2014 at 7:41 AM

If the Kenyan had a son????

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5 replies
mociambz June 07 2014 at 2:47 AM

another liberal eco terrorist i bet he was going to poison our food and blame it on gmos or something typical sfo

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4 replies
wnagle53 June 07 2014 at 5:32 AM

it seems that Mr. Chamberlain has more or less hit the lottery. When he is finished suing the U.S. government, and the F.B.I. for false arrest, and defamation he wiil end up a wealthy man.
I am not saying he wasn't planning something, but this is the weakest case I can imagine. He is purchasing all legal items, has made no threats against anyone. Perhaps the FBI saved thousands of lives by being "pro-active", but this is not how the system works in this country. The lawyers will be lining up to present his lawsuit.

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7 replies
alantatanka June 07 2014 at 4:02 AM

I think he may know or be related to pelosi..

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1 reply
Kingfisher Farm alantatanka June 07 2014 at 12:59 PM


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1 reply
farberj Kingfisher Farm June 07 2014 at 4:35 PM

got the same iq like her.

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Elizabeth June 07 2014 at 4:53 AM

Nothing on the internet is ever completely anonymous. He had as well have worn a sign proclaiming his stupidity.

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lamsantosantos June 07 2014 at 9:17 AM

How come nut jobs love to destroy!

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2 replies
kmcc895370 lamsantosantos June 07 2014 at 1:22 PM

Cause it's so much FUN!!!

PS just kidding (figured I better say that)

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keeslver lamsantosantos June 07 2014 at 5:17 PM

As Steve Buscemi's character in Arrmegeddon said: "Why do I do this? Because the money’s good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?

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pogogrk June 07 2014 at 9:55 AM

Found this guy thru tracking his internet activity, yet the Snowden followers don't want the government to record or track anything - even for weirdos like this guy. Go figure.

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