‘Threatening letter’ sent to Obama

Secret service says letter similar to one containing ricin sent to Michael Bloomberg

US president Barack Obama returns to the White House following a trip to Chicago yesterday. The Secret Service said that a letter addressed to Obama, that was similar to the ricin laced letter sent to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, was intercepted by a White House mail screening facility. Photograph:  Win McNamee/Getty Images.

US president Barack Obama returns to the White House following a trip to Chicago yesterday. The Secret Service said that a letter addressed to Obama, that was similar to the ricin laced letter sent to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, was intercepted by a White House mail screening facility. Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty Images.

 

Authorities have intercepted a threatening letter addressed to US president Barack Obama that was similar to ones sent to New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, the US secret service has said.

Letters sent to Mr Bloomberg and his gun control group earlier this week contained material believed to be the deadly poison ricin and contained a reference to gun control, New York police said.

A secret service official said the letter sent to the White House was similar but did not elaborate. The White House mail screening facility turned it over to the FBI’s joint terrorism task force, a secret service official said.

Authorities have stopped several ricin-laced letters in recent weeks. A man from Tupelo, Mississippi was charged last month with sending poison-laced letters to Mr Obama and two other public officials. Everett Dutschke was being held on charges of developing and possessing ricin and attempting to use it as a weapon, according to the justice department.

Authorities also intercepted a letter sent to US senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi. Preliminary tests showed it contained ricin.

Separately, federal authorities last week arrested a Washington state man, Matthew Ryan Buquet, who they suspect mailed a letter containing ricin to a US district judge in Spokane. Buquet, 37, was charged with mailing threatening communications.

Yesterday, the FBI’s Seattle office said in a statement that a similar letter containing ricin was sent from Spokane to Mr Obama and postmarked May 13th. The letter Buquet is accused of sending to the judge in Washington state was postmarked the same day.

Reuters