Preliminary tests show letter to Obama contains poison ricin

WASHINGTON Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:53pm EDT

President Barack Obama speaks about the bomb blast at the finish line of the Boston Marathon while in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, April 15, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing

President Barack Obama speaks about the bomb blast at the finish line of the Boston Marathon while in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, April 15, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A letter addressed to President Barack Obama contained a substance that preliminarily tested positive for the deadly poison ricin, authorities said on Wednesday.

News that the letter to Obama was being investigated came as a flurry of other reports of suspicious letters and a package caused the evacuation of parts of two Senate buildings and set nerves in Washington on edge.

The letter contained "a granular substance that preliminarily tested positive for ricin," an FBI statement said. But the statement added: "There is no indication of a connection to the attack in Boston," where three people were killed in bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday.

The Secret Service said the letter to Obama was received at a mail screening facility on Tuesday.

The mail facility that received the letter was not located near the White House itself, Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan said in a statement.

"The Secret Service is working closely with the U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI in this investigation," Donovan said.

Parts of the Russell and Hart Senate office buildings were cleared while officials investigated suspicious letters and a package, a Capitol Police spokesman said.

CNN read a statement from a spokesman to Senator Richard Shelby, saying that Capitol Police were investigating a suspicious package that had been delivered to their office.

Senator Carl Levin said one of his Michigan regional offices had received a suspicious-looking letter, but it was not opened. Authorities are investigating, Levin said in a statement.

On Tuesday U.S. authorities intercepted a letter sent to Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker that preliminary tests showed contained the deadly poison ricin.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Vicki Allen and Jim Loney)

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Comments (4)
McLibertarian wrote:
To me it is interesting that around the time of the 9/11 attackes we also had letters being sent with Anthrax.
Now around the time of the Boston Marathon bombings which looks as though it could be the same group of people responsible (Al Qeada in the Arabian Penninsula)also the same group of people that Osama Bin Laden was from the Asir area of Saudi Arabia bording Yemen We also now see letters of Ricin being sent. Ricin is much easier to obtain it is organic and can be made from Castor Beans. This same group was also responsible for the Cole bombing and many other terrorist attacks.
Just makes me wonder if these two types of attack are coordinated at the time to wreak havoc fear also tie up many investigators in law enforcement on two seperate incidents.
I still think Iran is resposible for 911 and really the funding of this group of Al Qaeda in the Arabian penninsula. We should ask ourselves who had the most to gain from 911 and from funding this group. Iran had issues with the Taliban in Afganistan on its eastern border and the us came in and took care of it. Also Sadam was in Iraq and held power with a sunni minority and now Iran has sweeping power from eastern afganistan all the way to the mediteranian via lebanon thanks to the war in Iraq. Iran also benefits from funding this group in Saudi to destablize the Saudi Government and Yemen which has a Shite minority in the area.
Iran has almost has the same sphere of influence it once had at the height of the Persian empire with the events that have taken place since 911
Come to think of it too Iran also benefits from the destabilization of the Western edge of Pakistan which has Shite minorities as well. All this has occured after 911 and Iran is closer than ever to obtaining nukes and missles with the cooperation of South Korea

Apr 17, 2013 1:19pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
chekovmerlin wrote:
Modern states such as the U.S., Russia, Germany, China, etc. are more powerful than terrorists. Keep in mind that all that those who use terror as a weapon will bring the wrath and totality of government upon their heads and cause even more authroritarian rule on all of us. Our privacy will be limited. The state is all powerful. Read history. The military and police stand behind the state. That is a fact. With that fact in mind, those who practice terror cannot win.

Apr 17, 2013 1:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlfBundy wrote:
Sent it to himself to elicit sympathy. Couldn’t have a republican be the only one to get one. That would mean it was a lefty doing the terrorist deeds just like his friends in the Weather Underground. This group is pathetic! What happened to the Saudi exchange student found at the scene of the bombing? Don’t rush to judgement, nothing to see here, could be home-grown terrorism… hey, no problem. If caught, that person and ALL of their extended family and community members should be sent packing and their Visas/citizenship taken away. Along with a short rope for the perp!

Apr 17, 2013 1:26pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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