Uranium activist's home burglarized
By MURRAY BREWSTER*
HALIFAX (26 March 2001) -- SOMEONE broke into the rural Nova Scotia home belonging to the widow of Capt. Terry Riordon, a Canadian Forces veteran who allegedly died of Gulf War Syndrome, say the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
And the only thing missing, according to Sue Riordon, was a copy of a report that shows her husband's body contained high levels of depleted uranium.
She said her computer was also apparently tampered with.
"I can confirm for you we received a complaint from a break and enter in this matter," said Staff Sgt. Ray Flynn, of the Yarmouth, NS, RCMP detachment.
"There was an investigation and it was concluded as unsolved."
Flynn would not identify what was taken, only that "certain things were disturbed and missing."
The break-in apparently happened Feb. 7 while Riordon was in Halifax appearing before a legislature committee.
She said she was reluctant to discuss the theft while the Mounties were investigating.
Police wouldn't say whether they had any suspects in mind, but Flynn said the case was closed because of a "lack of physical evidence to pursue."
Riordon said she is at a loss to explain why anyone would break in.
She has been an outspoken critic of the Canadian Forces' use of depleted uranium in weaponry and its possible links to Gulf War Syndrome.
Riordon said she arrived home Feb. 9 to find her door unlocked and documents tossed about.
"The way stuff was strewn around, it was an obvious, in your face 'Hi'," she said. "It was a statement by someone."
"I had just filed. Everything was in a neat pile. When I came home, everything was on the floor and those doors were locked."
Her husband served in the Gulf War in 1991 and came home with chronic illnesses that defied explanation and treatment.
Terry Riordon died in 1999 and his wife agreed to allow US independent lab tests on his bones. The results showed his remains contained a high level of the radioactive substance.
Depleted uranium is used to coat shells, making them harder and more likely to penetrate armor-plated defenses. It was first used during the Gulf War.
Canada is a big exporter of the radioactive munitions, and several NATO allies expressed concern last fall about the use of depleted uranium shells during the recent bombing campaign in Kosovo.
*Murray Brewster is a Canadian Press correspondent for Atlantic Canada
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