Letter sent to senator tested positive for poison ricin
(Reuters) - Officials said they had intercepted a letter sent to Senator Roger Wicker that tested positive on Tuesday for the deadly poison ricin, and that the Capitol police, FBI and other agencies had launched an investigation.
The letter was postmarked from Memphis, Tennessee, and had no return address, Terrance Gaines, the Senate sergeant at arms, said in a warning to members of the Senate.
"Senate employees should be vigilant in their mail handling processes for ALL mailings," Gaines said in a written statement.
Members of the Senate were briefed on the ricin incident by Gaines during a meeting with FBI Director Robert Mueller and Janet Napolitano, the secretary of Homeland Security, on Tuesday on the bombings in Boston.
Several senators told reporters after the briefing that incident reminded them of the anthrax attacks in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.
The positive ricin test came one day after the explosions at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured 176.
"I don't know if it's a coincidence. It's too early to tell. We don't know enough about Boston," said Senator Richard Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate.