WASHINGTON (AFP) - US officials believe that a regional arm of Al-Qaeda is trying to produce the lethal poison ricin in order to use it in future attacks against the US, The NY Times reported late Friday. Citing unspecified classified reports, the newspaper said Al-Qaedas affiliate in Yemen has been making efforts to acquire large quantities of castor beans, which are required to produce ricin. Officials say they have collected evidence that Qaeda operatives are trying to move the beans and processing agents to a hideaway in Shabwa Province. US military commanders have repeatedly expressed concern that the militants have been taking advantage of a protracted power vacuum in Sanaa.