| A prominent Russian liberal politician said Tuesday that
powder found in the U.S. Senate that appears to be the deadly poison ricin
was a grim reminder of the lurking danger of terrorists getting hold of
weapons of mass destruction.
Alexei Arbatov, a leading
member of Yabloko who heads a think tank specializing in global security
issues, said that Monday's incident in Washington highlighted the need
for stronger global nonproliferation controls.
"That clearly was a terror attack," Arbatov said of the suspicious
substance delivered through the mail system to the U.S. Senate majority
leader's office. "It's a very alarming fact no matter who was responsible
for that -- an international terrorist group or a madman. It signals that
the danger of terrorists obtaining weapons of mass destruction is growing."
Arbatov, who served as deputy chief of the defense committee in the
old State Duma, said that the rapid progress of biological science had
to the creation of new deadly poisons that could fall into the hands of
international terrorist groups. He also said that the world had become
unstable after the U.S. war in Iraq.