BULLETIN: FBI Says Letter Addressed To President Obama ‘Preliminarily Tested Positive For Ricin’

breakingnews72BULLETIN: (UPDATED 2:06 P.M. EDT) The FBI and the U.S. Secret Service are investigating a letter sent to President Obama that “preliminarily tested positive for ricin,” the FBI says.

Ricin is a deadly poison. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., also reportedly was sent a letter that preliminarily tested positive for ricin.

The President has been briefed on the letters, White House Spokesman Jay Carney said minutes ago. Earlier, the FBI said “[t]here is no indication of a connection to the attack in Boston.”

At least two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday. The bombs killed three people, including an eight-year-old boy, and injured dozens. Some of those injured suffered the loss of limbs.

This is the FBI statement in full (italics added):

A second letter containing a granular substance that preliminarily tested positive for ricin was received at an offsite mail screening facility. The envelope, addressed to the President, was immediately quarantined by U.S. Secret Service personnel, and a coordinated investigation with the FBI was initiated. It is important to note that operations at the White House have not been affected as a result of the investigation.

Additionally, filters at a second government mail screening facility preliminarily tested positive for ricin this morning. Mail from that facility is being tested.

Any time suspicious powder is located in a mail facility, field tests are conducted. The field and other preliminary tests can produce inconsistent results. Any time field tests indicate the possibility of a biological agent, the material is sent to an accredited laboratory for further analysis. Only a full analysis performed at an accredited laboratory can determine the presence of a biological agent such as ricin. Those tests are currently being conducted and generally take 24 to 48 hours.

The investigation into these letters remains ongoing, and more letters may still be received. There is no indication of a connection to the attack in Boston.

The U.S. Capitol Police said that an investigation is under way into the the letter allegedly sent to Wicker, although the agency did not identify the Senator by name. Here is a statement, dated yesterday, by the Capitol Police (italics added):

Washington, D.C. — Earlier today the United States Capitol Police (USCP) was notified by the Senate mail handling facility that it received an envelope containing a white granular substance. The envelope was immediately quarantined by the facility’s personnel and USCP HAZMAT responded to the scene. Preliminary tests indicate the substance found was Ricin.

The material is being forwarded to an accredited laboratory for further analysis.

The USCP is partnering with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate this incident. This is an ongoing investigation.

This is a controlled event at an off-site facility. Operations at the Capitol Complex have not been affected as a result of the preliminary investigation.

We will continue to keep our stakeholders apprised of any new information as it develops.

UPDATE 2:06 P.M. CNN is reporting that the letters read, “To see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance.”

And, according to CNN, the letters were signed, “I am KC and I approve this message.”

The alleged signature on the letters are reminiscent of disclaimers on political ads in the United States.

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One Response to “BULLETIN: FBI Says Letter Addressed To President Obama ‘Preliminarily Tested Positive For Ricin’”

  1. […] FBI has arrested Paul Kevin Curtis in the ricin letters probe, the agency said […]