by Christopher Freeburn | April 17, 2013 10:52 am
The FBI is investigating a letter mailed to Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker after early tests signaled the presence of a lethal poison.
On Tuesday, the suspicious letter was quarantined at the Senate’s mail handling facility. Federal authorities were summoned when the letter showed signs of contamination with ricin, a deadly substance that can kill people with tiny doses, Reuters noted.
However, sources said the early tests actually showed mixed results and that the letter had been taken to a federal lab for more comprehensive testing. The letter bore a postmark from Memphis, Tenn. Authorities cautioned senate offices to look for any suspicious correspondence.
While only one potentially-contaminated letter was found, sources informed Reuters that the Capitol Hill post office, which handles mail destined for Congress, had been shut down.
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill told reporters that authorities are investigating an unnamed suspect who frequently sends letters to senators.
Mail bound for Congress has been subjected to testing and special handling protocols since 2001, when Anthrax-contaminated letters were sent to a number of lawmakers and media personalities shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks. No one has been arrested in connection with those incidents.
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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