A letter sent to Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker tested positive for the poisonous substance ricin, and initial testing also reveals that ricin was included in a letter addressed to President Barack Obama.
Several U.S. Senators have confirmed that they have receive suspicious letters, with at least one addressed to Senator Roger Wicker confirmed as having included the poisonous substance ricin. The Secret Service is also investigating a letter that was sent to President Barack Obama, which they state that initial testing reveals also contained ricin.
Ricin, which is derives from the castor bean plant, is considered to be the most poisonous, naturally occurring substance. The bean part of the plant is what is poisonous to humans, animals, and insects. The "mash" from the processing of castor beans is ricin, which can be a powder, a mist, or a pellet. It can also be dissolved in water or a weak acid.
A letter mailed to Sen. Wicker that was postmarked in Memphis was intercepted at an off-site Capitol mail facility, and was found to contain a "white granular substance". The letter was quarantined before preliminary test showed that the substance was ricin. The letter has been sent to the FBI for further investigation. A suspect has been identified.
A second suspicious package was received on Wednesday morning at the Washington D.C. offices of Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). A spokesman for the senator says that the package is being investigated by Capitol Police. It is not yet know if it was similar to the one addressed to Wicker and Obama, which contained ricin.