A Maine firm illegally shipped materials to Syria a decade ago which may have helped that country develop a biological weapon.
The New York Times reported Saturday that Maine Biological Laboratories in Winslow provided materials that could have been used as precursors for Syria's chemical weapons program.
But as I report in today's Portland Press Herald, the materials in question were not helpful either for creating a chemical weapon or for making a weapons for use against humans. Rather, the Maine company provided Syria with a virus that weapons researchers have studied for possible use against enemy agricultural sectors, killing poultry to diminish human food supplies. The company was fined more than $500,000 and eight executives plead guilty and went to prison.
I am an award-winning journalist and author of American Nations, American Character, Ocean's End, The Lobster Coast, and The Republic of Pirates. I'm a staffer at the Portland Press Herald, where I won a 2012 George Polk Award for my investigative reporting and was named a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist.