The FBI has intercepted a letter addressed to President Obama that may contain the poisonous substance ricin.
FILE: Federal authorities wearing hazmat suits walk to the home of Everett Dutschke for additional investigation, Tuesday evening, April 23, 2013 in Tupelo, Miss., in connection with the recent ricin attacks. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
A spokesperson in the FBI’s Washington Field Office said that a “suspicious letter” sent to Obama was intercepted at a White House mail facility on Thursday morning. The FBI is investigating the letter and it does not yet know whether the letter tested positive or negative for ricin.
The Secret Service confirms that the letter appears similar to a ricin-laced letter addressed to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I). It’s not yet clear whether the incidents are related.
Two letters that contained threats to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg — one addressed to him, the other to a lobbyist who works on his gun control campaign — have tested positive for the deadly poison ricin, the authorities said on Wednesday.
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The first letter was opened at a New York City mail center in Lower Manhattan on Friday, the police said. Although staff members at the mail center do not appear to have become ill, several police officers who came into contact with the letter’s contents “indicated some mild symptoms the next day, including diarrhea,” and they are being treated in hospitals, the New York Police Department’s spokesman, Paul J. Browne, said on Wednesday afternoon. “They’re being checked out as a precaution.”
The second letter, which was opened on Sunday in Washington, was addressed to Mark Glaze, the director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group Mr. Bloomberg helps run and finances, officials said. Mr. Glaze opened the letter, an official said. No injuries were reported, Mr. Browne said.