But never fear, the ricin he manufactured as a home hobby doesn’t make him a terrorist, because he is a white man. There were two vials of ricin in his hotel room, along with several guns and a book on anarchy tabbed to a page explaining how to manufacture ricin.
The FBI assures us that
the incident had nothing to do with terrorism
Well then, that’s all we need to know. We’d be just as understanding to an American of Arab descent, of course.
Neighbors in Utah described Mr. Von Bergendorff as a peculiar loner commonly seen in brown slacks and a brown shirt. Pauline and Grant Dansie, who live three doors down from Mr. Tholen, said Mr. Von Bergendorff spent six weeks last summer searching their backyard daily for a missing cat that he eventually said he found.
“He’s just a little bit different,” Mrs. Dansie said. “He was so obsessed with this cat; it was really strange. He didn’t really act like he wanted to be a friend. I remember one time he put a cat trap out in our field, and he caught our neighbor’s cat. We told him he had to give it back.”
Mr. Von Bergendorff, who is believed to be a computer graphic artist whose work has appeared on several science fiction novels, appears to have a lengthy history involving pets and animals. The police also found three cats and an emaciated dog in his hotel room; the local shelter took custody of the animals, but the dog was so starved and parched it had to be euthanized.
I mean, two vials. Nobody said how big the vials were. Probably small. What kind of terrorist act could you successfully pull off with merely two vials of ricin and several handguns?
Ricin can be extremely lethal. As little as 500 micrograms — about the size of the head of a pin — can kill a human, according to the Web site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
We certainly are lucky he wasn’t exposed to the Arabic language.
There have been a lot of cases of Americans arrested in the last several years with garages full of automatic weapons and ammo caches and explosive material, and somehow they don’t get labelled terrorists unless they’re of Arab descent or have ever been Islami-curious. I haven’t kept up with those stories and I doubt I’ll have the patience to look them up, but I will start keeping track of them from now on.
I do remember this guy, though. The smiley face bomber, a college student who planted eighteen pipe bombs around the US in the shape of a happy face. Injured six Americans. White guy.