Four suspected members of a Georgia militia remain behind bars without bail today – charged with plotting to kill government officials with explosives and a bio toxin in several states -including Jersey.

The suspects – all senior citizens in the 60′s and 70′s – told an undercover investigator they wanted to make 10 pounds of ricin, and then discharge the lethal powder out of a car window in multiple cities, including Newark, while they were speeding down the highway.

Rutgers University bio-terror expert Dr. Leonard Cole says “it sound very bizarre, it sounds very unlikely – even if they managed to get hold of the ricin, to have the kind of effect they think they were going to have.”

He says while even tiny amounts of ricin can be highly toxic and lethal, planning to simply drive down a street and release the material “creates all kinds of uncertainties – the weather, the wind, sunlight, possible rain – all of these things can interfere…it is conceivable – but very, very improbable – that any material that they would release in this fashion could kill somebody…the ricin is not going to stay airborne for very long once it’s released from the car- it’ll fairly quickly settle onto the ground – depending on wind conditions as well -it would be very likely that that the powder would be quickly dispersed by the wind and not pose any serious danger to anybody.”

He also says “it’s not unusual that there have been some of these racist, Arian-nation types – extreme right wing vigilante types – that have shown interest in the past- and a few have tried to develop ricin – you don’t have to be a genius to make ricin- it’s a byproduct of caster beans that are being made into caster oil – of course you’d have to purify it – and it takes a little bit of talent, a little bit of knowledge- but it’s not terribly complex to actually fabricate – to make a dangerous mix – that takes an extra step or two of knowledge and experience.”

The professor adds “clearly their intention was bad – it’s not something toss aside – it is a federal crime – they’re subject to serious penalties…maybe these guys should have been doing something else like having a beer or reading something about retirement plans rather than putting their minds to such an obscene and ridiculous scenario.”

Charlie McKenna, the Director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness says when he first heard about the plot:

“it struck me that the first people they were going to kill would be themselves, given the level of ability they had- nevertheless, even people who are clumsy can sometimes do harm to other people…what this case points up is the need to be vigilant about all sorts of things that happen around us – the threat that we get is not only from foreign organizations…we have to worry about American citizens – however misguided they are – that feel they want to do us harm…we have to constantly be vigilant and if we see something that’s out of the ordinary we have to say something – I think that’s a constant refrain that we have…even if it turns out the plan is somewhat half-baked.”