WASHINGTON — A second letter allegedly intended for President Obama has tested positive for the deadly poison ricin, according to a new report.
A senior law enforcement told ABC’s Terry Moran that the suspicious letter sent to Obama tested positive for the ricin.
The Secret Service said a letter containing a suspicious substance was addressed to Obama but did not confirm it was ricin. The letter was intercepted at a remote White House mail screening facility before it reached its intended target, the agency said.
The Secret Service said they are working closely with US Capitol Police and the FBI’s investigation.
Yesterday, an envelope containing ricin was sent to the office of Republican Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi — and authorities last night said they have identified a suspect in the case, although he did not appear to be in custody.
The letter was intercepted by an off-site mail-screening facility in DC yesterday afternoon and later was sent to a testing facility in Maryland.
Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance Gainer told senators that the letter had been postmarked in Memphis, Tenn., and carried no return address and no exterior markings making it suspicious.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) said a suspect has already been identified but didn’t address whether he had been arrested.
She said the letter was from someone known to frequently write lawmakers, but didn’t give the person’s name.
CNN, quoting a knowledgeable source, said no one was yet in custody.
“We need to be continuously aware and alert,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), adding that there was “no apparent link” between the letter and Monday’s bombing in Boston.
He said he was aware of only the one incident.
The substance has previously been used in assassinations. Just a tiny amount can be deadly. In 2003 and 2004, several letters laced with ricin were intercepted on their way to the White House and the Dirksen Senate Office building.
Law-enforcement sources told CNN the letter tested positive on an initial test, then tested positive two more times before getting sent to Maryland.
Mail destined for US Senate offices goes through rigorous screening. This protocol was instituted after multiple letters laced with anthrax were sent to the Capitol and media offices after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.