July 26, 2005



Osama bin Laden tried to buy a massive amount of cocaine, spike it with poison and sell it in the United States, hoping to kill thousands of Americans one year after the 9/11 attacks, The Post has learned.

The evil plot failed when the Colombian drug lords bin Laden approached decided it would be bad for their business - and, possibly, for their own health, according to law-enforcement sources familiar with the Drug Enforcement Administration's probe of the aborted transaction. The feds were told of the scheme earlier this year, but its existence had never been made public. The Post has reviewed a document detailing the DEA's findings in the matter, in addition to interviewing sources familiar with the case.

Presumably this is a DEA disinformation campaign to discourage use.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 26, 2005 9:31 AM

It's pretty clear Osama underestimated the ability of the average American crackhead to tolerate noxious substances.

Posted by: H.D. Miller at July 26, 2005 12:42 PM

Our border defenses are so porous that we have to rely on the business sense of Latin American drug lords for our continued safety. Why does this not impress me?

Posted by: bart at July 26, 2005 12:50 PM

This idea is so stupid I have doubts about its validity. Don't coke dealers test samples for purity at each step of the distribution chain? It would be difficult to impossible to get large amounts of poisoned coke into street-level distribution all at once.

Also, why didn't some of these drug lords drop a dime on Bin Laden when they had him? Surely they would know how valuable that info would have been to us. Talk about a "get out of jail free" card!

Posted by: PapayaSF at July 26, 2005 12:56 PM

I'm assuming Bin Laden contacted drug cartels through intermediaries. He didn't pack up the dialysis machine and fly over to Colombia. But why would drug dealers ever want to kill their own customers?

Posted by: Chris Durnell at July 26, 2005 1:26 PM


It's not clear that the poison would have to constitute a sufficient large percentage of the material to fail purity tests. Ricin, for example, could be added easily and still count as "pure" while being lethal.

Mr. Durnell;

Drug dealers frequently kill their customers, just not very rapidly or in large, simultaneous groups.


That said, this strikes me as one of Bin Laden's fantasy plans, not one we should take seriously.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at July 26, 2005 1:34 PM

If OBL pulled this off, Hollywood movies would start improving in about three months ...

Posted by: Axel Kassel at July 26, 2005 1:44 PM

aka The DeLorean Option

Posted by: cjm at July 26, 2005 2:33 PM

let it not be said that dubya don't run a lean operation. the guy's acting to win the WOT and the WOD in a single swoop. huah!

Posted by: lonbud at July 26, 2005 3:44 PM

There is significant Islamist involvement in the drug trade, especially around Ciudad del Este, a kind of no-mans land on the border of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina that has been a smugglers' paradise since forever. But they have always used it as a cash cow rather than a WMD. Other drug dealers would not be happy about the impact of such shenanigans with respect to their products and the industry reputation, if you will. And they would respond against any Islamists who tried any nonsense, using methods of response which would be outside the rules of the Geneva Convention. And I doubt those methods would involve females and G-strings, but more likely chain saws and machetes.

Drug dealers do kill their customers, so do tobacconists and for that matter confectioners. But that is a wholly different matter from intentionally doctoring the product to produce a more rapid death. Imagine if some Islamists snuck into a Marlboro factory and poisoned the product.

Posted by: bart at July 26, 2005 4:21 PM

This would have unbalanced the electorate significantly.

"Bye bye Bluuues"
"No More Bluuues"
"Dont Cry, Don't Sigh"
"Bye Bye Blues"

Mostly. But we'd miss them I betcha.

Posted by: Genecis at July 26, 2005 6:01 PM

I doubt the plan would necessarily kill thousands, only hundreds if they were lucky. Instead, I think it's an economic move. By deterring demand for coke, people will switch to other drugs, namely heroin, that he can make more money from.

Posted by: Nobrainer at July 26, 2005 6:46 PM


I didn't mean to imply that all tests would be chemical, which might miss ricin, true. But wouldn't drug dealers either sample the product personally, or have people around who would, or sell to distributors who would? So chances are the deadliness would get discovered before it had passed into too many hands.


Devious, somewhat plausible, but I doubt a significant percentage of coke users would be willing to switch to heroin. Switching from an upper to a downer is not like switching to tea when there's no coffee.

Posted by: PapayaSF at July 27, 2005 1:56 AM


Why would they care?

Posted by: oj at July 27, 2005 2:00 AM


Not sure which you are commenting on. 1) If the point is to kill a lot of people, distribution and use must happen quickly before word of the effects got around. 2) All drugs are not equivalent/interchangeable to users. If you were prevented from watching baseball, would you change allegiance to soccer?

Posted by: PapayaSF at July 27, 2005 10:37 AM

Why would they sample it? Who cares about quality control?

Posted by: oj at July 27, 2005 12:29 PM

Come now, OJ, you're not naive. We're talking about a cutthroat business filled with theives and scammers. Cocaine goes for roughly $23,000/kilo, wholesale. You don't think buyers check to see how pure it is?

Posted by: PapayaSF at July 27, 2005 11:47 PM