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May 30th, 2013
10:48 PM ET

Bill Bratton on poisonous mail: "Ricin is probably one of the worst ways to try and kill somebody"

On a day which saw a potentially dangerous pro-gun letter intercepted prior to reaching the president, and on the heels of a similar correspondence having been sent to New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, on Thursday evening "Piers Morgan Live" invited Bill Bratton to share his incomparable brand of professional insight and perspective.

Formerly the top cop in Boston, New York and Los Angeles, Bratton shared some of the conclusions he's drawn regarding the goals of the malicious mailer:

"It's intended, I think, to attract publicity which it certainly is, intended to potentially intimidate, but quite clearly the president and the mayor are not going to be intimidated by it," he told Piers Morgan. "Ricin is probably one of the worst ways to try and kill somebody. So, I don't see it as a real threat in the sense of an actual capability to kill. But rather, to intimidate, and attract publicity."

As part of Thursday's primetime interview, the 65-year-old known for his zero tolerance policing style expressed concern at the ways in which the digital age has made it harder to contain those wishing to do harm:

"The internet, the social media, if you will, has changed the complexity of what law enforcement has to deal with relative to potential threats," said Bratton. "People I'm sure that are watching these newscasts are going to go rushing to their computers, look it up, and see that there's instructions on how to make it [ricin.] It just makes it much more complex for law enforcement."

Watch the clip, and listen to the interview, as Bratton further explains the dangers created when "wanna-bes" use a never-ending supply of information to intimidate and cause fear.
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Filed under: The Big Story
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  1. Jal

    I've noted in previous posts I'm in Law Enforcement. I'll get right to the point. Can we stop acting shocked that such events occur and that there is suddenly this wide-spread access to information to create weapons. Yes, the info is out there, but let me put this into perspective. In the 1970s, I was a kid growing up in Pasadena, CA. There were 4 groups of brothers and we all hung out together. We quickly learned, if you take an empty CO2 cartridge used in pump rifles, saw about 1/4" off the top, pack the the cartridge with paper match heads, put it in a pipe and light it, you made a missile. We use to tie them to fishing line down the street to make rockets. We blew up mailboxes, GI Joe dolls, you name it. In those years, you could readily buy Black Gun Power, Salt Peter and Sulfur. We bought it, and we were 8 – 15 years old.. We made Carbine Cannons with old coffee cans. Use to take road flares, tie them to our bikes wheels and ride at nigh. We would take tall plastic Coke bottle, fill them with about 1/2' of swimming pool acid, put a piece of aluminum foil in them, and could blow a stack of spare tires 50' in the air. Every kid I know, was doing this. So, to shout that it's just shocking this information is out there is ridiculous. Those shouting this, obviously don't work in the real world, around the average person.

    As for attacks of cyber espionage, well, there's a pretty simple answer there; don't connect vital network systems to the outside Internet. It's not rocket science. When we here of hacking from China, you should be doing a story on why is there an utter lack of secured systems? I see this in my own department and my own City government where we allow staff computers access to the Internet when there is no need. Medical staff have their Dept. of Public Health computers where nurses shop on Ebay or play Farmville, all on the Internet. I think the Veterans Administration has it best. Their internal system is solely internal. You cannot download anything onto these computers and they are not connected to outside lines. To continually act surprised that cyber attacks occur is truly ludicrous. We have created the problem by having unsecured open systems and in 2013, you'd think our leaders and corporate heads would easily release this.

    May 31, 2013 at 12:34 am | Report abuse | Reply

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