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Letter Sent to Senator Tests Positive for Ricin
Envelope for Roger Wicker intercepted at mail-sorting facility
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2013 5:54 PM CDT
A file photo of Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

(Newser) – Scary story breaking out of DC: A letter addressed to Republican Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker tested positive for the poison ricin, reports Politico. The envelope never got to him, reports CNN, which says it was intercepted at an off-site facility that sorts mail for the Capitol. Three separate tests turned up positive for the highly toxic poison. Authorities have identified a suspect, said Sen. Claire McCaskill, adding only that it was someone who writes lots of letters to lawmakers.

It's not clear why the apparent target was Wicker, described by the Washington Post as a "low-profile senator in his second term." (He replaced Trent Lott in 2008.) The envelope got detected at a facility set up in 2001 after some senators were sent letters tainted with anthrax. "The bottom line is, the process we have in place worked," said McCaskill. FBI chief Robert Mueller and Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano briefed senators today, though it's not clear when the letter was received.

Next on Newser: Obama in Boston Thursday
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Showing 3 of 41 comments
watashiwa
Apr 17, 2013 5:19 AM CDT
Sounds like Philip Zack all over again, almost.
Sphinx
Apr 17, 2013 1:34 AM CDT
I only know what ricin is because I watch Breaking Bad. ...That's really all I came here to say. But while I'm here, trying to kill senators is bad.
viva_yo
Apr 16, 2013 10:39 PM CDT
Ricin was the poison of choice a few yrs. ago used by a white supremacist. Usually Muslim groups take credit for their terrorist attacks but not white supremacists. The relative crudity of the Boston bombs & the use of Ricin, as well as 4/15 being tax day, "Patriot Day" in MA., near the anniversary of Waco, Oklahoma City bombing & Columbine, the current attacks on prosecutors & judges all have the earmarks of a white supremacist group.