The January 5th 2003 Wood Green Ricin Plot

  • Jared AhmadEmail author
Part of the New Security Challenges book series (NSECH)


This chapter concerns the alleged discovery of the biological agent ricin in a flat in Wood Green, North London in January 2003. In particular, it seeks to consider the extent to which the BBC’s representations are mobilised for political purposes during this event. Drawing on the Foucauldian concept of the dispositif, the analysis shows how rather than function in the interests of a single group, the BBC’s representations inadvertently work in favour of a range of competing groups; with both al-Qaeda and the British state, in particular, gaining political advantage through the existence of other. Two weeks of coverage are analysed (January 5th–18th 2003), alongside speeches and press releases issued by the Prime Minister and propaganda statements distributed by al-Qaeda’s senior command during the same period.


Al-Qaeda BBC ‘news at ten’ Dispositif Interests Strategy Wood green ricin plot ‘War on terror’ 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Journalism StudiesUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

Personalised recommendations