In the hideout of Suleiman in the Jack Ryan TV-show, we see the terrorists busy sliding slim glass containers individually into bulky olive oil canisters. The number of crates of olive oil gave me the impression of quite some mass being smuggled. The cesium-dust later picked up in the container in Boston harbor is also contained in slim glass containers, but those are just racked together, and are olive-oil-adjacent, but not immersed in the oil.

Is there some indication what the hiding-in-oil scene was about? Was it the cesium? Was it Ebola? Was it something else, like drugs?

1 Answer 1


It would have been the cesium.

We know that the Ebola had already been introduced to the previously hostage doctors (apparently through medication) so the only other items required for the plan were plastic explosives and the cesium.

The individual cesium containers would have been somewhat protected from rough handling by the viscous nature of the olive oil.

Presumably, this method is what was being tested in the pilot episode when smaller olive oil bottles were being used.

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We know the size of the crate (5' x 3') and that only some of the contents were removed. From the image 7 - 8 large bottles each, perhaps holding one cesium container.

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We know the approximate number of bottles removed because Suleiman only has 7 left (plus the one that broke in the shipping container).

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  • But isn't the scene in the harbor showing the cesium-containers as being simply nested in a bit of stuffing material as opposed to being individually suspended in olive oil? There are olive oil containers in the shot but the cesium is just beside them, not in them, as i remember it.
    – bukwyrm
    Nov 23, 2018 at 13:21
  • @bukwyrm: You're correct that the packaging into olive oil doesn't mather the packaging when the cesium was retrieved, but you can't be sure that they didn't change shipment methods one or two times. Shipping something from Syria to the US is going to get much more rigorous checking than e.g. shipping to to somewhere else, and then shippingsomething else (containing the same cesium) from that other place to the US. Given that the packaging is different between Syria and the US, this is the most likely scenario.
    – Flater
    May 2, 2020 at 21:28

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