The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

April 16, 2013

Officials: Letter with ricin sent to senator

— WASHINGTON (AP) — An envelope addressed to Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi tested positive Tuesday for ricin, a potentially fatal poison, congressional officials said, heightening concerns about terrorism a day after a deadly bombing killed three and left more than 170 injured at the Boston Marathon.

Wicker's office issued a statement saying "any inquiries regarding member security must be directed to the United States Capitol Police."

Capitol Police had no immediate comment.

But Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters of the test, and other lawmakers said they had been briefed by the office of the Senate Sergeant At Arms.

Mail addressed to congressional offices in Washington is has been routinely screened at an off-site facility since anthrax attacks in 2001, and there was no evidence it was ever delivered to Wicker's office.

Milt Leitenberg, a University of Maryland bioterrorism expert, said ricin is a poison derived from the same bean that makes castor oil. He said it must be ingested to be fatal.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said the letter was discovered at a mail processing plant in Prince George's County in suburban Maryland.

"Luckily, this was discovered at the processing center off premises," Durbin said. He said all mail to senators is "roasted, toasted, sliced and opened" before it ever gets to them.

1
Text Only
State and Nation
Poll

What is your favorite Easter candy?

Chocolate bunnies
Marshmallow chicks
Chocolate eggs with filling
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee