A 16-year-old boy who ordered a potentially deadly toxin from the dark web has pleaded guilty.
The teenager, who is from the Tameside area but cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before Manchester Youth Court today, 8 April 2015.
He pleaded guilty to attempting to acquire a biological toxin or agent contrary to the Criminal Attempts Act 1981 and section one of the Biological Weapons Act 1974. The basis of this plea was that he attempted to purchase the abrin with a view to committing suicide.
The teenager will be sentenced on 20 April 2015.
This followed an investigation by the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, who were informed on 23 January 2015 that the teenager was attempting to obtain a highly toxic poison called Abrin.
Abrin is a natural poison found in the seeds of a plant called the rosary pea or jequirity and is considered 30 times more toxic than ricin.
The information was passed to the NWCTU after law enforcement officers were covertly in communication with the 16-year-old over the dark web and during which he expressed an interest in purchasing the deadly toxin.
During these communications, the teenager showed awareness of the drug's toxicity and the potential for it to be used to cause considerable harm.
On 6 February 2015, the 16-year-old attempted to place an order and also suggested he would make future purchases in larger quantities.
On 16 February 2015, warrants were executed at two addresses in the Mossley area of Greater Manchester and the 16-year-old boy was arrested.
A 16-year-old girl was also arrested as part of the investigation but later released without charge.