Chicago Sun-Times
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Suspect arrested: Obama, Senator get poisoned letters; no Senate mail today

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WASHINGTON--A Mississippi man was arrested Wednesday in connection with the mailing of letters containing poison to President Barack Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), a law enforcement source told the Chicago Sun-Times.

The two letters were intercepted at screening centers--located away from the White House and Capitol--and tested positive for ricin, a killer toxin.

The letters each had the same message and were postmarked on April 8 from Memphis, Tenn., according to an FBI bulletin reviewed by the Chicago Sun-Times. The letters said "to see a wrong and not expose it is to become a silent partner to its continuance."

Each letter was signed "I am KC and I approve this message," according to the FBI bulletin.

Ricin powder poured out of the letter to Wicker when screeners at the remote postal facility--who work wearing biohazard suits--checked the contents. Each letter sent to the Capitol and the White House is slit open and undergoes a series of tests to determine if it contains any hazardous material.

The stepped up security is a legacy of the anthrax and ricin attack that hit the Capitol and other parts of Washington in 2001. The arrest was made by a joint by a joint FBI and Capitol Police Task Force.

The ricin attack is not related to another scare on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, when a man was detained following the delivery of three suspicious packages -- described as sealed envelopes -- to three Senate offices. Law enforcement authorities were notified after the man dropped off the envelopes. Senate personnel are instructed not to accept sealed packages that have not gone through a screening.

The envelopes were found to contain political material. The man was later released.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on April 18, 2013 9:55 AM.

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