September 19, American media reported that a week ago, special services discovered the toxic substance ricin in a letter to US President Donald Trump. Ricin could be made in artisanal conditions from castor bean oil cake, from which castor oil is squeezed out. If it enters the body, the poison irreversibly destroys tissues, cells, the circulatory system, and a person dies within 36-72 hours in terrible agony from bleeding in the stomach and intestines or from damage to the lungs and respiratory tract. Ricin can be used as a biological weapon of mass destruction.
It was naive to believe that Trump would personally open the envelope because before the correspondence reaches the president's desk, it is carefully checked in a special center. In any case, this is an attempt to exert psychological pressure on the US president. The sender clearly disagrees with Trump's political course and made it clear that he is not immune from reprisals after leaving the walls of the White House. The FBI and the Secret Service have launched an investigation into the assassination attempt on the president.
Presumably, the correspondence was sent from Canada and the American special services detained the suspect. Another question, in whose interests this provocation may be. If we pay attention to a number of circumstances and a series of events that preceded the incident, then several state and non-state players may wish for the death of the American president.
Iran may have something to do with the ricin envelope. On the same day, September 19, the commander-in-chief of the elite Iranian military unit "Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps" Hussein Salami promised to destroy all those who directly or indirectly took part in the elimination of the commander of the Iranian special forces "El Quds" Qasem Soleimani. An Iranian officer, as well as the commander of the Iraqi paramilitary organization People's Mobilization Forces, Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, was eliminated by a missile strike at Baghdad airport in early January 2020. This order was given by Trump.
General Salami made this statement after the information appeared in the American media about Iran's intentions to kill the US Ambassador to South Africa, Lana Marks, as an act of retaliation. The ricin package could have been sent by persons connected with the Iranian special services, as confirmation of the seriousness of intentions. The provocation is very symbolic since Iran is included in the list of countries where castor oil plants are cultivated. Castor beans themselves can be bought in Canada, almost in an online store, as amateur gardeners from Toronto do.
It is worth noting that Iran has already taken revenge on the United States after shelling American military facilities in Iraq on January 7-8. In January 2020, Iran's Permanent Representative to the UN, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, said that the military action was proportional to the assassination of the general. Salami spoke of revenge on the Americans after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced his intention to reinstate UN Security Council sanctions that had been in effect on Iran until 2015 and force other countries to comply with the restrictions. Recently, the UN Security Council did not extend the embargo on arms supplies to Iran, which had been in effect for 13 years.
The Iranian authorities make it clear to their American colleagues that they are not going to fulfill their demands in terms of limiting the nuclear program and abandoning ballistic missiles, and in the event of tougher sanctions, they can not only arrange provocations against the American military in Iraq and Syria but also carry out targeted terror against high-ranking officials from Washington.
Palestinian terrorist attack
It is possible that the Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist organizations Hamas and Islamic Jihad may be behind the attempted poisoning of Trump. Thanks to the mediation of the Trump administration, Israel was able to achieve a major diplomatic victory, negotiate diplomatic relations with the UAE on August 13 and Bahrain on September 11. Until recently, of all Arab countries, Egypt and Jordan recognized Israel as a state. Precedents have emerged for the establishment of Israel's relations with the Muslim world, for the country's emergence from isolation in the Middle East. Palestinian extremists who deny Israel's right to exist have failed.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad deny Israel's right to exist, systematically bombard the country's territory with rockets and perceive the United States as an adversary. From 1970 to 2019, various Palestinian armed groups killed about 4,000 American citizens. The most resonant terrorist attack was the bombing of a car filled with explosives by Islamic Jihad terrorists near the American embassy in Lebanon in 1984. The attack killed two and injured 20 Americans, including Ambassador Reginald Bartholomew.
A surprise from Damascus?
Syrian-sponsored President Bashar al-Assad is not happy with Trump's policies. On Tuesday, September 15, Trump personally admitted that he wanted to order operation to eliminate Assad after the use of chemical weapons by his troops in Douma (a suburb of Damascus) in April 2017. Then Defense Secretary James Mattis dissuaded him from this idea and suggested limiting himself to the application of pinpoint airstrikes on military targets. The American journalist Bob Woodward wrote about this earlier in his book "Fear", which was published in 2018.
Two years ago, the American president denied this information, argued that it was unreliable, and Woodward published a book to make it look bad. Trump has now returned to this topic in light of the recent incident involving the US and Russian military in Syria. In late August, the Russians chased the American patrol and tried to block its movement in the open. In response, the United States decided to send reinforcements to Syria and deploy a military radar there.
Trump's account of his plans to kill Assad to Fox reporters is designed to make it clear to America's adversaries that the US military is ready to use force at any time if their interests are affected. The Syrian Foreign Ministry has called the United States a hostile state, whose tactics are no different from those of terrorist organizations that practice murder. However, in the version that the Syrians are behind the assassination attempt on Trump, there is one inconsistency: the envelope with ricin was sent to the White House before the president opened up about his plans to kill Assad.
There have been attempts on the life of US presidents before. Presidents Abraham Lincoln in 1865, James Garfield in 1881, William McKinley in 1901, and John F. Kennedy in 1963 were shot dead. Ex-President Theodore Roosevelt was twice assassinated during the 1912 and 1916 election campaigns. In 1981, Ronald Reagan was shot and wounded. In addition to Trump, envelopes with ricin were sent to former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, heads of the FBI, CIA, the Commander of the Navy and Secretary of the Air in 2018, and President Barack Obama in 2013. The perpetrators were either representatives of the non-systemic opposition or people with mental disabilities.
Trump has many enemies in the United States. The deaths of African Americans George Floyd in Minneapolis and Reishard Brooks in Atlanta during police detention provoked thousands of protests against police violence and racism, large-scale pogroms, and riots throughout the country. The protesters blame the American president for all the sins. Alternatively, the envelope with ricin could be sent by some radical supporter of the anti-presidential protest movement "Black lives matter", which is supported by the Democratic Party, or someone from Canadian sympathizers, given that in the conditions of quarantine the US border and Canada is closed. As in many countries of the world, rallies in support of American protesters were held in Canada, there is a branch of Black lives matter.
In addition to liberals, pacifists, and representatives of the LGBT community, extremists of all stripes are involved in the riots. Members of the right-wing Bugalu movement oppose the American government, do not want to abolish the right to arms, and are preparing for a second civil war. The extreme left has become more active. According to US Attorney General William Barr, the Antifa movement, which opposes fascism, Nazism, the idea of white supremacy, is involved in terrorist activities. In late August, in Oregon, Antifa member Michael Reinhold, who was guarding Black lives matter participants, shot dead Trump supporters and right-wing radical Aaron Danielson. Subsequently, Reinhold was shot dead by law enforcement officers while trying to resist arrest.
Although the threat from the extreme left is exaggerated. Since 2010, 21 people have died during riots involving left-wing extremists (117 people died at the hands of right-wing radicals, 95 people were killed by Islamic extremists). Since 1994, out of 900 cases of politically motivated killings, only one has been involved with anti-fascists. The American left-wing radicals were much more dangerous in the 70s. Terrorist organization "Forecasters", which opposed the Vietnam War, arranged 20 explosions, including in the Pentagon, the Capitol, the New York police station. Members of the "Symbionist Liberation Army" terrorist organization robbed banks and took people, hostage. The May 19 Communist Organization bombed the FBI and Capitol offices.
An investigation into the attempted assassination attempt on Trump using ricin could be used by the GOP to discredit Democrats two months before the presidential election if protesters were proven responsible. If another state is behind the incident, then the United States can impose sanctions.