Ingredients to Make Sarin Nerve Gas are Too Accessible, Says Magazine Report

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General Information

Source:
NBC Today Show
Creator:
Katie Couric/Bob Arnot
Event Date:
11/05/2001
Air/Publish Date:
11/05/2001
Resource Type:
Video News Report
Copyright:
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
Copyright Date:
2001
Clip Length:
00:01:45

Description

An article in "Scientific American" magazine illustrates the ease of obtaining, by mail order, the ingredients needed to make the lethal nerve gas Sarin.

Citation

MLA

"Ingredients to Make Sarin Nerve Gas are Too Accessible, Says Magazine Report." Bob Arnot, correspondent. NBC Today Show. NBCUniversal Media. 5 Nov. 2001. NBC Learn. Web. 5 September 2012.

APA

Arnot, B. (Reporter), & Couric, K. (Anchor). (2001, November 5). Ingredients to Make Sarin Nerve Gas are Too Accessible, Says Magazine Report. [Television series episode]. NBC Today Show. Retrieved from https://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=5599

CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE

"Ingredients to Make Sarin Nerve Gas are Too Accessible, Says Magazine Report" NBC Today Show, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 11/05/2001. Accessed Wed Sep 5 2012 from NBC Learn: https://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=5599

Transcript

Ingredients to Make Sarin Nerve Gas are Too Accessible, Says Magazine Report

KATIE COURIC, co-host:

So much of the country's attention these days is focused on anthrax, the lives lost and the panic it has caused, but as if we don't have enough to worry about, an article in the December issue of Scientific American--being released today on their Web site--takes a look at another potential threat. Here's NBC's Dr. Bob Arnot.

DR. BOB ARNOT reporting:

Sarin, used by the Japanese religious sect Aum Shinri Kyo in the Tokyo subway in 1995, killing 12 and injuring more than 5,000. First developed by the Nazis, sarin is a lethal nerve agent, just one drop enough to kill an adult. But surprisingly, the ingredients necessary to make this deadly weapon can all be purchased legally in the United States. It's a security flaw that George Musser, an editor at Scientific American, wanted to expose when he set out, after the September 11th attacks, to purchase the chemicals on his own.

GEORGE MUSSER: Buying the ingredients for sarin was just as easy as picking up the phone. I picked up the phone, I said, `I need chemicals X, chemicals Y, chemical Z, it came in the mail in three days.'

DR. ARNOT: How expensive was it?

MUSSER: A hundred and forty-four dollars.

DR. ARNOT: These chemicals are widely used by industry, and while their sales are not controlled by the government, the Chemical Manufacturers Association says their members do follow procedures to vet customers and track distribution, and most experts agree making that sarin and weaponizing it remains difficult. But the Scientific American experiment still raises the question, should the key chemicals be more tightly controlled? For TODAY, Dr. Bob Arnot, NBC News, New York.