Saturday, June 1, 2013

FBI intercepts ricin-laced letter sent to Barack Obama

Washington: 01 Jun 2013

A threatening letter laced with deadly poison ricin, addressed to US President Barack Obama, has been intercepted by the FBI and authorities are questioning a person in Texas in connection with the case.

The letter, similar to a suspected poison letter sent to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, was intercepted by the federal agency before it could reach its destination.

\"The US Secret Service can confirm that the White House mail screening facility intercepted a letter addressed to the White House that were similar to letters previously addressed to Mayor Bloomberg in New York,\" Edwin M Donovan, the Secret Service spokesperson, said.

\"This letter has been turned over to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force for testing and investigation,\" Donovan said.

The text of that mailing was identical to the letters sent to the mayor and his gun group, which threatened: \"What\'s in this letter is nothing compared to what I\'ve got planned for you," a news channel quoted police and law enforcement sources as saying.

Authorities were questioning a person in Texas in connection with the letters sent to Obama and Bloomberg. Authorities questioned the man to find if he had information related to the threatening letters.

The interview with the man is just one possible lead in the case, and officials emphasise the development is still part of the early stages of their investigation, the sources said. Obama is aware of the issue, his spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.

\"The White House does have an offsite facility that processes the mail that we receive, so we have precautions that are in place for these kinds of things,\" he said.

There have been a number of ricin-laced letters sent to public officials in recent weeks. A Mississippi man has been charged with sending a crude form of ricin to Obama and a US senator last month.

Yesterday, officials said they had intercepted a suspected ricin letter sent to Bloomberg, by someone apparently angry over his advocacy for gun control.
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